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December 9, 2010, 12:00 PM

During a non-public meeting BransonCritic.com representative Molly Donohue presented NOAH – The Musical representative Mike Pitman with the 2010 Bransoncritic.com Editors' Choice Award for "Best Overall Production."

Molly said "Most of you are familiar with these fine folks from Sight & Sound who have graced us with their presence and insight at past meetings. Today we would like to honor them, and the entire cast, lighting, sound, administration, owners and producers of the fabulous production Noah – The Musical."

I’d like to share with you what one BransonCritic.com editor wrote:
"From the time you enter this…theatre you are presented with a feeling of expectation; one that is fulfilled.…the experience that awaits you is truly spectacular…

Since 1976, Sight & Sound Theatres have brought the most beloved stories of the Bible to life on…In the spring of 2008, one of the most popular theatres on the east coast opened its doors in Branson, MO with Noah-The Musical, featuring a 300-foot wraparound stage with 40 foot high sets, a cast of 50 actors, elaborate costumes, breathtaking special effects, and hundreds of live and animatronic animals. The entire theatre is used in this production…It is a show of unbelievable proportions.

The performances and numerous stage settings transport you from the pages of the Bible to become a member of Noah and his family; sharing the triumphs as well as the struggles. Brought to life is the very realistic human side of Noah and his family as they doubt the possibility of such a daunting task and then the gradual unfolding of the plan and its final completion. Daily routines of caring for the animals and struggles of day to day living are shared. Only their belief that this voyage was ordained by God and that He will sustain their courage allows them to complete this daunting task. With a smooth and realistic flow, the story of Noah, his family and their struggles are lifted from the pages of the Bible and place you at the very scenes from inspiration to preparation to completion….this timeless story you’ve always loved, will become a memory you’ll never forget".

One fan wrote:
"I don't know if it’s possible to write a review about an experience almost beyond belief. How do I describe being in Noah's ark when there is nothing, absolutely nothing that I can compare it to? But we were there. We were there from the beginning as we witnessed Noah receiving instructions from God. We were there for the construction, the destruction, and the rebuilding of the ark. We watched as the animals arrived, two by two, and unafraid.
We were in the ark with Noah, his family, and the animals, when the first drops of rain fell. Together with Noah and his family we grieved for those who had refused Noah’s invitation because we knew their fate. We could hear them outside the ark, but it was too late. We were there when the ark was lifted from dry land by the flood water.
And after many weeks of confinement, anxiety, and…unrelenting rain, we observed family members quarreling and then forgiving. We watched in anticipation when the dove was released and flew over our heads in search of dry land. Noah, The Musical; you’ll laugh, cry, be in awe of the technology, and appreciate the talents of the cast. This was an experience I will never forget. This isn't just food for the soul, it’s a banquet!"

Another fan sums it up by stating:
"Everything about this show and the venue is absolutely flawless….we were…awe struck. The set designs and the acting were nothing less than perfect. This show has everything: singing- but not too much; dancing- but not over the top; humor - but not irreverent; and it reflects the time and place that these events occurred. It was surreal to remember that this did happen, not just a blurb or a fable we hear in Sunday school. I think it’s important to re-tell these stories with the care and respect that this was presented. I applaud the efforts and talents of the cast."

Molly finished by saying "These thoughts echo the many comments our guests and our own staff have conveyed. And so, without further ado I would like to present Sight & Sound with the 2010 BransonCritic.com Editor’s Choice Award for Best Overall Production!"







November 16, 2010 - 2:00 PM

Mr. Kyle Hall (Joseph's father) invited BransonCritic.com Representative Molly Donohue up to center stage to join Joseph Hall before a full house audience at the beginning of the Eras of the King Show.

Then Molly began by saying "We’re here at the newly renovated, historic Owens’ Theatre in the heart of downtown Branson where Joseph Hall has spent his first year in Branson! We couldn’t ignore his presence! Numerous fans took the time to log onto BransonCritic.com and post what they love about this show and this young entertainer. Over and over guests commented on Joseph’s personable, down-to-earth, genuine nature…his attention to his fans, his attention to the details in his performance, and of course the black leather suit was mentioned more than once. Here are some highlights (and you’ll start to hear a theme):

Joseph Hall's first year in Branson, Missouri has been busy...Joseph's fan base is growing daily. More and more people are being introduced to this amazing show…each show is different (featuring) the real early days of Elvis, the 68 special time, military set, movie set, gospel, and the concert years…Joseph is an outstanding entertainer who puts everything he’s got into his show…Elvis would be proud…

What a show, and what a performer! This young man was born to entertain. And what an incredible job he does portraying Elvis. He keeps his audience… mesmerized… spellbound… from the moment he enters the stage…to his last song. You just sit there almost unable to believe your eyes. He’s got the looks, the talent, and undoubtedly the moves of the King of rock and roll himself!

I am one of the biggest Elvis fans…there is. I listen to Elvis radio on Sirrus channel 13 daily. I have even been on the Elvis Quiz show at Graceland. That is why I want to nominate Joseph Hall, star of Eras of the King, to win an award this year. Joseph does the best tribute to Elvis that I have ever seen. He does the moves of Elvis to perfection. Each move he does, I have seen Elvis do in his shows. Joseph's voice just keeps getting better and better... I like all the different parts of Elvis's career that he (showcases), but I think he does a tremendous job on his gospel section and the concert years of Elvis. Joseph is a very friendly and all around nice guy…(he) interacts with the audience all through the show. He makes everyone feel good to be there. I would recommend this show highly. It is as close to watching a concert of Elvis that you can get…

He is a remarkable young man and artist who is very friendly and true. He listens when we talk to him after his shows and takes time for everyone who wants to talk to him, get his autograph and picture... He is the best Elvis impersonator we have ever seen…He is electrifying!!!!"

Molly finished up by saying "With that (and you can log onto BransonCritic.com to read the entire host of comments or post your own) I am so very pleased to present this award to Joseph Hall. I have to tell you, we had something unique happen this year on BranosnCritic.com that hasn’t happened before to my knowledge. TWO shows received the same amount of votes! Joseph Hall is one of the deserving recipients of the 2010 BransonCritic.com Fans’ Choice Award for Male Performer of the Year! Congratulations Joseph!"

