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Branson Show Biz

Program Number: 1615RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/6/2015 - 9/11/2015; 9/27/2015 - 10/2/2015; 10/18/2015 - 10/23/2015; 11/1/2015 - 11/6/2015; 11/29/2015 - 12/4/2015; 12/28/2015 - 1/2/2016; 4/17/2016 - 4/22/2016; 5/15/2016 - 5/20/2016; 6/5/2016 - 6/10/2016; 6/19/2016 - 6/24/2016; 7/17/2016 - 7/22/2016; 8/14/2016 - 8/19/2016;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Branson, Missouri
Price starting at: $1,069.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Music Appreciation; Holidays
Meals: 13; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 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.




Highlights

• 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.



Enhancements for 2015 and 2016 include seven live shows, upgraded meals, and a private tea and Q&A with music pioneer DeeDee Lennon of the Lennon Sisters. 2015 dates stay at a full-service, AAA four-diamond hotel steps from the riverfront boardwalk. 2016 dates stay at a full-service hotel located in the heart of the Branson Theatre District. Performances include (subject to change): #1 Hits of the 60’s at The New Americana Theater; Jonah at Sight and Sound Theatre, Presleys' Country Jubilee: Branson's Original Show on the Strip; the Lennon/Cathcart Morning Show at the Lawrence Welk Theater; a live country performance at Jackie B. Goode’s Uptown Café; a private performance with one of the area’s top fiddlers; and a private performance by the Micham Family.




Date Specific Information

11-1-2015, 11-29-2015

Enjoy Christmas-themed versions of the regular lineup (see Program Note for listings). Discounted tickets will be available for purchase to the Andy Williams Christmas Show, Starring The Osmond Brothers & The Lennon Sisters.



12-28-2015

Performances include Jonah; the Lennon/Cathcart Morning Show; dinner and show aboard the Showboat Branson Belle; New Year’s Eve with two back-to-back shows at the Clay Cooper Theatre: Clay Cooper’s Country Express followed by The Haygoods; Grand Jubilee Show at the Grand Country Music Hall; and a private performance by a local musician.




Branson

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.



Accommodations
Varies by date. Call or go online for details.

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
   Hilton Convention Center
  Branson, MO 5 nights
 Hilton Convention Center
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Perfectly centered in downtown Branson, the Hilton Branson Convention Center offers guests a refreshing place to stay during their vacation. This 12-story AAA Four Diamond hotel offers comfort and satisfaction of all guests during their stay. Explore Historic Downtown Branson, or stroll along Lake Taneycomo. Enjoy the dazzling views of the Ozark Mountains and Lake Taneycomo.
  Contact info: 200 East Main Street
Branson, MO 65616 USA
phone: 417-336-5400
web: conventioncenter.hiltonsofbranson.com/hotel-photos
  Room amenities: High-Speed Wi-Fi (fees apply), Alarm Clock/Radio w/ MP3 Connection, Black-Out Curtains, Ergonomic Desk Chair Granite Counter Tops/Vanities, Hilton Serenity™ Bed / Collection, 32" LCD High-Definition TV, Cable Programming and Standard, Complimentary HBO® in HD, On-Demand Movies, Spacious Work Desk, Coffee Maker, Refrigerator Room Service, Hairdryer, Iron / Board, Telephone w/ Voicemail
  Facility amenities: Sparkling Indoor Pool, for year-round leisure, Outdoor Pool, featuring a connected pool bar and scenic lounge Fitness Center, keep up your regimen on the road, Business Center, for printing schedules or burning the midnight oil High-Speed Wi-Fi, available throughout the hotel, Automated Teller (ATM), Baggage Storage, Concierge Desk Fitness Center, Foreign Currency Exchange, Laundry/Valet Service, Local Area Transportation, Pool, Room Service Safety Deposit Box, Snack Shop, Business Center, Express Mail, Photo Copying Service
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $119- $179.00 Call hotel for rates and availability.
  Check in time: 3:30 PM
  Additional nights after: $119- $179.00 Call hotel for rates and availability.
  Check out time: 10:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Arrival/Check in time 3:30 PM. You will be staying at Hilton Convention Center that night.
  End of Program:
Departure/Check out time 11 AM. You will be staying at Hilton Convention Center the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Plenty of parking is available at the hotel.
Transportation
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

 
 

Service:

 

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 flybranson.com. The cost of the shuttle and time travel may compensate for a ticket price difference. 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.

 

Branson

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
phone: 417-332-CABS x2227
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$10-15 per car on average
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

15 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

10 Miles

   

Please visit flybranson.com 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
  Springfield From Springfield, 65 south exit 248 Shepard of the Hills Expressway. Make a left at the bottom of the exit and follow to the round about. Exit round about onto Branson Landing Blvd. Hotel is located on the left in the center of Branson Landing, across from the Branson Train Station. From Arkansas follow Hwy 65 north and exit onto 248 Shepard of the Hills Expressway. Make a right at the end of the exit ramp and follow to round about. Exit round about onto Branson Landing Blvd. Hotel is on the left across from the Branson Train Station.
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: Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner, Branson Overview
(Monday, December 28)
   
 Afternoon: Hotel check-in is available beginning at 3:30 p.m. Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff, to get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule and other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet at the front desk when you check in.
 Dinner: Enjoy a get acquainted dinner with your fellow participants served in a private room at the hotel. Dinner may be a select entree or a buffet.
 Evening: After dinner we will have a brief overview of We will also have our program orientation, during which the Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will then review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have.

