Hughes Brothers Theatre

Hughes Brothers Theatre
Branson's Ultimate Entertainment Experience!

Monday, January 26, 2015

“it” staring the Hughes Brothers, is an amazing show that will be totally enjoyed by you and your family

By Gary Groman
The Hughes Family during their touching performance of “Happy Together.”

On the evening of January 17 I had the opportunity to see “it,” feel “it” and hear “it.”

 I absolutely loved it staring the Hughes Brothers and their families. When you weave the talents of the Hughes Brothers, their wives, children and a great five piece live band into a magnificently choreographed, colorful, high energy and fast paced production, the result is a magical inspiring cornucopia of great singing, instrumentals, comedy, dancing and entertainment, covering everything from pop, classical, country, gospel, patriotic and more that is truly one of Branson’s ultimate entertainment experiences.

The evening started with dinner in the theatre’s balcony dining area which was a delightful three course meal prepared on the premises by Chef Laurie and served by Philip.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Gary W. Hughes, beloved patriarch of the Hughes Family in Branson, Missouri, passes away


Gary W. Hughes, 74, of Branson, Missouri passed away Sunday, June 8, 2014, at his home following a long but brave battle with cancer. 
Funeral services are scheduled for Tuesday, June 17, 2014, at 11:00 AM at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at 9113 State Hwy 76, Branson West, Missouri (near Notch, Missouri) with Bishop William Mahoney officiating.  Prior to the services, Visitation will be at the Church from 9:30 AM to 10:45 AM.  Burial at Evergreen Cemetery, located on Hwy 76 between Hwy 265 and Indian Point Rd., will follow the services.
          Gary William Hughes was born March 11, 1940, in Hawthorne, Nevada to Arden and Ethel (Tobler) Hughes.  Gary grew up loving sports, music, and nature.  As a child he ran barefoot on the hot desert sand and spent many hours batting rocks with a stick as far as the eye could see.  He loved the way the desert smelled after a rain storm. 
He attended Mineral High School where he lettered in Football, Basketball, and Baseball.  Although he wasn't a Marine he pitched Baseball for a Marine All-Star team...because they didn't have a good enough pitcher.  Later, when he was in the Army he was selected for their All-Star team because of his high batting average.  Throughout his life he pitched softball for community and church leagues.  He was also an expert horseshoe pitcher, winning several state and national tournaments. 
He worked a lot with the youth, coaching Little League and Babe Ruth baseball.  And finally, he was an avid follower of BYU football and basketball.  Son Jason says that “Dad loved a good competition. He could make a competition out of anything. When we worked together it made the time go quickly and we got a lot more done.”
           Gary also had a love of music and learned to play piano, accordion, and guitar by ear.  He joined his Dad’s dance band at a young age. He had a beautiful, resonant bass voice and was invited to sing and travel with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for many prestigious events, including a presidential inaugural.

            After serving in the National Guard five years where he studied radio communications and trained to repair the Nike Ajax Missile, Gary served a 2-year church mission to the Eastern States.  There Gary developed his life-time love of missionary work.  While on his mission, he was invited to run the lighting system for a popular tourist attraction & church history site called the Hill Cumorah Pageant. 
            After graduating from Salt Lake Community College in Barbering, Gary met his sweetheart, Lena Kristina Nilsson.  They were married on August 12, 1966, in the Salt Lake Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah.  They settled down in Taylorsville, UT where together they raised five sons who also love sports and music.  Gary found that his barbering skills came in quite handy with raising his boys.  
At first, Gary and Lena combined their musical talents with that of their sons and enjoyed doing music shows together for church and community events.  It wasn't long before Gary and Lena stepped down and the Hughes Brothers Show was officially formed in 1983. Gary and Lena helped support their sons’ budding musical career as they traveled to many places throughout the Rocky Mountain States to perform shows on weekends and during the summer. 

