Road Scholar : Home
Branson Show Biz

Program Number: 1615RJ
Start and End Dates:
12/9/2012 - 12/14/2012; 4/17/2016 - 4/22/2016; 5/15/2016 - 5/20/2016; 6/5/2016 - 6/10/2016; 7/17/2016 - 7/22/2016; 8/14/2016 - 8/19/2016; 9/11/2016 - 9/16/2016; 9/25/2016 - 9/30/2016; 10/16/2016 - 10/21/2016; 11/6/2016 - 11/11/2016; 11/27/2016 - 12/2/2016;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Branson, Missouri
Price starting at: $796.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Music Appreciation; Theater; History & Culture
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Salt    

Join us in Branson, the “Live Entertainment Capital of the World,” as we experience good ol’ American music, theater and fun in the heart of the Ozarks. Find out the history of Branson's overnight success, the elements of its entertainment scene, its emergence into international tourism, and the famous Branson formula of “Faith, Family, and Flag.” Branson hosts more than 100 live theater shows, and we have seats for you at four popular ones, often surrounded by lectures, meet-and-greets, and Q&A’s. Plus, you’ll enjoy two private performances just for the group, as well as a dinner-and-entertainment experience.


• Enjoy seven live performances, with two given just for our private group.
• Enjoy a private morning tea with music pioneer DeeDee Lennon, and learn about the indelible mark her famous family has made on the live performance industry.
• Meet with current performers and production specialists such as technicians and set designers to hear what it's like to work in the business and how they make the magic happen.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to a few blocks; standing up to one hour; get on/off coach. Elevators and ramps available.

The 2016 season will include seven live shows and a private tea and Q&A with music pioneer DeeDee Lennon of the Lennon Sisters. All dates in 2016 stay at a centrally located hotel in the heart of the Branson Theater District.

Date Specific Information


This program offering is during the holiday season for Branson and shows will have a holiday theme.

4-17-2016, 5-15-2016, 6-5-2016

Performances include #1 Hits of the 60's at The New Americana Theater; Moses at Sight and Sound Theatre; Presleys' Country Jubilee: Branson's Original Show on the Strip; a private performance of the Lennon/Cathcart Morning Show at our hotel; a live country performance at Jackie B. Goode's Uptown Café; a private performance with one of the area's top fiddlers; a private performance by the Micham Family.


Located in the heart of the Ozark Mountains on the shores of Lake Taneycomo, Branson is a popular tourist destination, famous for its many live music theaters, clubs and other entertainment venues, as well as its historic downtown and surrounding natural beauty. The city proudly proclaims the importance of family, faith, and patriotism throughout its many attractions.

Centrally located hotel in the heart of Branson's Theater District offering a restaurant and sports bar.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Bill Lennon

Bill Lennon is the brother of the world-famous Lennon Sisters. He performed in and produced the award-winning Lennon Brothers Morning Show when the Lennon family moved to Branson in 1994. Together with his wife, Gail, and nephew Mike Cathcart, Bill continues to perform in Branson — the singers amaze audiences with their powerful harmonies.
Dee Dee Lennon

Diane “Dee Dee” Lennon is the eldest member of the The Lennon Sisters and sang lead vocals in the quartet from when the girls made their debut on the Lawrence Welk Show in 1955. She left the group in 1960 to marry Dick Gass, and returned to perform in 1964 until the act parted ways with the show in 1968. Diane continued to make appearances with the act while also working for a Catholic newspaper and teaching kindergarten students at St. Mark’s School. Since retiring in 2001 to spend more time with her children and grandchildren, enjoys playing golf and runs a restaurant in Branson with her husband, Dick.
Matt Muhoberac

Matt Muhoberac grew up in a family of professional musicians in Los Angeles, Calif. His credits as a composer, arranger, singer and musician include TV shows like “General Hospital,” “NBC Sports” and “Friends.” Matt also created musical works for commercials for advertisers including McDonald's, Budweiser, and Chevrolet, as well as for animated series including “The Addams Family,” “Power Puff Girls,” “Life with Louie” and Bill Cosby's "Fatherhood." He moved to Branson 20 years ago to raise his three-year-old daughter and has never looked back. Twelve years ago, he was a founding member of the show “#1 Hits of the 60's,” where he met his wife, Amber.
Amber Cambell

Amber Cambell is a native of LaRussell, Mo., and a graduate of Southwest Baptist University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in theatre, with a music minor. Amber loves to perform and is raising her beautiful daughter Jade in the Branson community. She has been a featured vocalist and emcee for several Branson shows over the years, but her most rewarding experience has been owning, producing and performing in “#1 Hits of the 60’s (& 50’s too!)”
Barb Southerland

