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Smoky Mountain Opry Theater Opens New 2015 Season

Posted by webmaster | Posted in Smoky Mountain Opry | Posted on 13-03-2015

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PIGEON FORGE, Tenn., March 13, 2015 — The Smoky Mountain Opry Theater in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., “America’s Ultimate Variety Show” has opened its new 2015 season with music of all styles, unusual surprises, a spectacular new line-up and a renovated theater lobby.

SMO-2015-2“The Smoky Moutain Opry Show” is a family friendly show with world-class singers, dancers, musicians, comedians, jugglers, aerialists and live exotic animals.  State of the art special effects include lasers, pyrotechnics, performers that fly overhead, giant video screens and concert quality lighting and sound.

“This new show is an entertainment extravaganza performed in the beautiful Smoky Mountain Opry Theater,” said David Fee, president and chief executive officer of The Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group.  “A lot of people think we are a country show. We always do some country numbers in our show but we are a variety show with country, pop, rock ‘n’ roll, big band, Broadway, jazz, gospel and patriotic numbers.  Our new season has something for everyone.  We have added 15 new numbers and retained some audience favorites from the past.

“Our new show gives our audiences amazing music, superb aerialists, great comedy routines and the best entertainment in the Smokies,” Fee said.  “The show will blow everyone away!  I think it is one of the best shows we have ever produced.”

Featured in the show is the juggling artistry and comedy of David Hirschi, better known by his stage name of “Slim Chance.”  Slim is a sophisticated, juggling hillbilly with an offbeat sense of humor.  He juggles a bowling ball, a rubber chicken, and a ping-pong ball, as well as saw blades and many other items in his act, with lots of audience interaction. He previously performed in Las Vegas and in Branson, Mo.

In addition, the show features the highflying silk aerialists “Duo Artis” Leann Farley and Simmone Gruzdev. Farley has been performing since the age of 15 in Las Vegas, as well as all over the globe.  Gruzdev graduated from one of the most prestigious dance academies in Russia and was a member of the Russian National Theater Dance Group.

In the Dec. 2014 edition of Southern Living magazine the Smoky Mountain Opry was named the “Don’t Miss Variety Show” of Pigeon Forge. It was also awarded the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence for having a 5-star average rating on their site, making The Smoky Mountain Opry one of the top-performing 10 percent of businesses worldwide on Trip Advisor.

There are many live animals in the new Smoky Mountain Opry show including a horse and a dog as well a special guest performer Tsimba-Vaati, an 8-year-old rare male white lion, one of only 300 in existence in the world today, who weighs approximately 500 pounds.  The show also features Hollywood, a 600-pound, 8-year-old white tiger and Rajah, a 350-pound, 14-year-old gold Bengal tiger, whose name means “great king.”   They can be seen on stage during the show’s dazzling tribute to Broadway.

The show is directed by Sandy Inbody and choreographed by Brandy and Beetle Bailey.  The flight director is Paul Rubin and the production manager is Joel Bruce.  Costume design is by Asia Milburn.  Johnny Hodges serves as musical director with arrangements by Mark Holbrook. The technical director is Marshall Whaley, lighting design is by Susan Rose and audio design is by Johann Gregory.  The stage manager is T.J. Wilhelm, the dance captain is Adam Gullidge and the vocal captain is Allison Gullidge.

The cast includes:  Jessie Barnette, T.C. Barnette, Rocky-Jay Bowyer, Summer Collins, Maria Albani Cook, Casey DiPersio, Doront’e Evans, Leann Farley, Simmone  Gruzdev, David Herschi, Scott Johnson, Travis Layman, Kendal Manning, Cedrick Paige, Amanda Russell, Elizabeth Sambol, Scott Stacy, Amy Jo Wagner and Bradley and Heidi Whitfield.  The band includes:  band leader Johnny Hodges, as well as Mark Holbrook, Vince Llagan, David Jackson, Greg Stout, Jared Wilson and Kaleb Wright.

Featured songs in the show include:  “Seven Bridges Road,” “Swingin’,” “Ain’t Goin’ Down,” “I Hope You Dance,” “Something in the Water,” “Ring of Fire,” “Rhinestone Cowboy,” “Stand By Your Man,” “Devil Went Down to Georgia,” “Cotton Eyed Joe” and many, many others.

The show will run through Oct. 30. Performances run every night of the week at 8:00 p.m. (Monday through Saturday) with a 3 p.m. matinee on Wednesdays.  Reservations can be made in advance by calling 1-800-768-1170 or (865) 428-show (7469) or online at http://www.smokymtnopry.com/.

Show tickets are $44.95 per person plus tax and $19.95 per person for children ages 3 to 11.  Children ages 2 and under are free.

The Smoky Mountain Opry Theater is located at 2046 Parkway in Pigeon Forge, at traffic light 0. Group rates are available for groups of 15 or more.

The Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group, one of the largest show production companies in the Southeast, is now in its 20th anniversary season.  The company also owns and produces four other major shows in the Smoky Mountain area including  “The Comedy Barn Theater®”, The “Hatfield and McCoy Dinner and Show,” “The Blackwoods Morning Variety Show” featuring the Blackwoods and a new show, “Magic Beyond Belief™.”  The company also owns Happy Days restaurant, Chef’s Catering and a website, seepigeonforge.com, that helps guests plan their entire Smoky Mountain experience online.