[Photos Courtesy of Sandi McKim- Editor]





November 10, 2010, 10:00 AM


At the beginning of the 10AM show George Dyer's Manager Wayne Leavitt introduced BransonCritic.com representative Molly Donohue and invited her to come to the center of the stage.

Molly began by saying "Good Morning- On behalf of BransonCritic.com, we want to welcome George and his family to Branson. We’re so very pleased to have George back for a full season this year that we’re here to honor George today, but not only honor George, but we want to commend him for the heart felt performances, his endearing character and enduring spirit and the talented musicians in his show.

He’s made Branson his home and we’re so thrilled to have him as part of our community. A thriving vivacious inspirational community that has certainly been inspired by his presence.

One BransonCritic.com Editor wrote “Whenever I see George Dyer’s Show I think to myself how fortunate to have such a wide range of entertainment and I am truly elated to hear George sing the songs we know from popular opera and Broadway shows and the many beloved ballads As well as great classics from decades ago. His beautiful tenor voice and his very charming stage presence are mesmerizing. Everyone loves him and he is truly a welcomed addition to Branson’s wide musical variety."

Molly finished by saying "I am honored to congratulate George on earning the 2010 BransonCritic.com Editors’ Choice Award for Best Vocalist."

[Photos Courtesy of Sandi McKim- Editor]





November 9, 2010, 8:00 PM


BransonCritic.com representative Molly Donohue was invited by Jason Hughes to come up and join him and his four brothers on stage during intermission. He handed the mik to her and she said: "Wow! What a way to spend an evening! With the talented Hughes Brothers and their families! Let’s give them another ‘round of applause."

She continued: "We’re here tonight to honor you guys and your families. You’ve graced Branson with your presence, your talent, Jason’s ego…your varied commitments to our community, and your commitment to providing fans – tourists and locals alike – with superior entertainment. Over the years, we’ve gotten the pleasure of watching your family grow…and grow…and grow…and blossom into the multi-talented entertainers they are today.

It takes hard work to manage a theater, provide quality customer service to guests and receptives, channel all the charm and good looks Jason possesses…and to produce a top-rated show – two shows really (your regular season and your Christmas season) along with raising your families!"

Molly finished up by saying: "We’re so proud of you. You’ve kept the spirit of what Branson is all about alive and well in the hearts of your fans, your friends, and your families and tonight we want to recognize those efforts by awarding you the 2010 BransonCritic.com Editors’ Choice Award for Best Variety Show! Congratulations Hughes!"

[Photos Courtesy of Sandi McKim- Editor]





November 9, 2010, 10:00 AM

James Garrett invited BransonCritic.com representative Molly Donohue to come up onto the stage at the end of the first half of the John Denver Tribute Show. Being gracious, James took the time to also personally acknowlege and invite each team member of the IMAX Show Group to also come upfront and share the limelight with him and his three person band.

Then Molly began by saying "James mentioned LUCK earlier, however I don’t think LUCK has anything to do with this award!

You’ve done a great job of encouraging fans to post their reviews on BransonCritic.com. It’s all about what you, the fans have proclaimed on BransonCritic.com!

I was going to pick out a few of the best reviews but they’re all glowing! So I’m going to provide you with the essence of what the majority of these reviews state. It’s about the love and respect that goes into honoring the memory and the music of John Denver.

It’s about the warmth and genuine spirit of the performers…James, Randy, and Jim, C.J. and the special guests I know you’ve had on this show as well.

I’m privileged to award you with the 2010 BransonCritic.com Fans’ Choice Award for “Best Tribute Show!”

For the past three years this show has been awarded ‘Best Morning Show.” This year we wanted to award the show with “The Best Tribute Show."

Molly ended by saying "Congratulations!" to all who were present on stage.

[Photos Courtesy of Sandi McKim- Editor]



November 4, 2010 - 8:00 PM

BransonCritic.com Representative Molly Donohue joined Mr. & Mrs. Dutton center stage during their intermission and said "Branson is a town full of amazing talent. We’re surrounded by quality shows, top-notch attractions, award-winning hotels, pristine golf courses, a host of great restaurants, and shopping galore! I’m so honored to live and work in a place such as Branson – a town that epitomizes the meaning of community, fellowship, and goodwill.

Many folks take the time to post their comments of all that our town has to offer online. I encourage you to visit BransonCritic.com and tell others what you love about this show and really all that you’ve enjoyed while here in Branson.
Here are some of my favorite fan posts on BransonCritic.com:

Carol Kindl’s post: I am writing this to say…

Jeanne Jone’s post: The Dutton Family show…

LaNay King’s post: It was amazing!

Tim Peak’s post: The Dutton’s Show is the best show…

Tonight I’m here to congratulate the entire Dutton family. With numerous fans – tourists and locals alike – it’s easy to see, as you’ve seen tonight…and it blesses my heart to be presenting the Duttons with the 2010 BransonCritic.com Fans’ Choice Award for Best Performing Family! Congratulations Duttons!"

[Photos Courtesy of Sandi McKim- Editor]




November 2, 2010 - 10:00 AM

BransonCritic.com Representative Molly Donohue joined the Brett Family center stage during their intermission and said "I’m so thankful to be living and working in Branson, a town that offers a wide variety of wholesome, affordable, quality entertainment. I encourage you to log onto BransonCritic.com and let others know what you love about the shows you’ve seen here.

How about the Brett Family? Aren’t they phenomenal entertainers?

If you’re enjoying their Christmas show, I encourage you to come back next year and see their regular show, which is far from “regular”. They’ve showcased their extraordinarily talented family, individually and collectively, in a top-notch show that brings us to why I’m here today.

They’ve earned the 2010 BransonCritic.com Fans’ Choice Award for "Best Morning Show of the Year!"

Congratulations Bretts!

[Photos Courtesy of Sandi McKim- Editor]





October 29, 2010 - 8:00 PM

Representatives Chris Myer and Molly Donohue took the stage to present SIX another annual award from Bransoncritic.com. Chris explained that Bransoncritic.com is a website where fans post reviews of the shows that they have seen and vote on their favorite shows. He said "The awards portion of the website has been in place for numerous years. In fact, I believe it is the longest running awards program in Branson."

He stated "In 2007 SIX won "Editors Award for Best New Show"- In 2008 SIX won "Best Show of the Year"- In 2009 SIX won the "Fan’s Choice Award for Best Show & Entertainers of the Year."