Barbara Southerland has been a professional group leader since 2000. A resident of the Branson area for 45 years, she retired after 26 years with the College of the Ozarks where she was the assistant registrar. Her experience at the college offered Barb considerable exposure to area history, and she also credits her knowledge of the region to many friends who have ties to local history makers. For the last 11 years, she has volunteered as a guide each winter for the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge in South Texas.
Meals and Lodgings
   Branson Towers
  Branson, MO 5 nights
 Branson Towers
Type: Hotel
  Description: Fantastic View of the Branson valley with all the lights of the strip!
  Contact info: 236 Shepherd of the Hills Expressway
Branson, MO 65616 USA
phone: 417-336-4500
  Room amenities: Wi-Fi, Cable TV, Coffee/Tea Maker, Hair Dryer, Refrigerator (On Request), Microwave (On request with charge)
  Facility amenities: Indoor Pool / Hot Tub, Full Breakfast, Laundry, Game Room, Ice Cream Social Nightly
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Bathroom: Grab bars and shower seats if needed
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Call 417-239-0203 Please contact provider at 417-239-0203 to ensure the best rate and room concerns.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call 417-239-0203 Please contact provider at 417-239-0203 to ensure the best rate and room concerns.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Arrival/Check in time 3 PM. You will be staying at Branson Towers that night.
  End of Program:
Departure/Check out time 11 AM. You will be staying at Branson Towers the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Plenty of parking is available at the hotel. There is room for RV campers as well
To Start of Program
  Location:  Branson, MO
  Nearest highway: Highway 65
  Nearest airport:  Branson, Missouri
  From End of Program
  Location: Branson, MO
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details

Springfield, Missouri


From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Branson Coach
phone: 417-339-4888
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Check with shuttle service.
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


1 hour from Springfield 


PLEASE CHECK WITH LOCAL BRANSON AIRPORT FOR TICKETS BEFORE CONSIDERING THE SPRINGFIELD-BRANSON AIRPORT! They can be found at In addition, while not required, we recommend to rent a car for your time here. This will assist you in getting around to other locations during free time. Normally, participants call when they make airline reservations, then confirm a day or two before flight.




From Airport




phone: 417-332-CABS x2227
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


$8-10 per car on average
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


15 minutes 




10 Miles


Please visit for information on this very close airport. While it is not required, we advise renting a car to help with travel during free time opportunities. Unfortunately the hotel does not offer a shuttle service for the airport.

Driving Directions
  Branson Towers Regardless of your direction of arrival, (from the north if from Springfield, or the south, if from Arkansas) exit from HIGHWAY 65 at the MO-248/RED ROUTE/SHEPHERD OF THE HILLS EXPY; Keep RIGHT at the fork to go on MO-248 N/RED ROUTE/SHEPHERD OF THE HILLS EXPY; Turn LEFT onto SHEPHERD OF THE HILLS EXPY/RED ROUTE; 236 SHEPHERD OF THE HILLS EXPY is on the RIGHT
Elevation Note: The highest elevation participants will experience is 1,000 feet.

