February 24th, 2010 by Gary J. Groman for Branson Tourism Center
The term “Keep it in the family” takes on new meaning at the “Hughes Brothers” show in Branson, Missouri. It means you will see Branson’s largest performing family with, depending on factors such as health, etc., 30 plus members performing during each performance. Just as important however, from an entertainment perspective, is it means laughter, great harmonies, excellent music, dancing, variety and just plain fun as, for a brief moment in time, your family becomes part of their family.
From the shows warm up and humor by Jason Hughes to the shows finale “Love Remains,” the Hughes Brothers show is an amazing quality entertainment experience that is unique in Branson. The way the show is produced, choreographed, presented and particularly the way the talents of the various family members are integrated into the show results in a performance that is a true joy to experience with something for everyone and “then some.”
Want humor, well you get it from the “get-go” with this show. Jason Hughes provides the comedy lead from his warm up performance as he interacts with the audience and provides constant comedy interaction with his brothers throughout the show. It’s a warm subtle comedy that warms one’s heart while at the same time tickles the funny bone.
How about amazing vocals? Although, in the truest sense of the words, this is a family show that shares the amazing talents of the whole Hughes family, the main thread throughout, is the five Hughes Brothers Marty, Jason, Adam, Ryan and Andy and their dynamic harmonies and vocals. The music they sing covers a wide range of styles from their opening number “Brand New Day,” through a “Doo-Wop Medley” to “Danny Boy” and “How Great Thou Art” with lots more in between. These guys together, and individually, do a wonderful job not only singing, but adding their own unique style of presentation to each number.
Jason and Mara dancing to her original compositon "The First Dance."
A few personal favorites were “Goodnight Sweetheart” with solos by Ryan and Jason, “Chain Gang,” with a solo by Marty, and “Danny Boy,” with solos by Andy and Ryan. To say the least, it is also doubtful that anyone will every hear a rendition of “Old McDonald” and “The Saints Come Marching In” that’s any more memorable or funny than the performance they will witness and hear at this show.
One of the highlights of the show for this writer was the way the rest of the Hughes family was worked into the show. It starts early on as the wives of the brothers, Cindy, Mara, Vikki, Carina, and Becky are introduced and perform during the second number of the show “Hey Good Looking,” a wonderfully choreographed and performed number. As important however, to the overall entertainment experience for the audience, is the fact that it establishes the entertainment and professional standards which the audience can expect from the rest of the family outside of the brothers.
As illustrated by the beautifully choreographed performance of Jason and Mara to “The First Dance,” an original waltz Mara wrote; the violin or drum performances described later in this review; “I Want to Be A Cowboy Sweetheart” performed by Jessie or the performance of “Mama’s Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” by Joseph, Jacob and William, the performances by other members of this talented family fit in wonderfully with the overall entertainment experience of the show. Just to see this family performing together the way they do is a joy and an uplifting experience that all members of your family will not only relate to, but enjoy. The presentation of “Little Hands,” an original song written by Marty and all the “little hands” that help perform it is another example of just how special this show is.
This show has a great live band consisting of Ray Harris, Music Director, Keyboards, & Trumpet; Randy Luna, Music Arranger & Keyboards; Don Shelton, Guitar; Stanislav Chesnokov, Bass Guitar and RJ Jacob, Drums. In addition the Hughes family has some pretty accomplished musicians.
Adam does a great job playing a medley featuring “Maleguena” on the classic Spanish acoustical guitar. Sixteen year old, Kristina Hughes, did a simply beautiful performance of “Meditation,” on the violin. The violin and fiddle playing of Kristina, Aaron, Dallin, Derek, Jacob, William and Hannah, ages 16 down to 8, as well as the drum solo by Branson’s youngest professional drummer, 12 year old Jacob Hughes, were not only exceptionally done and entertaining, but is another example of the amazing talent this family has been blessed with.
This is a special show that has variety, music and humor presented in a unique and extremely entertaining manner by a wonderful cast. Yet, it is so much more, it is a living breathing testimony to a family spirit where “Love Remains” that is as uplifting to the audience as the entertainment of the show itself. It is a wonderful unique Branson entertainment experience.