Chris continued "Today Bransoncritic.com would like to honor SIX as they finish their fourth (4th) full season in Branson. Here are some of the highlights of reviews that we received this year:"

Cindy from Houston, TX
"We have been in Branson for 4 days and have seen 6 shows. All of which were excellent, but my husband I agree that SIX is without a doubt the best show we have seen."

Ron from Broken Arrow, OK
"The show was beyond belief. I have never enjoyed a show as much as I did this one."

Nancy from Benton, IL
"As first time visitors to Branson we knew nothing about this show. From the moment SIX came on stage we were mesmerized by their talent. I have not laughed as much in a long time and that was before intermission. The second half was amazing."

Karin from Orangeville, IL
"My entire family has attended their show twice in the past ten months. My grandma who is 93, being the oldest and then my three year old son being the youngest. We all loved it!"

Chris finished by saying "In many of the reviews it talked about how SIX is a show that all ages can enjoy. That is the one thing about Branson- It is a place where entertainment brings people together. The entertainment of SIX brings families together and creates memories for a life time."

"It is my pleasure to present the 2010 Branson Critic Fans' Choice Award for Best Entertainers of the Year to SIX! Thanks to Barry, Kevin, Lynn, Jak, Owen and Curtis for providing outstanding entertainment to Branson audiences."

[Photos Courtesy of Sandi McKim- Editor]




October 28, 2010 - 10:00 AM

BransonCritic.com represententation Molly Donohue came up onto the stage at the end of the Clay Cooper’s Show.– She began by saying "The Clay Cooper Show is a great show, one of my personal favorites." She told the audience to do the show and unsuspecting favor – and to log onto BransonCritic.com and tell the world what you love about this show! "We offer many awards and there’s no reason why we can’t be honoring Clay Cooper’s Show in one of the categories next year."

She continued "We are here today to recognize Matt and Gareth…hard-working, fun-loving, deserving guys for their comedy in Buckets n Boards. One of those shows you don’t know exactly what to expect when you get there- Pretty soon you find your toes tappin’…then you notice your family’s having a good time…then you see that everyone around you is just having a ball…leave grinning from ear to ear."

She concluded by saying "So, I’m here to present you with the 2010 BransonCritic.com Editor’s Choice Award for Best Comedy Show!"

Matt and Gareth continued to have fun during and after accepting the award- It put a smile on everyone's face.






October 23, 2010 - 2:00 PM


The BransonCritic awards team attended the JEERK show on Saturday afternoon for the presentation of the 2010 Best New Show Award.  Chris Myer, representing BransonCritic.com made the presentation to Nikke, Thomas, Bobo, Reggie, Joey on stage. 

Chris explained "Bransoncritic.com is a website where fans post reviews of the shows that they have seen and vote on their favorite shows. The awards portion of the website has been in place for numerous years. In fact, I believe it is the longest running awards program in Branson."

He continued "In 2009 JEERK made their first appearance in Branson. Today Bransoncritic.com would like to honor JEERK as they finish their first full season in Branson."

He then quoted some of the highlights of reviews that were received this year:

Terry Smith Oak Grove, MO
"This is one of the most dynamic shows I have ever seen , so much talent and energy.
Definitively one of the best things this country has seen that comes from Sweden. I just hope that they get the chance to let the world see how talented they are. I love the show Stomp made, but this is even better. Five stars all the way."

Erin from Branson
"To me, this show represents the new Branson! The Branson that will attract young families like ours to vacation and live and yet will still impress our senior crowd that we love and cherish."

Amanda from Granby
"My mom, sister and I attend the afternoon show of JEERK and as soon as the show started we were all absolutely breathless by the performance."

Debra from LA said:
"JEERK is an amazing show. We did so much at Branson that we decided to see JEERK at the last minute ant then head home. What an awesome way to end our vacation. My kids said that they love JEERK more then anything else we did. JEERK is such a fun, exciting, entertaining family show. This is a must see for your Branson trip. This show has something that everyone will enjoy from young to old."

Chris finished up by saying: "In many of the reviews it talked about how that JEERK is a show that all ages can enjoy. That is the one thing about Branson- It is a place where entertainment brings people together. The entertainment of JEERK brings families together and creates memories for a life time. Branson has really become a home for lots of international entertainers.

It is not small task to open a new show in Branson in a mostly morning time slot. They survived and their hard work has paid off.

It is my pleasure to present the 2010 Branson Critic Fan award for “Best New Show” to JEERK. Thanks to Nikke, Thomas, Bobo, Reggie, and Joey."

[Photos Courtesy of Sandi McKim- Editor]



October 22, 2010 - 8:00 PM

Chris Myer began by introducing himself and that he was here tonight representing bransoncritic.com. He gave a brief history of the Bransoncritic.com website and it's purpose.

He explained "In 2009 the Liverpool Legends won 'Best Tribute Show.' They have won other awards in years past. It is exciting for us to be able to be here again tonight to honor the Liverpool Legends as they finish their fifth season in Branson.

Here are some of the highlights of reviews that were received this year.

Karen, Michigan
"I saw the Liverpool Legends several times over the summer and couldn't believe the quality of the playing as well as the energy that the guys put into the show!! Their attention to detail is amazing from the songs themselves to the costumes, instruments, and sets. The Liverpool Legends are more than a show, they are an experience! They had us up and dancing in front of the stage during the Shay Stadium set and again at the end of the show."

Joanne, Minneapolis
"The Liverpool Legends are an experience that everyone should have. They make you feel as though you are at a Beatles concert. Each of the musicians has unending talent. This show appeals to all ages. I took my daughter and she loved it too. When the show ends, you are left wanting more."

Joy, OKC
"As fantastic as the Liverpool Legends were last season, they're even better this season. I was so surprised with all the costume, set, and song changes the first time I saw them in Branson this year."

Sherry from Missouri said:
"Sadly, the evening ended before I was ready for it to. That's okay, I was up dancing and singing, smiling and clapping, and even bought a cd afterward! If you've not seen Liverpool Legends before, you need to before the end of the season! These guys are top notch, and I know why they are nominated year after year for awards!!!!! Because they ROCK!!!!!"

In many of the reviews it talked about how the Liverpool Legends is a show that all ages can enjoy. That is the one thing about Branson- it is a place where entertainment brings people together. Liverpool Legends is certainly a show that does this.