In addition, Gary worked hard to support the family by working several years as an independent milkman.  He owned his own franchise with Hi-land Dairy. As a skilled salesman, he gained a reputation of winning pretty much every sales contest the Dairy launched.  For 19 years Gary owned and operated a decorative concrete fence construction business called Artistic Fence Design, a business where his sons all got a chance to learn about hard physical labor.
In 1994 Gary and Lena signed a contract to bring the Hughes Brothers for the following season to Silver Dollar City, a major turn-of-the-century theme park in Branson, MO.  At this time the family made the decision to work full time in the music business.  Gary and Lena sold their home and walked away from their lucrative fence business to help their sons in their new career opportunity.  The Hughes Brothers performed the 1995 summer season at Silver Dollar City.  From there they moved on to perform in some of Branson’s most popular theatres such as the Osmond Theatre, Wild West Theatre, and Legends Theatre. In 2000, just five years after coming to Branson, Gary and his family were able to purchase their own theatre, the former Roy Clark Celebrity Theatre, now renamed the Hughes
Brothers Theatre.  “Dad was always the ‘Leader of the Band’. He started ‘it’ all,” says Son Marty. “But the thing I will always remember most is that Dad gave me his time and he wanted me there to experience what he loved most.”
            During the past 20 years in Branson, the show has grown from 5 brothers to over 50 talented family members on stage performing in both the “it” show and the “Hughes Brothers Christmas Show”.  Besides being a co-owner and operator of the Hughes Brothers Theatre, Gary ran the sound for the show for many years, became well known for his Papa Hughes Fudge, and landed the starring role of Santa Claus in the Hughes Brothers Christmas Show, which his debilitating illness only caused Gary to miss two seasons.  He generally fixed whatever needed fixing in the Theatre. With his great salesmanship skills, Gary could talk just about anybody into buying a ticket to the Hughes Brothers’ Shows.  He loved serving in the family business.  As daughter –in-law Mara states, “If you were going to associate one word with Dad it would be Faith! Just look at the journey he took to get us where we are today.” Son Andy adds that “our dad served us and lived what he believed. We’re all grateful for his example in our lives.”
In 2003, after their five sons were grown and had families of their own, Gary and Lena adopted four children (three girls and one boy) between the ages of 9 and 13 from Smolensk, Russia.  This gave Gary and Lena a new lease on life with the amazing opportunity of raising a second wonderful family.
In the last few years, Gary rekindled his love of nature by pulling the family together to build a large family garden.  Daughter-in-law Vikki notes that “Dad taught me my love of gardening (especially tomatoes) and I will pass that on to my children. Both the gardening and the love of tomatoes.”  While son Adam adds, “He was my greatest friend...and I’m going to miss his sweet spirit.”
His wife Lena said, “Gary was a loving and devoted husband and father.  He served faithfully as the Patriarch of our large family.  We were all influenced for the better by his passion for life, sports, music, business, gardening, and especially the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Even in the last couple of months, as he was laid up at home in hospice care, his faith never wavered; he rarely complained and never lost his sense of humor.”  Gary’s youngest daughter, Maria said, “Just a few weeks ago I asked, ‘How are you doing Dad?’ With a perfectly straight face, he made a fist and raised his arm straight in the air, pumping it twice, and said ‘I feel great!  Rah!  Rah!”   Son Ryan said that “living close to mom and dad, I had a lot of opportunities to help Mom care for Dad in his final two months.  It was both a privilege and an honor to serve him.”
Gary is survived by his wife Lena of Branson, MO; nine children all of Branson:  Marty (Cindy); Jason (Mara); Adam (Vikki); Ryan (Carina); Andy (Becky); Sofia; Sarah (James) Wachob; David (Shelby); and Maria.  36 grandchildren: Aaron serving a two-year full-time ministry in Tokyo, Japan;  Dallin (who will soon be serving a mission in Nicaragua); Lauren, Tulsa, OK;  The rest of the grandchildren all reside
in Branson, MO:  Kristina, Derek, Jacob, Joseph, Benjamin, Kaitlyn, Kiersten, Kimberly, Amanda, Allison, Samuel, Noah, James, Jessie, Hannah, Tobler, Emeline, George, Lucy, Oliver, William, Nathaniel, Ashton, Alexandra, Jonas, Newell, Lydia, Matthew, Jonathon, Natalie, Julia, Liam, and Kaia...(and everyone of them know that there wasn’t a soul more proud of them than their Grandpa); brother Bob Arden (Arlene) of Beaver Dam, AZ; sister Lola Glaszczak of Oceanside, CA;  brother-in-law Ray (Tina) Nilsson of Murray, UT; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister Illene Spangler; brother-in-law James Hill; brother-in-law Don Glaszczak; brother-in-law Sven Nilsson; his in-laws George and Britta Nilsson; and four infant grandchildren:  Kayla, Sarah, Sven, & Tate. 

Christmas 2013
Memorial contributions may be made to “The Gary W. Hughes Missionary Fund” (benefiting young missionaries), c/o Bank of Missouri, 800 Hwy 248 Ste C, Branson MO 65616.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

World's Largest Performing Family Keeps "it" Going Strong at their Branson Missouri Theatre

The harsh coldness of January in the Ozarks didn’t deter the Hughes Brothers from kicking off their 2014 season performing “it” Wednesday night in Branson.

