The stars shine a little brighter in Branson. In 1991, CBS’s 60 Minutes proclaimed Branson to be the “Live Music Show Capital of the Universe.” Since then, the awe-inspiring production values, talent roster of legendary stars and pitch-perfect showmanship have continued to blossom, securing the city its place among the fans. Featuring more than 100 live shows — including favorites that stretch back generations — Branson offers a wide variety of genres to select from.
While the town will always tip its hat to country, there’s no need to limit your ticket buys. Visitors may show up ready to rock ‘n’ roll, swing with the big bands or get down with the blues. Maybe they prefer to belt out Broadway tunes, hear soulful gospel or even watch Top 40 hits come to life. Touring shows, family acts, comedians, dancers and even international ensembles dazzle on the stages of Branson.
And with showtimes throughout the day and into the night, the question changes from what do you want to see to when do you want to see it?
Branson’s journey to become a globally recognized showstopper began with an outdoor production at The Shepherd of the Hills, based on the 1907 bestselling novel by minister Harold Bell Wright. Still popular today and known simply as the Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama, this larger-than-life production has more than 90 performers acting alongside horses, sheep, mules and even a burning log cabin. Discover what life in the Ozark Mountains was like in the late 1800s, where love stories, shoot-outs and the timeless struggle of good vs. evil play on, enchanting new generations as they peer through this vibrant window to the past.
Heralded by many as the greatest story of all time, come witness the life of Jesus Christ played out on one of the world’s biggest stages. Sight and Sound Theater is the most famous Christian theater in the world, dedicated to bringing the Bible to life with resplendent imagery and epic storytelling. The productions are state-of-the-art and staggering in detail. A 300-foot stage surrounds the audience, emotional musical scores are original compositions and live animals, ranging from horses to sheep, interact with more than 50 cast members. The 2021 show, Jesus, follows Christ’s journey from humble beginnings to his miraculous resurrection and emergence as the Son of God.
Of course, that’s not the only show that has proven star power. Presleys' Country Jubilee, one of Branson’s longest running family acts, has been charming Ozark audiences with traditional songs, famously clean and side-splitting comedy and uplifting gospel for four generations. The show began with humble roots, playing in Ozark caverns before the family outgrew the venue and built a full-fledged theater on Hwy. 76 in 1967. Come see for yourself what the fuss is all about and discover the magic of the Presley clan, a group once described by the Washington Post as having “honey voices and guitar pickers hot as Tabasco.”
Next, it’s time to meet the Baldknobbers, founded by the Mabe family. This country music and comedy variety show is celebrating a jaw-dropping 61 years on the stage. Now three generations deep, they wow with fun-for-the-whole-family country hits and traditional Ozark melodies with a few deep-belly laughs thrown in for good measure. Make their family legacy part of your own and head to the new Branson Famous Theater to see why they’ve been receiving standing ovations since 1959.
You may have first seen them on America’s Got Talent, but The Duttons are a regular feature on the Branson stage, their family legacy of music stretching back more than three decades. With each new generation, the talent continues to grow, and family members switch easily between bluegrass, contemporary rock, country, dance and even comedy. Impressive? Notoriously hard-nosed celebrity judge Simon Cowell thought so, proclaiming, “I loved it! I absolutely loved it!” on national television. Witness the phenomenon for yourself at the Dutton Family Theater, recently updated with state-of-the-art lighting and sound equipment.
It’s the rock show line-up of your dreams. The sounds of Queen, The Beatles, Aerosmith, Journey, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and still more greats combine to bring down the house in Branson’s rock-solid tribute to rock ‘n roll, Anthems of Rock. The show is King’s Castle Theatre’s newest production, an energetic blur of talent supported by seamless choreography, powerhouse vocals and drawn-out guitar riffs accompanied by flashy smoke and set design. An ode to the greats, you’ll hear some of the biggest rock hits of the 20th century, lined up to create a flawless production that plays like a love letter to rock ‘n’ roll.
Of course, there is one true king of rock ‘n roll, and it’s only right to give him his very own show. Enter Dean Z, in The Ultimate Elvis at Clay Cooper Theater. Recognized as one of the world’s greatest Elvis tribute artists, Dean has sold out to audiences worldwide and worked closely with Presley’s estate to recreate all 20 years of Elvis’ career. Audience members will see iconic moments of “the King” come to life on stage and hear classics such as “A Little Less Conversation,” “All Shook Up” and “Jailhouse Rock.” Accompanied by his 10-piece band, you’re in for a rocking good time as you relive the reign of the King.Find legendary entertainment in Branson