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Register, Orientation, Dinner, and Get to Know Your Fellow Participants
(Sunday, December 9)
 Dinner: Orientation time for the program is 4:30 p.m. The first evening includes an introduction of the sponsoring personnel, an orientation to the program, dinner, and get-acquainted activities.--- Please be aware that program activities and schedule times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of any changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding!--- We will prepare for an exciting journey into the Branson Show Biz scene and what has and still does make it so popular. Get rest tonight as it is an exciting educational journey ahead of you!---
Accommodations: Branson Towers
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Lectures on the history of Branson, Sound Technology, and Swing Music. Attend the world famous Duttons show!
(Monday, December 10)
 Breakfast: Great Breakfast
 Morning: Lecture on the history of Branson Discover the shows that have made Branson the 'Live Entertainment Capitol' of the world. Look at how this sleepy little town is now host to over 100 shows, more theater seats than Broadway, and over 7 million visitors a year. The history will also include how Branson holds on to its roots while moving into the future. Presenter: Sarah Klinefelter, C of O Media Professor---
 Morning: Lecture on Theater Sound Equipment: Fantastic presentation on sound and how acoustics play such a large role in the success or failure of a performance. This lecture will also examine what is required by a sound operator and give you insight to becoming a better critic of vocal / instrument performances. Presenter: Tony Bishop, Sound Engineer and Designer---
 Lunch: Fantastic lunch in our meeting room.
 Afternoon: Lecture on Swing Music: The Lennon Brothers and Gail Lennon present an in depth reviews of Swing Music in America both in the past and modern day. What made this music so influential even into modern day? Presenter: The Lennon Brothers, three siblings who are joined by Gail Lennon on this enjoyable swing-oriented date.--- After the lecture, you will have free time from 2:30 till 5:30. This presents an excellent time to catch an afternoon show. Please visit for some great options.
 Dinner: Wonderful buffet dinner at Grand Country.
 Evening: Attend the Duttons Performance: The Duttons are international touring and recording artists that play everything from bluegrass to classical in their shows, featuring a variety of instruments: violin, guitar, bass, viola, banjo, mandolin, keyboard, harmonica and drums among others. The Duttons have not only won recognition in national fiddling contests and as studio musicians but have also garnered praise and awards in classical violin competitions. They were also finalists on America's Got Talent in 2007.
Accommodations: Branson Towers
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Guided luxury bus tour of Branson and the area, lecture on the life of a Branson performer, Private performance of a founder of the Baldknobbers show.
(Tuesday, December 11)
 Breakfast: Fantastic Breakfast
 Morning: Board a luxury bus for a drive by tour of Branson and the area. Included: The Lakes, the Chateau, Point Royal Housing (where the Branson stars live), College of the Ozarks, Downtown Branson. Ending at 'The Landing' for a meal and a self guided tour. Presenter: Sarah Klinefelter, Local Historian
 Lunch: Enjoy a meal on 'The Landing' with a fantastic view of Lake Taneycomo!
 Afternoon: Lecture on the Life of a Performer: Tourists view the shows and performances on the Strip with amazement, but what is life really like once the curtain goes down. Listen to one of the most versatile performers in Branson on what affect this lifestyle has on family, friends, and self. Examine how the fame and glamour is not always what it seems, but always sought after. Presenter: Tom Wolff, Extraordinary Local Performer--- After the lecture, you will have free time from 2:30 till 5:30. This presents an excellent time to catch an afternoon show. Please visit for some great options.
 Dinner: Wonderful catered dinner in our meeting room.
 Evening: Private Performance Just for You: Enjoy an evening with Bob Mabe and his Kitchen Band in a private setting. Bob was the one of the founders of the Baldknobbers show. The Baldknobbers began the Branson family entertainment phenomenon in 1959 when the four Mabe brothers began entertaining visitors on the Branson lakefront. The performance will take you to yesteryear with its timeless classic appeal and down home fun. See how much music has an effect on the population in the Ozarks.
Accommodations: Branson Towers
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Lecture on the Marketing and PR of Branson Entertainment, Lecture on Costumes, and the life of a Dresser, attend the famous ‘Presley’s’ show.
(Wednesday, December 12)
 Breakfast: Wonderful breakfast
 Morning: Lecture on the Selling of Branson: Close examination of the image of Branson and the concept of 'Faith, Family, and Flag' in a small mid-west sleepy town. How does this concept play into selling the 'Branson experience' to a general public? What are the positives and negatives of such a public relation push? Presenter: Sarah Klinefelter, Local Historian---
 Morning: Lecture on Marketing Branson: Discuss the past, current, and future of marketing for the Branson area. Take a close look with the Vice President of the local Chamber of Commerce on the successes and failures over the last few decades. The issue of 9/11 and the current recession with its effects on the tourist industry and how the entertainment complex has dealt with and is dealing with it. Presenter: Dan Lennon, Vice President of the Branson Chamber of Commerce---
 Morning: Watch the video that propelled Branson into the national spotlight - a '60 Minute' production aired in 1991. Followed by a discussion on what has changed since then and what remains very much the same.---
 Lunch: Great lunch on site.
 Afternoon: Lecture on Costuming: Meet with a veteran wardrobe mistress and learn the tricks of the trade for the ever popular aspect of costume changes! Discuss the issue that 'Dressers' face in their position and the how do they deal with performers/directors/fabric. Dressers are responsible for assisting cast members with costume changes backstage, when necessary. They are often used to assist primarily with quick costume changes, where a character exits and must enter again very quickly wearing a different costume. Presenter: Barbara Cox, Veteran Wardrobe Mistress--- After the lecture, you will have free time from 2:30 till 5:30. This presents an excellent time to catch an afternoon show. Please visit for some great options.
 Dinner: Enjoy a fantastic dinner with a fantastic view at the Plaza View Restaurant overlooking Branson from the 9th floor.
 Evening: Attend a great performance of 'The Presley’s'. From new country favorites to country classics from the zany antics of Herkimer and Cecil to the soulful reflection of southern gospel hits it’s the one Branson show Regis Philbin says You've got to see. Visit a Branson landmark! Presley’s' Theater was the original music theater built in Branson and for that reason it is truly a Branson landmark. In Presley’s' lobby you'll find many pictures and items of memorabilia from this legendary family showcasing Branson's musical heritage.
Accommodations: Branson Towers
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Lecture on the history of tourism, theatrical lighting, and a performance/lecture on musical instruments. Attend a high energy show of 'the Legend of Kung Fu'!
(Thursday, December 13)
 Breakfast: Terrific Breakfast
 Morning: Lecture on the history of tourism: A close look at how the concept of tourism has changed over the decades. From a time when the trip was the enjoyment to current day when the destination is more important. How has tourism built up towns into major cities and how a simple change of highway can destroy a town forever? How the recent financial situation affected travel has and what are travel agencies doing to survive this change? Presenter: Sarah Klinefelter, C of O Media Professor---
 Morning: Lecture on Theatrical Lighting: Take a close look at how lighting affects the performance in terms of attention, mood, blocking, and set design. Find out about new forms of lighting equipment and what exactly does a lighting technician does for the show. This discussion will give you a better eye for critique of performances and concerts. Presenter: Steve Judd, Lighting Engineer---
 Lunch: A great Bar-B-Q meal will be served!
 Afternoon: Performance Lecture on Musical Instruments: Enjoy a musical time with a local musician and his amazing talent being able to play over 20 different instruments from the harp to the banjo. Each instrument is examined in a historical context as well as its modern application. Discuss life as a musical impersonator in Branson and the complexities of that career. Presenter: Rod Phillips, Musical Enthusiast--- After the lecture, you will have free time from 2:30 till 5:30. This presents an excellent time to catch an afternoon show. Please visit for some great options.
 Dinner: Dinner at the famous McFarlans restaurant. Watch out for those floating tables!
 Evening: Attend a high energy performance that brings together all the subjects of the week - The Legend of Kung Fu! The Legend of Kung Fu has wowed and amazed audiences worldwide with its' unique combination of traditional martial arts skill, aerial ballet, dance and music. Designated as the main show of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Chun Yi - The Legend of Kung Fu has been performed more than 3000 times worldwide. With a cast of 65 performers, it is one of the largest theatrical productions in Branson, immersing audiences in magnificent scenery, lighting, sound and special effects as the tale unfolds.
Accommodations: Branson Towers
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Lecture on the future of Branson entertainment and a Q and A with a freelance image consultant. Say goodbyes to new friends.
(Friday, December 14)
 Breakfast: Great Breakfast
 Morning: Lecture on the future of Branson: After looking at the past and the present, what is in the future for Branson and its style of entertainment? How are Branson and the entertainment industry preparing for what lies next? Presenter: Sarah Klinefelter, Local Historian---
 Morning: Question and Answer Session: Meet and ask questions of the marketing and PR expert to such stars as Yackov and Jim Strafford. Find out the behind the scenes occurrences and what goes into dealing with such large entertainment stars. What does it take to be a successful free lance image consultant? Presenter: Cindy Merry, Image Consultant--- Say our goodbyes to new friends! Safe journeys!
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Branson, MO Free Time
During the week there are free times listed in the iternerary and present a great opportunity to attend additional shows. Please visit for a listing of offerings.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Insiders' Guide to Branson and the Ozark Mountains

