After 17 years and more than 10,000 shows, Branson performing family The Haygoods are planting permanent roots along the city’s State Highway 76 strip.
The eight-sibling musician group purchased the 800-seat Americana Theatre, 2905 W. Highway 76, from Janet Dailey for an undisclosed price, according to eldest performer Timothy Haygood. The deal closed June 1.
The Haygoods – who range in age from 15 to 30 – currently perform at the 600-seat Music City Centre
, where they’ve been since 2002, and previously spent nearly a decade at Silver Dollar City
. The stunt-performing musicians have grown a need for their own space – and their own branded venue, Haygood said. They plan to spend about $1 million on renovations.
“It’s going to be much more than just a theater; we’re going to make it into an attraction,” Haygood said, adding that early plans call for a miniature golf course in the theater’s lobby and a restaurant. “People want more than a show. They want an experience.”
Haygood estimates major renovation work should be complete by next March, with other changes taking effect over about three years.
In conjunction with their new stomping grounds, the Haygoods have been working on producing an in-house TV show, and filming is set to begin in about two weeks. To avoid falling under the controlling arm of network ownership, the Haygoods have purchased 30-minute slots on the CW channel and sold advertising segments for the first eight episodes. The show will air in about 10 major Midwest cities, including Springfield, starting in spring 2009, Haygood said.
The premise of the as-yet-unnamed show is part reality show, part human interest and part musical entertainment, Haygood said. Episodes will open with the Haygoods performing, followed by an extreme sports-type event that will raise donations to purchase instruments and private lessons for underprivileged children with musical aspirations. Each episode will surprise a child at home and end with that child joining the Haygoods on stage.
“Music was a really big part of our lives when we were young,” Haygood said. “We want to make sure that what could be a budding talent isn’t neglected because of a lack of money.”
Information courtesy of Springfield Business Journal