It is my pleasure to present the 2010 Branson Critic Fan Award for “Best Rock Show” to the Liverpool Legends and Louise Harrison. Thanks to Marty, Greg, Bob and Kevin for your talent and providing great entertainment.

[Photos Courtesy of Sandi McKim- Editor]





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November 14, 2009, 8:00 PM

The BransonCritic awards team attended the Liverpool Legends show on Saturday night for the presentation of the 2009 Best Tribute Show Award.  Chad Ray, Director of Operations, made the presentation to Louise Harrison, along with “The Lads” (Marty, Kevin, Bob, and Greg) on stage.  Chad gave a brief background of BransonCritic.com and then read some quotes from Liverpool Legends fans, including:

Joy from Oklahoma City, OK
The Liverpool Legends …. bring back the magic of the Beatles …..they capture the feeling of the 1960's, and take the audience on an fabulous ride with fantastic musical performances.  Marty plays George like none other.  He can reproduce George's incredible guitar solos .....He looks and sounds unbelievably like George - and even has George's smile.  Kevin not only sounds and looks just like John, but brings John's crazy personality to the stage.  If you compare footage of John Lennon ... to Kevin, it's amazing…. including everything from Lennon's “off the wall” comments ... to his ever present gum-chewing.  Bob is marvelous at playing Paul.  His vocals are insanely like Sir Paul's…and he can hit all of Sir Paul's signature high notes.  And, of course, he plays bass guitar left-handed.  Not only does Greg sound just like Ringo, but he looks a lot like him as well.  He styles his drumming to match Ringo on the Beatles records perfectly.  Bob Dobro is …an absolutely awesome keyboardist.  He provides sound effects and orchestrations ... ….and without him, it would be impossible to perform a lot of the Beatle’s songs.  Louise Harrison is a remarkable lady.  She has a treasure trove of Beatle stories she happily shares with the audience during intermission….and it's an absolute honor to hear her talk and meet her after the show.

Liverpool Legends

Liverpool Legends

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Laurie from Kansas City, MO
I first saw Liverpool Legends the first few months they arrived in Branson, and had fun meeting Louise Harrison in the lobby.  When I said "cheese" for the camera, she told me to say "the Beatles" instead - because that always makes people smile!   Liverpool Legends sound like the actual Beatles - they strive to do that - and have hit the nail on the head.  That true sound keeps me going back for more. 

Clayton from Branson, MO.
The Liverpool Legends gave my son and I an awesome experience.  I grew up listening to the Beatles.  My son is 9 and he loves the Beatles music.  Although I was never able to see the Beatles “live,” I believe the Liverpool Legends are the next best thing.  My son knew all the songs they played.  He even asked me a couple of times, "Are any of those guys really the Beatles?" 

Amanda from Checotah, OK
I have been following Liverpool Legends from the beginning and can tell you without a doubt they are the best Beatles Tribute Band Ever!!  The musicianship of all five guys is awesome …… and you feel like they are the real Beatles.  Louise is always wonderful and I love to hear her Beatle stories – and you always get an extra piece of the puzzle each time you see the show.

Susan from Elmhurst, Illinois
We've never enjoyed a Beatle Tribute Band more.  The performers were … authentic and extremely talented!  The lighting, sound, technical supports and professional talent was awesome!  Everything about the show was perfect!  We loved the film clips between the sets of the actually Beatles history.  When Louise Harrison announced that Liverpool Legends was the greatest 'Beatles Tribute Band in the World' it was hard to believe.  Then we watched the show, and now we know she's RIGHT!

Tracy from Jefferson City, Missouri wrote a little poetry for us:
The Starlight Theater is the place to be,
for the Liverpool Legends - you all must see.

They re-create the Beatles throughout their musical career,
with precise attention to every detail through all the songs you'll hear.

From costume changes to special effects to the way they look they same,
The Liverpool Legends have toured the world and definitely lived up to their name.

Of all the shows I've come to see this one is really the best,
The way it's put together – it is better than all the rest.

So when you come to BRANSON there is one thing you should know
The Liverpool Legends is the Ultimate Beatles Tribute Show!

Bob Cort, editor


November 6, 2009, 7:00 PM

A six-member BransonCritic awards team attended the Top 10 Rock & Roll Revue on Friday night for the presentation of the 2009 Best New Show, Editors’ Choice Award.  Chad Ray, Director of Operations, made the presentation to Marvin Short, backed by the entire cast on stage.  Chad gave a brief background of BransonCritic.com and then read some quotes from Top 10 Rock & Roll Revue fans and Branson Critic editors, including:

Kathy Bennett, Editor: 
Top 10 Rock and Roll Revue definitely is the BEST New Show for 2009.  Each of these musicians is seasoned; and together form an awesome group.  Top 10 performs the type of music everyone loves; the transition from one decade to another is smooth; and the vocals are excellent!  There is comedy and interaction with the audience interspersed throughout the program.  It's the total package, amazingly well-done!   

Susan from Webb City MO:
The Rock N Roll Review is a new show in Branson this year.  My daughter and I went to see it because Marvin Short is in it.  What a tremendous saxophone player!  He sings and dances and makes us laugh, too.  Just an all-round entertainer!  He obviously enjoys what he is doing!

The piano player is excellent and does a great tribute to Jerry Lee Lewis.  In fact, all of the musicians are first class......and they all sing, too!  The two female singers are also very talented and give a wonderful performance.

Every one of these folks is friendly and personable.  During the intermission and after the show, they come out and visit with their fans, sign autographs, and pose for pictures.  This is a very high energy show and I know they MUST be exhausted.  Still they make their fans feel appreciated. I like that!


Joe from Forsyth, MO:
Let me tell you about the best new show in town.  The Top 10 Rock and Roll Revue ….. will rock your socks off!  This show spans several decades of popular music….from the doo-wop era, to a dynamite rendition of the "Killer" Jerry Lee Lewis, to Eric Clapton….you get great non-stop entertainment.

