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JUL-AUG 2016

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Page 14 of 67 15 J U L Y / A U G U S T 2 0 1 6 W hether it's Moses parting the Red Sea, a Na'vi youth soaring over the world of Pandora or three blue men making music with objects that were never intended to be instruments, theater brings art to life and transports audiences. Blue Man Group is celebrat- ing its 25th anniversary this year, and Cirque du Soleil is closing in on its 40th original production, while Broadway expects the 2016-17 season to break last year's record-setting season. Here are some theater highlights that are lighting up stages around the country this year and beyond. B R A N S O N , M I S S O U R I Never before has Hallmark — yes, the same Hallmark behind the greeting cards and family fi lms — mounted a Broadway-style musical with a live orchestra. "Maxine's Christmas Carol" will be Hallmark's fi rst theatrical production when it opens Nov. 1 at the Andy Wil- liams Performing Arts Center. For more than three decades, Maxine has been Hallmark's lovable curmudgeon, gracing products with her brassy, sassy sayings, and now the "crabby complainer" will have her own version of the Charles Dick- ens classic, said Lynn Berry, di- rector of communications for the Branson/Lakes Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. Sight and Sound Theatres, which is known for its visually stunning productions of Biblical stories, opened "Moses" in March, and most performances have been sell outs. The show will run through December and return in March 2017 for an eight-month run. The theater's special effects "bring the Bible to life on stage," Berry said. The audience will see the parting of the Red Sea, the River Nile, the burning bush and the pharaoh's palace. "This one is so powerful; it's awe-inspiring, and I don't say that about many shows," she said. "All Hands on Deck" at the Dutton Family Theater retells the story of the real-life Victory Caravan in 1942, and "Reza's Edge of Illusion" brings Reza's signature magic to the stage at the Starlite Theatre. One show that isn't new but is "back by popular demand" is "Million Dollar Quartet," running at Welk Resort Theatre through December. The Tony Award-winning Broadway musical tells the true story of the night Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Per- kins jammed together at Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee. W W W . E X P L O R E B R A N S O N . C O M theatrical offerings abound in the coming year BY RACHEL CARTER THEATER and ENTERTAINMENT Photos courtesy Branson/Lakes Area CVB "Moses" from Sight and Sound Theatres "THIS ONE IS SO POWERFUL; IT'S AWE-INSPIRING, AND I DON'T SAY THAT ABOUT MANY SHOWS." — LY N N B E R RY

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