Branson's 24-Hour Millennium Show

Grand Palace to host live, around the clock musical stage show on New Year's Eve

To celebrate the arrival of the Year 2000, the 4,000-seat Grand Palace in Branson, Missouri will host a 24-hour live musical stage show. The "Around the World Millennium Celebration" will feature The Osmonds and the Jay Osmond Band along with more than 100 Branson singers, dancers and musicians in a lavish production spanning 100 years of musical styles in the United States and other cultures of the world. The celebration begins at 8 a.m., New Year's Eve and runs continuously until 8 a.m., Jan. 1, 2000.

"Unlike many of the celebrations in other parts of the country, Branson is unique in that no where else can you see so many live performances by extraordinary entertainers on one stage in a 24-hour period complete with food and comfortable seating, all just a few blocks from your hotel room," says Ozark Mountain Sightseeing president and executive producer of the show, Ed Michel in press release.

As the clock strikes midnight in time zones around the world, the stars on stage at the Grand Palace will send live greetings to radio station listeners in countries around the world beginning with Australia at 8 a.m., CST Dec. 31, 1999 and ending with the Midway Islands at 5 a.m., CST Jan. 1, 2000. Branson audience members will participate in welcoming millions of foreign radio listeners into the Year 2000.

As a tribute to the many cultures of the world, the "Around the World" production will recreate the looks and sounds of a number of countries native costuming, dance and music to coincide with the radio greetings. Some of the segments audiences may see include a Japanese song and dance, a Russian ballet, an orchestral tribute to the great European composers, and a Celtic song and dance segment.

All styles and periods of American music and dance will be represented from the roaring 20s to the fabulous 50s to the groovy sounds of the 60s. There will be a Southern Gospel music segment, a Broadway segment and a comprehensive look at the history of country music.

Entertainers will trace the roots of country music and perform hits by pioneers like the Carter Family and Jimmy Rogers. They'll also pay tribute to the late greats like Roy Acuff, Ernest Tubb, Patsy Cline and Tammy Wynette. Songs by current artists like Reba McEntire and Garth Brooks will round out the segment.

In addition, the production will include a special tribute to famous comedians through the ages like Burns and Allen, Red Skelton, W.C. Fields, Abbot and Costello and many more performed by Branson's top comedians and comediennes.

The Osmonds take the stage from 9 p.m. to midnight for a spectacular review of this century's most popular music and dance complete with a full cast of musicians, dancers, and backup singers. As midnight approaches and the 15-minute countdown begins, "Around the World" show cast members will join The Osmonds on stage for a breathtaking pyrotechnic and laser light display.

After the performers leave the stage at midnight, the all-night dance party begins with music performed by The Swingfield Dance Orchestra. Guests may dance on stage at the Grand Palace along side the 24-hour marathon dance contestants vying for a $2,000 cash prize. The pre-selected contestants will spend the day dancing inside the lobby and then move onto the stage after midnight.

Radio messages will continue to be sent to the West Coast, Hawaii and the Midway Islands. The awarding of the cash prize to a couple who has danced continuously for 24 hours will conclude the "Around the World Celebration" at 8 a.m., Jan. 1, 2000.

Source: Ozark Mountain Sightseeing press release

DATE: 9/29/99

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