Many will recognize Darrell Croy on the keyboards, Marvelous Marvin "The Hair" Short belting out lyrics and wailing away on his saxophone and Michael Lacy on the drums.  Also contributing to the amazing vocals and musical expertise are Steve Ragsdale on guitar and Randy Hall on bass guitar. Rounding out this super group are two very cute, bubbly, energetic, and talented young ladies, Dana Currier and Jessica Morales.
The action is great; the girls are constantly dancing (with a little fun audience participation), and the costume changes will keep your head spinning.  You’ll hear familiar, favorite instrumentals, the mellow tunes of Sam Cook, the Supremes, the Steve Miller Band, Fleetwood Mac, Air Supply, and, of course, the aforementioned Jerry Lee. Let's just say that Darrell nails this segment in vocals, instrumentally, and in antics!  A special treat is provided by Steve with his tribute to the great Eric Clapton (extremely well-done).

No self-respecting baby-boomer could see this show and not totally enjoy it, although it’s great, fun entertainment for all ages.  This show will make you feel so good, you’ll no doubt want to take them all home with you!  The cast members are all friendly and make themselves available for signing autographs or just visiting with people.

Bob Cort, editor





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November 5, 2009, 8:00 PM

A six-member BransonCritic staff entourage attended the Rankin Brothers Show on Thursday night for the presentation of the 2009 Must See Show, Editors’ Choice Award.  Chad Ray, Director of Operations, made the presentation to Mark and Matt Rankin, backed by the entire cast on stage.  Chad gave a brief background of BransonCritic.com and then read some quotes from Rankin Brothers fans and Branson Critic editors, including:

Some of Editors:
Editor Kathy Bennett wrote:   The Rankin Brothers continue to be a favorite for locals and area visitors.  Mark and Matt are brimming with talent.  Their vocals are so smooth and are so close to the original artists, it's unbelievable.  The musicians are cream-of-the-crop, and the beautiful and talented Rankinettes know their stuff while performing the girls' rock and roll songs!  The friendliness, enjoyment, and love displayed by all on stage are genuine, and are displayed off-stage as well. 

Editor Bob Cort wrote:  There is so much talent in this show it is difficult to single out any one performance.  Just as you think it can’t get any better they kick off another memorable song that brings on another big smile.  It is particularly interesting to hear the audience at the end of the show trying to recall all the songs they heard during the last two hours.  Everyone has their own favorites but they all agree they had just witnessed a superb performance by exceptionally talented brothers, backup singers, and musicians. 

Fan comments:

Carolyn from Independence, MO
What a fun show this is!  When the curtain opens and Mark and Matt begin to sing, you can just feel the energy in the air as they present a wide variety of classic songs…. …….. Wonderful songs .. that bring back such wonderful memories.  Their love for the music is so evident on their faces as they perform….and they both have a stage presence that you just can't help but love.

Bill & Martha from Valley View, Texas
Mark and Matt Rankin, the Rankinettes, and their band members clearly stand out as "the best among all the rest."  The musical arrangements are superb, and they've put together a show that entertains anyone that enjoys great music! 

Rankin Brothers

Rankin Brothers

Rankin Brothers

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Harry from Mooresville, NC
The Rankin Brothers Show was a wonderful surprise on our first trip to Branson.  From Neil Diamond and Elvis to Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry; Willie Nelson to George Strait…...both brothers delighted the audience with their musical talents while their humor added yet another dimension to their show….. Everyone left tapping their toes and wishing for more.  And to top it all off, they were genuinely nice young men to boot.  What a treat!

Armand from Branson, MO
Mark & Matt are true professionals and when they sing they sound better than the original singers.  A lady visiting from Germany said to me recently.....they sing from the inside… and that is how you can tell they are great singers. 

Kathy from Mesa, Arizona
I laughed, I cried, I rocked and rolled.  It is so much fun to take a walk down memory lane with the Rankin Brothers.  These guys get standing O's and totally deserve them.  I have been fortunate to meet mom and dad Rankin, and it's easy to see where these Texas boys get their charm and charisma ….. the show is a rock 'n roll must on your next trip to Branson.

John from Branson West, MO
Mark, Matt and their supporting cast offer an atmosphere that involves everyone in the audience.  The music and song selection is what makes them number one in my book. Every song ……. is one that everyone in the audience knows, claps to, or sings along with.  The Elvis impersonation is priceless.  One can tell that the brothers are truly Elvis fans and have worked hard to pay tribute to the King.  The segment of the show that is especially dear to my heart is the tribute they pay to the servicemen and women in the audience and currently serving throughout the world, again priceless …. And again, the Rankin Brothers is a must see show!!

Bob Cort, editor


October 29, 2009

On Thursday, October 29, 2009, Chad Ray presented the Editors' Award for Best Tribute Artist 2009 to Tom Mullica who portrays Red Skelton at the Mansion Theatre.   Also on hand were Kathy and Joe Bennett.  Kathy recently wrote regarding Tom's portrayal.....

Tom's resemblance to Red Skelton is remarkable.  He has Red's voice, expressions, and timing down pat. My husband,Joe, is a huge Skelton fan and almost cried when he saw him; and I almost cried from laughing so much.  He is most deserving of this recognition!!  Congratulations, Tom!

Tom, our other editors are in total agreement -  congratulations from Branson Critic Online Magazine!

Sandi McKim, Editor

p.s.  I think Red approves, too!

Photos courtesy Kathy and Joe Bennett

Tom Mullica's Red Skelton Tribute

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October 30, 2009, 3:00 PM

Eight members of the BransonCritic awards team attended the Legends in Concert show on Friday afternoon for the presentation of the 2009 Best Performing Cast, Fans’ Award.  Chad Ray, Director of Operations, made the presentation to the Blues Brothers performers, Bucky Heard and Justin Clark, on behalf of the Legends in Concert cast.  Chad gave a brief background of BransonCritic.com and then read some quotes from fans of the show, including:

Lisa from Springfield, MO:
Legends in Concert gets better each and every time I see it.  It is the only show I recommend to others to see in Branson.  Why you ask?  It is the wonderful cast who portray some of the biggest talents in the World.

The group that does the Temptations is so great (and) their precision is unbelievable. 
Stacy as Marilyn Monroe and Gretchen Wilson is a site to see.  It is quite a transformation from Marilyn to Gretchen but Stacy pulls it off.  This lady is a powerful performer no matter which character she is portraying. 

The Blues Brothers never disappoint - they will have you laughing for their whole set - Justin and Bucky are the Ultimate Blues Brothers!  I don’t know how Justin can keep up the amount of movement and performance thru the whole performance; (and) Bucky is a great straight man with a powerful voice and the ability to use it.  The whole band and dancers are just spot on (for the whole show). 

