by Linda Burlingame
The Haygoods are a talented family with an extraordinary flair for entertaining. They put to good use all the “bells and whistles” available — innovative staging, lighting, aerial entrances, pyrotechnics. It’s a show that appeals to all your senses. They’ve been delighting Branson audiences for more than 25 years!
Their Christmas show is beautiful. The song selection is good, from fun songs like the rollicking Run Run Rudolph to classics like The First Noel. The first half of the show is the “best of” their regular season show. (Not that their show is ever regular!) You’ll hear great songs like Devil Went Down to Georgia, I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (Lonesome whippoorwill), a nice, up-tempo arrangement of Will the Circle Be Unbroken. They talk about sitting on the front porch when they were younger, listening to their dad’s record collection, favorites including the Beattles. I love the Lennon-McCartney melody they do, Blackbirds Singing in the Dead of Night. Their harmonies are excellent, and they also excel on the instruments. The Haygoods started playing the violin at early ages. Now they all play several instruments, including guitar, upright bass, saxophone, mandolin, piano — Patrick is the piano wizard! Catherine plays all those and the harp, too. Dino Phillips is their drummer, the only member of the cast who’s not a Haygood. I’ve known Dino a long time, great drummer.
Violin lessons weren’t enough for the boys. Their mom knew they needed something else to work off their energy, and she enrolled them in tap dancing lessons. Well, you’ll hear the rest of the story when you see the show, but they loved the dancing and now their mountain dancing is a favorite segment. It’s impressive footwork and heart pounding rhythms, while in mountain boots — on the stage, on platforms. It’s not your grandmother’s tap dancing, but grandmas love it! It’s truly a unique show in the lineup of great Branson shows.
You may remember the Haygoods as youngsters performing at Silver Dollar City. From 1993 until 2001 they did five shows a day, five days a week during the season. The boys smile and tell me it was hard work but, “there were lots of coaster rides and funnel cakes!” Their mom has told me they never strayed far enough to miss a show. Catherine is their only sister. She’s lovely in denim and boots and in chiffon and high heels for her performance on the harp. Everyone is aglow for that number. Timothy, Patrick, Michael, Dominic, Matthew, and Shawn, and Catherine love entertaining together today as much as they did singing together as youngsters. They still have family fun … Timothy really takes a beating as Banjo Boy! Another fun part of the Christmas segment is the video of earlier Christmas shows, beginning in 1994 with cute kids in adorable costumes … charming! Bring your family and friends to the Haygoods Christmas Show for a memorable Christmas experience. Show dates at the Clay Cooper Theater through December 29, 2018.