by Linda Burlingame
#1 Hits of the 60’s is a high-energy show that will take you on a nostalgic musical journey through not only the 60’s, but also the 50’s; and this year they’ve added 70’s favorites like Joy to the World, Carole King’s I Feel the Earth Move, and other classics from the Rolling Stones, Billy Joel, and the Bee Gees. AND — there is a saxophone player in the band now! Ryan Dunn joins Dino Phillips on drums; Mike Williamson on bass; Josh Carroll on guitar. Just when you thought the band couldn’t sound any better!
The 60’s journey includes Motown, the British invasion, California Surfin’, the Age of Aquarius — and 100 costume changes. The costumes are always spectacular (There are some new ones this year, too!), from the bell-bottoms, go-go boots, and psychedelic colors to the girls’ gorgeous gowns. Oh, and the hairdos! It’s all just perfect. #1 Hits of the 60’s is an afternoon show at the Clay Cooper Theatre. The show is well staged and moves at a lively pace. The cast does more than 90 #1 and Top 40 songs. There’s fun audience participation, like the quiz: “Was it the 50’s or the 60’s?” (Tougher than you think!)
A fun production number I really like is the high school mini-drama. The plot is the upcoming school dance. Who has a date? “Johnny,” in his black leather jacket with the collar turned up, thinks all the girls want to be his date. But what about “Irving” and his nerdy outfit? The girls are stressing. Oh, and the “school marm!” The songs and dances tell much of the story. AND you’ll never guess who ends up singing Born To Be Wild! The “swim,” “locomotion” and the “mashed potato” … so many dances and songs!
Just think — Dance to the Music, It’s My Party, You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling, Johnny Angel, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, Leavin’ on a Jet Plane, songs from Elvis, the Beattles, the Beach Boys, Joan Baez, The Ronettes, The Hollies, Chiffons, Simon & Garfunkel, The Supremes! It was an incredible era of music, a remarkable time period in so many ways. Step back in time and remember. Along with the musical history, video clips show historically noteworthy events and headlines, like the first moon landing, first heart transplant, “John, Martin and Bobby.” Poignant, fun, you’ll experience every emotion.
2019 is the 17th season for Branson’s #1 Hits of the 60’s. Matt Muhoberac and his wife Amber Campbell have owned the show for ten years. A talented vocalist and “groovy” entertainer, Amber is joined by Kelly Parrish, Kaylee Ruden, Michael Frost, Eric Dalton, and Jordan Dickison — an extraordinary cast of singers and dancers. Matt produces the show and is the musical director. He also plays the keyboard and is the emcee! March 19 is the first show of this season. Make your reservations for #1 Hits of the 60’s and step back in time, for a “groovy” good time!