Author: Dr. Fred Pfister

Description: For more than twenty years, the Insiders' Guide® series has been the essential source for in-depth travel and relocation information—from true insiders whose personal, practical perspective gives you everything you need to know. With more than forty theaters on and around its famous Strip, Branson is proudly called the Live Music Capital of the World. But there's more to this year-round vacation destination than its shows and stars: World-class golf, theme parks, and historic sites are all within easy reach. This authoritative guide shows you how to navigate the glitz and glitter of Branson as well as the natural beauty of the scenic Ozark Mountain country. • Countless details on how to live and thrive in the area, from the best fishing holes to the lowdown on real estate • The inside scoop on the top shopping, seasonal festivals, and live entertainment offerings • Comprehensive listings of restaurants and accommodations • Sections dedicated to children and retirement

The Bittersweet Ozarks at a Glance

Author: Ellen Grey Massey

Description: The Bittersweet Ozarks at a Glance is a beautiful and unique photograph collection that portrays the Bittersweet Ozarks, collected by Ellen Gray Massey and her students, more than thirty years ago. Had the students not researched and recorded, the information from the 494 men and women they captured in words and pictures most would be lost forever for most of them have died. From 1973 until 1983, the young people published 482 articles and features in 40 issues of Bittersweet, the Ozark Quarterly.

You can't find a better value than Road Scholar.

As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.

Specifically, this program includes:

Plus these special experiences...

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:

© Road Scholar 2016 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768