And last but by no means least - is Dean Z - as the young Elvis.  This man gives a great performance as Elvis.  He stays in character no matter what the audience is yelling at him.  He is an amazing talent with a beautiful tribute to the one and only king (of rock and roll) - Elvis Presley. 



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Jean from St. Louis, MO:
The show is a must (for everyone to) see - its high energy makes you want to get up and dance the whole time.……The performers are fantastic, from Dean Z (as Elvis), to Justin & Bucky (as The Blues Bros.), as well as the other performers they bring in throughout the season (such as Marilyn Monroe, Garth Brooks, Dean Martin, and many, many more.  The music is great with something for everyone from young to older, from country to rock.  The dancers and backup singers and band are all fantastic, too. 

Jean from Fairmont, OK:
We went to see Legends as we do every summer.  My Granddaughter has to see the Blues Brothers and most of all Dean Z!!!  We have been bringing her to Branson for the past 10 years.  We almost lost her in a pool there when she was 6 but we got her back - and when the Dr. let her out of the hospital, she had to go see the Blues Brothers!  We will keep coming to see Legends as long as the grandchildren want to come.  We have more kids that are coming along now, too, so I see us there for a lot more years.  If any one wants to get their money's worth, they have to see LEGENDS!!!

Michael from Branson MO:
This show has a very good cast of singers!  They give their all whenever they are on stage!  Bucky, Justin, Dean, and the other singers are the best at what they do, and are the nicest people to be around!   The dancers, backup singers and band are great, too. 

Bob Cort, editor

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Fans' Choice Award Best Musical Family 2009 - Haygoods

October 29th, 2009, 8PM
Chad Ray presented the Fan's Award for Best Musical Family in Branson to the Haygoods during the October 29th show.  Five editors joined him in cheering for them.  As usual, the show was great and the audience loved it. Chad read the following fan quotes.

Mr. Beck from Ozark, MO
The Haygoods have a HIGH energy show that keeps you wanting more.  Their fantastic talent and showmanship make them appealing to all age groups.  They all play many different instruments and harmonize beautifully - both with music and a cappella.  They are always finding ways to make their show more exciting, even though you think that is impossible.  It is obvious by the way they perform, that they all truly love music and love sharing it with their audience.  They are humble and very appreciative of their followers. They are truly talented and Branson is very lucky to have them.  What a FANTASTIC show!!!!

The Haygoods

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Andrea from Cement, Oklahoma
Have you ever met a group of people that has changed your life?  Well I have! I started going to the Haygoods about one year ago.  They are the most talented bunch of kids I have ever met.  It floors me of how much dedication and hard work they put into every aspect of their career.  There is no doubt from the time the first curtain opens until the curtain closes that they give it their all. The Haygoods always make time for their fans and always so sincere to everyone they meet.  They are truly an inspiration to the younger generation.

Betty from Oswego, Illinois
The Haygoods are some of the best representatives of The American Dream and how talented, hard working young people can realize their dreams by working very hard and using their multiple talents to bless others. Their show is fast-paced; fun filled and made me wish my grandchildren were in the audience with us to enjoy the musical abilities of this wonderful family.

Amanda from Granby, MO
The Haygoods have been our family's favorite Branson show for years.  This year's production really showcases the entire family's special skills.  Each sibling brings his or her own unique style to the stage.…. They are all wonderful vocalists, instrumentalists, and entertainers.  They have something for everyone in the show. Just when you think you've seen the entirety of their talent, they show you something else.  As I was leaving the show one night, a lady in the crowd said to me, "I have never seen so much talent in one family." I couldn't agree more. This is a show anyone any age will enjoy.

Janice from Centerpoint, IN
The talent of this family still blows me away. I come from a musical family and feel I have some ability to judge talent.  They are friendly and accessible.  As a "senior" I won't pick a favorite Haygood, but enjoyed talking with Tim, Patrick & Dominic.  My daughter loved Dominic & Shawn; 10 year old loved Aaron and Matt and the 14 year old loved Catherine & Michael.  Their rendition of Eleanor Rigby on the violin & harp must be heard.  The tap dancing had us on the edge of our seats. I still hear them singing "Boondocks" in my head, just loved it. They have a Country, Celtic, Patriotic, Spiritual, Comedy and Rock n Roll set. Something for everyone regardless of age.  Even the intermission was fun...  Whenever we visit Branson, we always see one show twice… (and) when we voted which show we would view a second time, everyone shouted The Haygoods! 

Pat Avery, Editor

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Fans' Choice Award Best Morning Show - Rocky Mountain High 

October 30th, 2009, 10AM 

For the third year in a row, Chad Ray walked on stage to present James Garrett and the show cast with the Fan Award for Best Morning Show in Branson. Four editors snapped photos as the audience clapped. James invited all his guest performers on the stage for the presentation. He acknowledged Fay, a 90+ year-old fan who attended the show to see him receive the awards.

Following are some of the fans' responses to the show:

Susan from Kansas City, MO
What do you think of when you hear 'Sunshine on my shoulder?' A Tribute To John Denver! Producer and lead guitarist, James Garrett, leads you down 'Country Roads' to a 'Rocky Mountain High' with nimble fingers and a voice that will send you soaring on the wings of eagles. Sprinkled in between songs James whisks you along memory lane weaving stories of John's life from times he spent in his company. But that is not all. The band boasts of incredible talent and humor through Randy Plummer, Jim and Karina Glaspy. Their gifts of song and (instrumental) expertise will carry you away...It is a show that will leave you wanting to come back for more.


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Janet from Costa Mesa, CA
I have never had the opportunity before to sit so close to entertainers. James Garrett sings the John Denver songs, including my all-time favorite, “Calypso.” He sang a couple of songs I had never heard before. “Whispering Jesse” and “Me and My Uncle.” He calls those “gems.” I agree with him that those songs are just as good as the hits. (I love the stories) James tells about John. They gave me insight into the type of person John Denver was. I was impressed with the band and all the individual talent on the little Stage. Jim Glaspy is an amazing musician. On the day I was there, I got to hear James and Jim perform “Dueling Banjos.” Sitting as close as I was, I could see how fast Jim’s fingers move on his banjo. James did a good job of keeping up with him on the guitar. There is so much to this show; Denver songs, stories, bluegrass, gospel and humor. This show is wholesome, pure talent, without special effects. This show itself is a “GEM.”