Indicated times are approximate; program activities and schedules may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Scheduled free time is set aside for your personal independent exploration. The Group Leader will often be available during free time to accompany informal excursions, activities, or meals that have been excluded from the program cost. You are welcome to join if you like, with any associated costs on your own.
   
Accommodations: Hilton Convention Center
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Branson History Talk, Sight & Sound Theater, Jonah Show
(Tuesday, December 29)
   
 Breakfast: Enjoy a wonderful buffet breakfast served each day at the hotel. Buffet includes hot entrees, cereal, toast, coffee, juice. Vouchers will be given for breakfasts.
 Morning: This morning we enjoy a lecture given by the Branson Convention and Visitor's Association. Learn about the evolution of Branson from one show on a dirt road to an entertainment capital including an introduction to the ubiquitous culture of "Faith, Family, and Flag."
 Lunch: Lunch is served at a local restaurant with a choice of limited menu including entree and drink.
 Afternoon: After lunch we visit the fantastic Sight and Sound Theater. A million watts of lights, sixty-thousand watts of sound and a massive stage over twenty-thousand square feet in size: Sight & Sound's theater offers live theatre productions on a breathtaking scale. Now, take an exclusive opportunity to go backstage and see how the drama unfolds in our Behind the Scenes Program. Discover the technology and ingenuity that powers the dramatic complexity of each show. Visit the nerve centers that keep the lights, sound, stage - and even animals - on cue. Get a rare glimpse of the state-of-the-art scene shop as our talented craftsmen create sets for upcoming shows, learn how Sight & Sound brings Bible stories to life and step on the stage for an actor's view at our incomparable theatre. < > Following our exploration we will enjoy the production of Jonah.
 Dinner: This evening is free to have dinner on your own in downtown or along the Branson Landing. You may have time to take in another show on your own.
   
Accommodations: Hilton Convention Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3: Lennon/Cathcart Show,Showboat Branson Belle, lectures
(Wednesday, December 30)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: This morning we travel to a local theater for a morning performance by the Lennon/Cathcart Trio. If you’ve yet to discover the enormous talents of Gail Lennon, Mike Cathcart, and Bill Lennon, here’s your chance to experience their sensational presentation of music from the Woodstock/Vietnam era. Enjoy a post show talkback with Bill and the cast.
 Lunch: A delicious lunch is included today at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: This afternoon we travel to the showboat Branson Belle. We meet with the Captain or other staff member for a guided tour of the ship.
 Dinner: A fabulous dinner cruise aboard the Showboat Branson Belle. Your two-hour cruise includes a delicious meal prepared fresh daily aboard the ship. Our All-American dinner menu is served with sizzling style befitting a high-end restaurant. The Showboat Branson Belle offers a dining experience you won't find anywhere else!
   
Accommodations: Hilton Convention Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Wardrobe, Tea w/Dee Dee Lennon, NYE w/Haygoods & Clay Cooper
(Thursday, December 31)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: This morning we will enjoy a visit with a Barbara Cox, a local wardrobe professional who has worked with such greats as the Andy Williams.< >Join us for a fantastic opportunity to have morning tea with Dee Dee Lennon. Diane (Dee Dee) is well remembered as the lead singer of “America’s Sweethearts of Song”, the Lovely Lennon Sisters. Dee Dee will discuss her life as a performer with stories that include Lawrence Welk, Bob Hope, Warren Beaty, Jack Benny, Jimmy Durante and many more entertainment legends. The Lennon Sisters performed for seven Presidents, have a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and have been inducted Vocal Group Hall of Fame. Dee Dee has retired and now calls Branson, Missouri her home. There’ll be plenty of time for Q & A.”
 Lunch: Lunch is served today at the hotel following the morning program.
 Afternoon: What would a show in Branson be without the fabulous musicians. This morning you will meet with some musicians who call Branson home. Learn how they play a part in the many shows and hear some fantastic music. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys!
 Dinner: Dinner is included this evening at one of Branson's fine restaurants.
 Evening: This evening we head to the Clay Cooper Theater for the New Year's Eve Spectacular. Two shows in one as we enjoy of three hours of entertainment with the Clay Cooper Show and the Haygoods Show. Enjoy snacks and drinks (non-alcoholic) during the show. Two Show Combination.
   
Accommodations: Hilton Convention Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Swing Music Talk, Private Performance, College of the Ozarks
(Friday, January 1)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Happy New Year!! This morning relax and enjoy a little leisure as we will not be returning to the hotel until 12:30 AM.
 Lunch: Lunch today is served at the hotel or a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: This afternoon we explore the area by motorcoach. Learn the local history of the Ozarks, and pre-entertainment history all the way up to modern day.
 Dinner: Dinner is included at another popular Branson Restaurant.
 Evening: This evening we enjoy the Grand Jubilee Show. Audiences fall in love with the tight harmonies and dynamic performance of Branson’s BEST Quartet, New South! Mark, David, Luke & Jon sing today’s country hits as well as quartet classics from the Oak Ridge Boys to the Eagles. From Country and hand-clapping Gospel, to decades of Rock & Roll favorites, the Grand Jubilee will surpass expectations of any age. Comedy is abundant! Jamie Haage, as Jim Dandy and Emcee, Mike Patrick, will keep you absolutely doubled over in laughter. Along with the power vocals of Jackie Brown, this show is a bomb with the fuse lit!
   
Accommodations: Hilton Convention Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: The Future of Branson, Program Concludes
(Saturday, January 2)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Lecture: This morning lecture will include local performers or historians.
   
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 explorebranson.com for a listing of offerings. please do not purchase tickets till the first meeting of the program due to possible (but unlikely) schedule changes
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.





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