For the past 12 years, the “#1 Hits of the 60s & 50s, too” show has been using state-of-the-art sound and lighting along with fully choreographed production numbers to highlight one of the most popular and eclectic decades of music history. Last year, they expanded their repertoire to include some of the biggest hits from the 1950s, resulting in a true entertainment experience spanning the most important eras of music history.
Why We Play What We Play
Matt Muhoberac, the show’s producer and his wife Amber Campbell, one of the stars of the show, use the music as a way to connect with their audience and make sure they have a good time. They feature the best of the girl groups, guy groups, Simon and Garfunkle, the Hollies, the Beach Boys, the Beatles, Elvis Presley and just about everything between that defined a decade of change.
“Our philosophy is that people here are on vacation and not only do they want memories, but they want to have fun,” he said. “We have fun on that stage every day, and we know if we do, then (the audience) does.”
In order to get in as many songs as possible, each cast member gets an opportunity to step to the forefront and shine, belting out one tune after another. “We’ve got such a great cast this year and I can’t imagine doing it with anyone else,” Campbell said. “They’re all professional, both on stage and off, and they all do a great job.”
The cast features Justin Boudreaux, Justin Sassanella, Josh Barnhart, Ashley Jo Deaton and Kelly Wiegand. Each performer has an epic catalogue of music to choose from.
“There are literally hundreds and hundreds of songs from that era to choose from,” Matt said. “We try to get the biggest variety we can to reach the broadest group of people because everyone has their favorites and we try to get in as many as we can. You could do another two hour show of different No. 1 hits from that decade and never have one repeat.”
50’s and 60’s Together
As the Branson entertainment scene continued to change, so many shows seemed to remove all the great music from 50s. Matt and Amber thought that was a shame.
“The main reason we decided to add the 50s music is that so many of the shows that featured that music when we were here when we first started went away,” Matt said. “We talked about adding 70s music and things as we went on but there were so many people asking for music from that era we added it, and the response has been so good that we’re going to add some more next year.”
New Home, New Show
In 2015, the “#1 Hits of the 60s & 50s, Too” will call the Americana Theatre home. “I think it’s going to be a great place to expand and grow the show,” Amber said. “We really want to take the show to the next level and we’ve added more music and more costume changes and we’ve got access to a lot of things to improve production that we just didn’t have before..”
In addition to the new venue and other changes, Amber said they’re adding a three-piece band to join the production. “That will be so great for us and allow us to do so much more, but it’s just the first step for us,” she said. “We feel adding musicians takes it to that next level, plus the space itself allows for a little bit more production, as far as expanding sets, props and lighting.”
While the future is most assuredly bright for the stars of the show and they continue to add new and exciting things each year, they’ll never stray from their roots.
“We have so much great music to choose from the late ‘50s through the ‘60s that we often joke we could re-write the show with 100 new songs every year and it would still be a fantastic show,” Amber said. “And of course we’ll continue to move on into the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, but we’ll always be ‘#1 Hits of the ‘60s’.”
Showtimes for the “#1 Hits of the 60s & 50s, Too” at the Americana Theatre are 7:30 p.m. Mondays and 2 p.m. most weekdays.
For more information, call 417-339-1960, or visit the new website at 1hitsofthe60s.com.