“We didn’t get much of a break between our Christmas shows and now,” said Ryan Hughes with a laugh. “We were working on the show, rehearsals and the fact we have a theater to run.

“But, we always get it together and have a lot of fun and excitement, especially around opening night.”

For the past 14 years, the brothers have owned and operated the theater, formerly owned by Roy Clark. Each member of the family has certain duties they are responsible for, from office work to the gift shop.

“Honestly, Jason (the director) probably has the toughest job because everyone has an opinion about what goes on the stage, even the kids,” Ryan Hughes said. “I do all the office work, and nobody is breaking my door down to discuss how I do paperwork.”

Ryan Hughes said Jason Hughes has the final say when it comes to the show, and how it’s put together.

For the first few months, the format will be essentially the same as last year, with a few surprises thrown in. As the season progresses, things will change at a more rapid pace.

“You never uproot a whole show because we have so many changes each year with just the kid’s sections, so we like to work on other things and add them in later,” Ryan Hughes said.
According to the director, there will be a few major changes coming soon.

“The last couple of years, we’ve sort of gone away from some of the more traditional things we’ve done in the past,” Jason Hughes said. “We plan on putting our country music section back in the show as well as a few other things we’d like to see.”

In addition to the country section and a few new Broadway tunes, the brothers are currently working on a few things they just weren’t ready to let out yet.

“We do have a few other things up our sleeve for the rest of the season,” Jason Hughes said. “But right now, they’re hard to explain — some comedy and new a capella stuff, but it’ll be a whole lot of fun.”

While the show will feature several new bits, a few changes had to be made because two of the older children won’t be performing in the show this season.

“My oldest son and Marty’s oldest son are both leaving to become ministers,” Jason Hughes said. “We are so proud of the both of them, but with them leaving, some of the younger kids can step up.”
With a family so large, Hughes said they have a “huge cabinet of weapons” to pull from for the show.
“Some of the younger kids don’t have the same strengths as the older kids, but they have other strengths,” Jason Hughes said.

He said featuring the children allows them to include more contemporary tunes in the show.
“We (the Brothers) do a few contemporary songs, but it works better with the kids,” Jason Hughes said. “Maybe Marty could get away with doing Cee-Lo Green though.”

Despite the fact the brothers perform music from more than six decades, family is the most important driving force behind the show, and that’s what the brothers would like to see people take from the time they spend together.

“I think if people come and see our show, they’ll leave feeling changed,” Jason Hughes said. “We like to give them an awesome experience, but we really hope they’ll want to pick up the phone and make a connection with their family after spending time with ours.”

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Eagle Scout award ceremony honors Dallin Jamison Hughes

An Eagle Scout award ceremony was held on Sunday, July 7, to honor Dallin Jamison Hughes and Christopher Joseph Haynie. 

Dallin Hughes is a resident of Branson and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints.  He is a registered scout in Troop 879.  He is a homeschooled student and performs with his family at the Hughes Brothers Theatre.  For his Eagle Scout project, he organized a group of scouts and volunteers who served the city of Branson by making improvements to the Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area off of Fall Creek Road.  The historic Owen homestead is located there and overlooks Lake Taneycomo and the College of the Ozarks.  The service group cleared heavy brush and created a walking path along a stone wall that surrounds the homestead. 

Dallin enjoys writing, dancing, singing, public speaking, public relations and outdoor activities.  He has performed on stage in Branson from the time he was 2 years old.  He teaches hip-hop dance at Sonshine Dance Studio and was the recipient of Branson Show Awards' Young Male Entertainer of the Year in 2012.  He plans to serve a two-year mission for his church and continue performing.  He would also like to be come a mentor and motivational speaker.

Christopher Haynie is a student at Branson High School.  He enjoys playing the trumpet and French horn.  He is in the marching band, jazz band, and has been in the orchestra for two musical productions.  He is an honor student, having earned an academic letter, and is a participant in Missouri Scholars Academy for 2013.  He is an academic team and chess club member.  He will be a junior in the 2013-14 school year.  Haynie is a member of Troop 978 and has earned 31 Merit Badges.  He has served as patrol leader, bugler, and historian.  For his Eagle project, Haynie met with the city, determined where a new trail needed to go (including a pass by a scenic water fall) and then organized a group of youth to mark, clear, and define a new trail at Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area in Branson.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Have you seen it...have you seen Ayo?

