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Welk Resort Theater Announces New Line-Up for 2008

Welk-Sullivan Productions is making some changes in 2008 at the Welk Resort Theatre with new pairings of beloved entertainers, some brand new talent and the return of two popular reunions.

Tony Orlando will join The Lennon Sisters in 2008 for an all new Christmas Celebration production at the Welk Resort. This new pairing of beloved headliners in an all-new show will run from November 1 through December 6, 2008.

The new production will showcase America’s Sweethearts of Song — Kathy, Janet and Mimi Lennon — with an entertainer admired and known for his string of chart-topping hits and the song that became an American anthem of hope and homecoming, reunion and renewal.
Orlando, a consummate entertainer, sings his hit songs including “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Around The Old Oak Tree,” “Candida,” “Knock Three Times” and many more. Then he delights audiences with music from different genres, adds variety as he showcases his very talented band and then pulls even more surprises out of his vast repertoire. The Lennon Sisters dazzle audiences with their sweet harmonies, signature songs and “More than 50 Years in 5 Minutes” video remembrance of their amazing entertainment career.

“We’re thrilled to bring these beloved entertainers together and bring a new Christmas production to Branson in 2008, said Joe Sullivan, general manager of the Welk Resort Theatre and executive producer of Welk-Sullivan Productions.

“I’ve enjoyed working with Larry, Steve and Rudy Gatlin since 2001 when we brought the Gatlin Brothers Christmas Reunion Show to Branson. Although I will miss working with them next year, I fully support their decision to perform in a morning timeslot at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theatre next year,” said Sullivan. “I have been and continue to be a Gatlin Brothers fan and friend.”

Also new in 2008…The Rankin Brothers Classic Music Revue will debut at the Welk Resort Theatre in March and run through December. Matt and Mark Rankin, along with their cast of outstanding musicians and performers, will present timeless, classic hits covering six decades of music. These genuine, talented brothers thrill audiences with their authentic renditions of the most-beloved songs of all time.

The fast-paced variety show will feature the Rankin Brothers backed by a five-piece band, two female singers and a specialty/comedian act. Based on their belief that classic music is timeless, the Rankin Brothers project a love and respect for the music they play, re-creating perfect renditions of favorite songs. From The Everley Brothers to The Doobie Brothers, Buddy Holly and Sam Cooke to Bruce Springsteen, Simon and Garfunkel and Huey Lewis & The News, the Rankin Brothers Classic Music Revue will entertain with classic hit music which appeals to all generations.

Along with their considerable vocal and musical talents, the Rankin Brothers have the showmanship that audiences of all ages adore. Multi-media technology will add a modern element to the performance with rich, eye-catching films, stills, graphics and audio.
“Mark and Matt Rankin have dreamt about moving to this great community and performing full-time for many years” said Sullivan. “They’ve really honed their performance skills in Texas, playing for corporate, private and special events since 1989. They have the talent, charisma and heart to make it here in Branson.

“Welk-Sullivan Productions brings a proven track-record of production experience and presenting promising new talent to Branson,” said Sullivan. “We think it’s a promising partnership and an exciting new addition to the Branson entertainment scene for 2008…and many years to come.”

Darren Romeo plans to perform in Branson next year and he will be making an announcement about the venue at any time,” said Sullivan. “I’ve also become a Darren Romeo fan and friend since we launched ‘Siegfried & Roy present Darren Romeo’ in 2004.”

And returning in 2008 will be The Tillis Family Reunion starring Mel Tillis and Pam Tillis. This reunion received rave reviews for their Fall 2007 engagement at the Welk Resort Theatre and will return in 2008 from September 16 through October 25 for 38 performances.

With singer, songwriter, comedian and 2007 Country Music Hall of Fame Inductee Mel Tillis at the helm, this famously talented family delights audiences with chart-topping music and their special Tillis Family humor. Mel has recorded more than 60 albums and 36 Top Ten singles including Coca Cola Cowboy, Good Woman Blues and Southern Rains.

Daughter and country music superstar Pam Tillis combines the best of traditional and contemporary music. This CMA Female Vocalist of the Year has 3 Platinum and 2 Gold albums to her credit plus 10 Top-Five hits on the Country Music Charts including Mi Vida Loca, Maybe It Was Memphis, Shake The Sugar Tree and Cleopatra-Queen of Denial. Pam continues to record and perform hit music such as Band In The Window, from her 2007 CD “Rhinestoned,” which topped the European country music charts.

Rounding out this family reunion are singer/songwriter Mel Tillis Jr., aka “Sonny,” and perennial favorite Carrie April Tillis with her breathtaking opera singing.

Confirmed special events at the Welk Resort Theatre in 2008 include:

Welk Stars Reunion 2008, September 3 – 7; guest stars to be announced.

Tony Orlando’s Yellow Ribbon Salute To Veterans, November 11.

Additional special events/concerts to be announced.

The Welk Resort Theatre is located three miles south of Highway 76 at 1984 State Highway 165. The 2,245-seat theatre near Table Rock Lake was home to The Lawrence Welk Show from 1994 through 2004. Since 2004 Welk-Sullivan Productions has presented extended engagement shows in the theatre including Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, Pam Tillis, The Lennon Sisters, Darren Romeo, Mel Tillis & Connie Smith, Crystal Gayle & Lee Greenwood and the Tillis Family Reunion. Special engagement concerts have featured B.B. King, The Moody Blues, The Beach Boys, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Taylor Hicks, Chuck Berry, Three Dog Night, Ray Price, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, B.J. Thomas & Billy Joe Royal, Delbert McClinton and annual week-long Welk Stars Reunion shows. The destination resort complex includes a 160-room hotel, the Stage Door Restaurant & Lounge, swimming pool, gift shop, miniature golf course, new luxury condos and, opening in 2008, an indoor/outdoor recreation center.

Information courtesy of Branson Chamber of Commerce

Image courtesy of Sullivan Shows/Welk Resort