Ellen from Branson, MO
James (Garrett) is a show stopper…He doesn’t try to imitate John Denver but brings a deep personal tribute to one of my favorite artists. Every show is unique and from the heart, with lots of improvisation. James brings all the children up on stage for some fun and a treat. It’s my granddaughter’s favorite show (she’s four year old) and James stole her heart (OK, the candy didn’t hurt).

Fay from New Boston, TX
James makes everyone feel special. I’m ninety years old and he always recognizes me and sings my favorite song, “Some Days are Diamonds.” His soothing voice and pleasant manner make everyone relax and enjoy the humor, music and songs. I’ve been listening to James sing and play since he was a teenager. After sitting in my brother’s living room all those years ago enjoying James’ talent, I am extremely proud of his accomplishments and success.

Debbie from Dallas, TX
Wow! I knew John Denver’s music, but now I’m a FAN of not only John’s music but of James Garrett! Aside from being a great musician and performer with the ability to put together great musicians (Jim Glaspy and Randy Plummer) and vocalists (Karina Glaspy and CJ Newsom), he is personable, approachable, and genuine in his love of Denver’s music. I was also impressed with the variety of the show and how James allows the other performers to shine. They sincerely appear to love performing together; playing off of each other to make the show a spontaneous adventure.

James had some very special guests at his show this year…two fans reported…

Teresa from Davenport, IA
When I first saw the show, it was almost like seeing John Denver himself. James knew John and shares personal stories throughout the show. I’ve been to Branson several times this year and every show is different. One show I attended was very special because John Denver’s lead guitar player, Steve Weisberg, was sharing the stage with James and his band. It was amazing to hear Steve playing the guitar just as he played it on John’s records…and interesting to hear Steve tell the audience how great he thought James’ band was…and you could definitely feel John’s spirit throughout this show. With Steve Weisberg in the mix, it was almost like seeing John again.

Susie from Forsyth, MO
I saw the John Denver Tribute Show on September 16th, 2009. What a treat to see Erma, John Denver’s mother, at the show. She sat on the second row and seemed to love every minute of the show, as did the rest of the audience. The whole audience seemed to be in awe during the show, not only getting to meet John’s mother but witnessing the level of talent that is in the John Denver Tribute Show. James Garrett, along with cast members, Randy Plummer, Jim Glaspy, and CJ Newsom (and let’s not forget the IMAX owner, Paul Bluto (who sings regularly on the show) are incredibly gifted musicians and singers. The John Denver Tribute Show makes the audience feel like family. It’s no wonder the won Best Morning show two years in a row. I believe we should make it three years in a row!

Pat Avery, Editor

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Editors’ Choice Award Best Variety Show 2009 - Grand Jubilee

October 22, 2009, 8:00 PM

Seven BransonCritic staff members and spouses attended the Grand Jubilee show on Thursday night for the presentation of the 2009 Best Variety Show, Editors’ Choice Award.  Chad Ray, Director of Operations, made the presentation to Mike Patrick, Producer/Director/Emcee/Entertainer, backed by the entire cast on stage (Music Director, Danny Yancey, was not available).  Chad gave a brief background of BransonCritic.com and then read some quotes from Branson Critic editors, including:

“Grand Jubilee overflows with strong vocal performances backed by expert musicianship. Hilarious comedy is appropriately spaced throughout the first half.  The Grandpa Dandinio magic bit is the funniest comedy routine this writer has ever seen, anywhere, by anyone.”

“Strong individual performances by Todd Bradshaw and Jackie Brown cover a variety of energetic and sentimental favorites.”

“Powerful harmonies and strong solo vocals, with versatile musicians who are the best of the best, are all presented with precisely coordinated lighting effects and sound mix, and make Grand Jubilee a model of what Branson live entertainment is all about.  It is no wonder why they continue to draw large crowds night after night throughout the year.”

“To single out individual performances is difficult but standouts have to include “The Lighthouse” and “YMCA” which both bring thunderous applause from the audience and speaks volumes as to the versatility of the New South Quartet.  When New South makes its entrance on stage dressed as the Village People the crowd goes absolutely wild.”

The show was typically outstanding and exemplified why they won their award.  Those on stage for the presentation were (l to r):  Matt Hanshaw, Michael W. Davis, Wayne Massengale, Robbie Blackwood, Larry Allred, Mike Patrick, Chad Ray, Jamie Haage, Trey Wilson, Scott Leven, Jason Pritchett, Mark McCauley, Todd Bradshaw, and Jackie Brown.

Bob Cort, editor

Grand Jubilee

Grand Jubilee

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Fans’ Choice Award Best Headliner 2009 - Tony Roi

October 23, 2009, 8:00 PM

A four-member Branson Critic Awards Team led by Chad Ray, Director of Operations, attended “The Elvis Experience” show to present the Best Headliner Award to its star, Tony Roi.  Tony invited Chad to the stage during the first half performance and introduced him to the audience.  Chad gave a brief description and history of BransonCritic.com and pointed out that in the six-year history of presenting awards, this was the sixth visit to Tony Roi’s show to present an award.  Chad then read some of the many comments made by fans of the show, including: 

Shirley from Leavenworth, Kansas:
“There is one show that keeps me coming back to Branson every year.  Tony Roi’s Elvis Experience!  What an experience!  Tony Roi has the voice, the charisma, the moves… the looks, as well as humorous side.

”Tony puts his heart and soul into each performance.  He takes time out of his show for you to come up on stage to have your picture taken with him; and if you can’t come up on stage, Tony comes to you.  Tony Roi… captures the heart of all age groups.  And he always tells the fans, and the veterans, how much he appreciates each and every one of us.”

From a younger fan; Austin from Leavenworth, Kansas:
“I have been going to Branson with my aunt since 2004.  We went to see a few shows.  But I really like the Tony Roi Elvis Experience Show.  Tony made me laugh when he said he would be performing when he is 104. 