by Linda Burligame, Shepherd of the Hills Gazette

it is a fun filled show starring the Hughes Brothers and their families — five brothers, their wives and 35 children— singing and dancing their way through a variety of music, from Broadway, jazz and gospel, to patriotic and pop. There’s a dash of comedy, and those kids will charm your socks off!
After an energetic opening with more than a dozen brothers, wives and kids Dance to the Music, the five Brothers slow things down with songs like Blue Moon and Chain Gang, tunes that show off their beautiful harmony. Marty, Jason, Adam, Ryan and Andy have been singing together all their lives; the harmony is not just musical. The boys and their families work closely to create the show that has been entertaining Branson visitors for almost 20 years.
I used to refer to the kids as the “little ones.” That doesn’t work anymore. Do you remember sweet little Kristina? Still very sweet, she is now 20 years old. She is Marty and Cindy’s daughter, oldest of their 14 children and the oldest Hughes
Gary and Lena Hughes started the Hughes Brothers' music lessons early. Soon they were performing at church dinners, civic events, performing lead roles in musicals, and eventually performing in Branson. Here they all have roles other than music. Producing and directing, lighting and graphics … lots of jobs!
The song selection and production numbers are all good. Here Comes the Sun with Kristina on violin, along with four of the older boys, turns into a funky modern dance. It’s suits ‘n’ sunglasses when the guys sing My Gal, and the wives sport pretty parasols for Walkin’ in Sunshine. The Hughes Brothers Kids is a delightful number, too. And when five of the younger boys come out dressed in cowboy finery to sing Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys, they look just like the ‘original’ Hughes brothers when they were young, performing on the state fair circuit.
Jason starts the second half with Give My Regards to Broadway. The number from Big River is nice; there are a lot of favorites like Wells Fargo Wagon from Music Man; It’s a Hard Knock Life from Annie; New York New York from On the Town. The band is top notch and shows off with a number from Chicago. My favorite has to be the hand jive number from Will Rogers Follies, Hooray for Our Favorite Son. Hope no one got smacked or got an eye poked out in rehearsal for that one!! Their gospel and patriotic medley at the close of the show are beautiful, with the whole family on stage. Your family will enjoy their family!
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Ayo starring Voices of GlorySpeaking of family, the other show headlining at the Hughes Brothers Theatre is Ayo starring Voices of Glory. Michael, Avery and Nadia Cole. They were Top 5 finalists on America’s Got Talent; the story of how they started singing is poignant and very touching.
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Shepherd of the Hills Gazette

Shepherd of the Hills Gazette article talks about Ayo

Here is a portion of a recent article titled "Have you seen it...have you seen Ayo?" by Linda Burligame in the Shepherd of the Hills Gazette

Speaking of family, the other show headlining at the Hughes Brothers Theatre is Ayo starring Voices of Glory. Michael, Avery and Nadia Cole. They were Top 5 finalists on America’s Got Talent; the story of how they started singing is poignant and very touching. They have an easy, graceful manner on stage and their voices and harmonies are exceptional. Nadia, who is just 13, has an extraordinary voice; close your eyes and you think you’re listening to an older, more experienced vocalist. Someday we may be saying, “I remember her when she was just 13 and performing in Branson!”

Michael, Avery and Nadia do a wide variety of music styles. I think they really shine when they’re singing jazz and soul numbers. They have an especially good band, too. I know Marty Wilhite and Mitch Kiersey, exceptional musicians who have been on the Branson scene a long time. It’s a New Dawn is very stylish. And I really like their arrangement of Cry Me a River. They were scattin’ through Summertime (“and the livin’ is easy.”) They do gospel and Broadway, and it was fun when Michael sang I Won’t Dance and Nadia and Avery came out doing a fun, funky dance. Tina Turner would be impressed if she heard Nadia’s Rollin’ on the River! She really ‘gets after it!’ Ayo is Branson’s newest hit show … put it on your “must see” list!
Read the entire article here: Shepherd of the Hills Gazette

Friday, May 17, 2013

Raised Voices: Trio brings energetic, spiritual show to Branson

Thanks to Dave Woods of the Joplin Globe for this story on "Ayo starring Voices of Glory"!

BRANSON, Mo. — Delora Johnson raised her hands and shouted "amen" as she praised Voices of Glory.

"I'm here, and I'm excited," said the 64-year-old following the first half of "AYO," the talented trio's new show at the Hughes Brothers Theatre in Branson. "We are a Christian family that loves the Lord. It's just a grand show."

Delora, of Kokomo, Ind., said she was drawn to see the show during her trip to Branson because of the group's back story. She and her family remembered the three young entertainers from "America's Got Talent," where they placed in the top five during the show's talent search in the 2009 season.
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