Published: 2:20 pm, Sun. Dec. 11th, 2016Updated: 2:17 pm
Artesians will have the opportunity to take a holiday trip abroad and back this week as the Ocotillo Performing Arts Center presents Christmastime in Ireland and Branson on the Road – Christmas Style.
Tony Kenny, Ireland’s premier entertainer, and his all-star cast provide a warm turf fire on a cold night and rousing singalong by the hearth, offering favorite Christmas songs and hymns, and plenty of laughter as everyone gathers for a sampling of Irish wit and wisdom.
Added into this stellar mix of Irish artists are the Dublin City Dancers, led by Sarah Costello, who display the joyfulness of youthful dancing in celebration of the holidays. Costello has toured the world for six years as a lead dancer for Walt Disney World. She comes to Christmastime in Ireland to lead a troupe of precision musical athletes who will take your breath away. Joining Costello are Kendall Grigger and Joe Riley, creating one of the best small dance troupes touring today.
The Dublin Trinity Band, led by musical director Ciaran Mitchell and featuring Eimear Reilly on violin and Peter Browne on accordion, is one of Ireland’s best folk bands. Their musicality keeps the toe tapping as they back the dancers and singers, performing Ireland’s traditional music for the audience’s enjoyment.
Christmastime in Ireland will take the stage at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets are $25 and may be purchased online at www.artesiaartscouncil.com or by calling the OPAC box office at 746-4212.
Then, at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, let the Live Entertainment Capital of the World come to you with Branson on the Road – Christmas Style.
What do you get when you bring together a fiddle, mandolin, banjo, guitar, upright slap bass, beautiful rhinestone costumes, hilarious comedy, and country Christmas, bluegrass, rockabilly and gospel music? Only one answer to that question: Branson on the Road – Christmas Style.
Branson on the Road has more than 20 years of experience performing at the top theatres in Branson on the famous 76 Country Music Boulevard (known as “The Strip”) and is the first national touring show named for the famous city. The show delivers the Branson traditions of good, clean, family fun wherever they go… and they go all over the U.S. and beyond.
Those seeing a Branson on the Road – Christmas Style show for the first time can not only expect great Christmas music, old country favorites, and amazing instrumental abilities but also plenty of hilarious comedy every step of the way – in a holiday, Branson style for the entire family.
“We reside in the live music capital of the world, Branson, Mo.,” said Debbie Horton, “and realized that there are many people who will never have a chance to visit Branson personally. And with the economy the way it is today, we decided to bring our Branson stage show directly to them, and this time, bring a little Branson Christmas your way! You will be singing along, laughing and enjoying every minute of this Christmas show, Branson style. It’s so much fun for everyone!”
Branson on the Road are regular performers on the national television show “Midwest Country” on RFD-TV. Debbie Horton holds the distinction of being the only woman to have played lead guitar for the great Johnny Cash. She hosted her own show at the old Boxcar Willie Theater in Branson and has performed on the famous Louisiana Hayride and Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree in Nashville. She was a radio DJ in Norfolk, Va., and acted as MC for concerts with Kenny Rogers, Hank Williams Jr., the Oak Ridge Boys, and many more.
Donnie Wright is an expert, sought-after, respected musician/ arranger and is versatile on many instruments including fiddle, mandolin, guitar, banjo and bass. He has been part of the Branson music scene for 40 years. He provides a good deal of the comic relief on the show with his mischievous antics. Among his long list of credits are performances at The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, The Presley’s Show in Branson, The Pine Mountain Jamboree in Eureka Springs, and a longstanding run at The Golden Nugget in Las Vegas.
Donnie has been nominated for a Lifetime Honors Award for his contribution to music in the Ozarks by the National Endowments of the Arts in Washington, D.C.
Brian Capps plays upright bass and sings songs reminiscent of Marty Robbins and Hank Williams. Brian’s latest recording reached the Top 10 on the Americana Charts and is part of the music rotation on XM Radio.
For more information on the show, visit www.bransonontheroad.com.
Tickets for both Saturday shows are $30 each and may be purchased at artesiaartscouncil.com or at the OPAC box office.