“I like the Elvis songs he sings.  I really like Little Sister.  Tony sure does know how to dance too.  He had us come up on stage if you wanted to have your picture taken with him, and the Angel Singers… or us guys could just have the Angel Singers.  Tony’s shows are so much fun.  You can tell Tony loves what he does.  Tony is the best.  (He) made me feel very welcome…”

Kay from Terrell, TX:
“One time was all it took and I was hooked… Tony Roi is so talented and blessed with (such) a beautiful voice.  He does a spectacular tribute to Elvis.  I also enjoy the songs he includes in his show that he wrote (himself).  I think that just adds to his ability of being a true entertainer, (and) I like the way he brings his talents together in his show.  You see Elvis - and you see Tony Roi!  Can’t wait to see him again!!!”

Karen from Independence, MO:
“This summer was the first time our family saw the Tony Roi Show/The Elvis Experience.  It was the best show I’ve ever seen in Branson or anywhere else.  Tony Roi does such a wonderful performance and has a wonderful voice.  He is really talented and really puts a lot of thought into his performance.  Tony Roi is THE BEST!!!”

Arlene Steglich from Barron, Wisconsin:
“Tony (Roi)… has one of the most incredible and truly unique voices that I have ever heard.  Even though he has tremendous power behind his vocals, TONY’S VOICE IS LINED WITH MORE VELVET THAN AN ELVIS PAINTING!  It is exciting to watch Tony as he ‘becomes the music’ he is singing - as (he) makes the music his own.  His energy seems to be never-ending, and the fun and enthusiasm he has on stage is addicting… he truly has a way (of making) Tony Roi’s Elvis Experience into a Tony Roi Experience!”

Tony was gracious in accepting the fans’ award for Best Headliner.  He gave credit to his band and backup singers:  Carl McKinney- lead guitar, Marcus Willet- bass player, Dino Phillips- drums, Lyman Clark- piano; and Angel Singers, Stephanie McKinney and Bernadette Geib.  He also thanked the technical staff at the theatre and the Haygoods for continuing to have faith in him and his show.  Most of all, he thanked his fans for being so loyal and dedicated.

Bob Cort, editor




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Fans’ Choice Award Best Show and Entertainers of the Year 2009 - SIX

October 24, 2009, 8:00 PM

A 12-member BransonCritic Awards team attended the sold out SIX show on Saturday night for the presentation of the 2009 Best Show and Entertainers of the Year awards.  At the end of the intermission, Chad Ray, Director of Operations, was invited to the stage to join the six Knudsen brothers; Barry, Kevin, Lynn, Jak, Owen, and Curtis.  Chad gave a brief background of Branson Critic Online Magazine and then read some quotes from fans of the show, including:

Diane from Missouri:
“SIX is the choice above all others for Best Show.  Whether you see it once or 50 times, it is still the most energetic, entertaining show we have seen.  The brothers are perfectionists, and have phenomenal skills both vocally and with their ‘instrument ability.’  While there are many great shows (in Branson), if you only had time for one - SIX is the best!”

Lynnie from Payson, AZ:
“At first I didn’t believe my ears, then I didn’t believe my eyes, then I didn’t believe my response.  It was all I could do to stay in my seat and not jump to the stage and join in.”

Jeanine from Holt, MO:
“My teenagers laughed out loud!  It is hard to impress teenagers.  They loved every minute of the show.  There was so much enjoyment and fun!  Each brother has his own special talent (and are) amazing when they all combine together.  This isn’t just the fest family show… this is the best show, ever!”

Don from Branson, MO:
“SIX is the best show in Branson!  They combine outstanding singing, comedy, audience interaction and a cross between choreography and close order drill (that leaves) you energized when you leave the theater.  In addition, in talking to them, you will not find a more down to earth, genuinely nice group of men.  Anyone who comes to Branson and doesn’t see SIX has missed the best!”



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Al and Fae from Andover, MN:
“The first time we saw SIX, we’d gotten 2 free tickets for suffering through a sales pitch somewhere.  We (the parents) went to the evening show with those tickets.  We loved it so-o-o much that we went back again the next night - and this time took the kids and grandkids with us.  Everyone from (age) 6 to 51 loved it!  THIS SHOW HAS EVERYTHING - amazing music with lots of variety, tons of laughter, (and is) family friendly.  You cannot possibly see SIX and not have a blast and carry fond memories home with you.”

At this point in the program, on behalf of Branson Critic Online Magazine, the editors, and especially the fans, Chad presented the fans’ choice award for Best Show in Branson. 

Then he announced, “But we aren’t done yet!!!” and picked up the Entertainers of the Year Award and began reading some of the fans comments:

Gina from Sherwood, AR:
“Well, how can you write a 100 word review - when this show leaves you speechless?  These guys are so talented you just can’t seem to put it into words how enjoyable they are to watch.  Their harmony & choreography is top notch, (and) you (just) know that they are dedicated to the hard work it takes to make it flawless.  Even their wardrobe seems to fit their personalities.  And for great comedy, all you have to do is mention the name JAK - enough said!  There is one question everyone always has after they see SIX - how do they do that???”

Cynthia from Henderson, CO:
“These brothers have become top entertainers with their amazing musical skills and unleashed energy.  They are so easy on the eyes, (too).  God has put them on this earth to entertain - and they have risen to the task very well.  Their show has changed lives and touched hearts.  The world is a better place when SIX sings!”

Tyler from Los Angeles, CA:
“When you see SIX you will experience the dynamic musical performance of 6 brothers.  The sound experience of this show alone is worth the price of admission.  It’s something you just won’t hear anywhere else.  The choreography is just awesome, it’s eye popping, exciting, & really holds your attention.  The brothers are hysterically funny and are so humble which adds even more to their on stage charm (and) charisma.  There is no fluff in this show that would cause you to look at your watch or think about when it’ll be over.  It keeps you enthralled & thoroughly entertained the whole way through.  It’s almost unreal how these guys are probably one of the best live acts in the world and at the same time, these are great family men, well rooted, and who are a living example of what Branson is all about - God, Family, & Country.  SIX gets 5 stars and are really in a class all by themselves.” 

Chad presented the Entertainers of the Year Award and the full-house audience erupted with thunderous applause.  The brothers, as expressed by Jak, were humbled, honored, and very appreciative of their awards, their fans, and everything about living in Branson.  The performance by SIX that evening left no doubt in anyone’s mind as to why they deserved to win both awards.  Those on stage for the presentation were (l to r):  Curtis, Jak, Owen, Chad, Lynn, Kevin, and Barry.  Lynn accepted the Best Show award and Owen accepted the Entertainers of the Year award.

Bob Cort, editor

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2010 Branson Critic Award Winners