The Fab Four Reunite in Branson Missouri

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Three local business leaders have teamed up with a Florida partner to acquire and operate the Starlite Theatre in Branson. The 880-seat state-of-the art venue on Highway 76 will be the new, permanent home of the Liverpool Legends, an award-winning Beatles' tribute band voted Best Show and Best Band in Branson the past two years.

Liverpool Legends

I saw them one of the first weeks they were here

Three local business leaders have teamed up with a Florida partner to acquire and operate the Starlite Theatre in Branson. The 880-seat state-of-the art venue on Highway 76 will be the new, permanent home of the Liverpool Legends, an award-winning Beatles' tribute band voted Best Show and Best Band in Branson the past two years.

Effective 3-5-08, the new owners of the Starlite Theatre are:

  • Bill Killian, CEO of Killian Construction Company, one of the nation's Top 400 construction companies. Killian has built hotels, conventions centers, and sports stadiums across the nation. His regional projects include Branson Landing, The Chateau on the Lake, and the Andy Williams Moon River Theatre.
  • Justin Gage, a prominent land developer and fifth-generation resident of Branson. Gage is currently expanding his family's presence on Table Rock Lake to include a larger marina, a wharf extension with floating restaurants and docks, as well as a 150-acre complex that will feature an indoor water park, condo/hotel, restaurants, shops and an 8,000-seat event center.
  • Randy Little, founder and president of PFI Town in Springfield, home of PFI Western Store, Saddle City and Diamond Ridge Market, a wine and cheese specialty shop. Little recently appeared on RFD-TV's "On the Way to Branson," which showcased the unique places and products of the Ozarks.
  • Scott Rassler, the Ft.Lauderdale-based president of Family Wealth Counselors, Inc., an advisory firm specializing in advanced estate planning. Rassler is a graduate of Duke Law School and the chairman and CEO of Createwell Entertainment, Inc., a non-profit corporation dedicated to creating and producing musical theater productions for young performers.

The new owners have hired Joe Sullivan to manage the Starlite Theatre. Long-time Branson favorite Moe Bandy is slated to perform an afternoon show with The Platters scheduled in the morning.    

"Somebody asked me what a guy who sells western wear and cowboy boots is doing buying a theater and headlining it with a Beatles' tribute band," laughed Randy Little. "But the answer's simple. There are only a few things on earth that are truly timeless and international. Western boots and the Beatles' music are two. They're both hugely popular from here to Japan, and from cradle to grave. Always have been, always will be."

Marty Scott, a Chicago native who portrays George Harrison in the Liverpool Legends agrees. "There's really no other band that resonates with as many generations. We've played in front of 100,000 people and at backyard concerts for 50. It's always the same. The music holds up decade after decade for everyone from age 8 to 88."

The Liverpool Legends includes an honorary fifth member: Louise Harrison, the late George Harrison's only sister. Louise will introduce the nightly show and offer rare film footage and fond recollections of her brother and fellow Beatles.

If it hadn't been for Louise Harrison, the Beatles might never have appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show back in 1964.

"The day before that performance, George had strep throat and a 104-degree temperature," recalls Louise Harrison, George's only sister, who moved to the U.S. in 1963. "The doctor at the Plaza Hotel said George had to go to hospital, but their manager, Brian Epstein, said, 'No. They've got to be on Ed Sullivan.' So the doctor moved me into George's room and put me in charge of giving him medicine every hour."

The show went on--and musical history was made.

Now, 44 years later, another show is opening, thanks again in part to Louise Harrison, who now makes her home in Branson.

I happen to find these boys exceptional," says Harrison, whose facial features, British accent and manner resemble those of her famous brother.

Like the original Fab Four, the Liverpool Legends were an immediate hit. After playing countless gigs from Liverpool to Las Vegas, the group landed in Branson in 2005.

"We basically came here on a fluke," admits Marty Scott. "We had zero publicity and did no marketing other than put a sign out in front of a theater we rented."
But word got out about the show.

"I saw them one of the first weeks they were here," says Joe Sullivan, a long-time Branson producer who now manages the Starlite. "There was a real energy to their show. It was clear from the beginning that they were going to be good for Branson."

And Branson has been good to the Liverpool Legends. The group was voted Best Show and Best Band in Branson for two consecutive years. Moving to a state-of-the-art theater like the Starlite is an exciting way for the Liverpool Legends to celebrate their third season in Branson.

"We have the reputation of being one of the loudest, most interactive shows in town," admits Scott. "We always encourage people to get up and go nuts because that's what Beatles concerts were like."

It's music to Louise Harrison's ears.
"To me, it's all about keeping alive the legacy of love and peace," says Harrison, who introduces the show and greets audience members after the performance. "And yes, having a place to go where people can go nuts and be goofy--that's lovely, too."

The Starlite Theatre will open for the season on April 1, 2008. A grand opening is planned for May 15, 2008.

For more information, see http://www.starlitetheatre.com
For reservations and tickets call (417) 337-9333

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