BRANSON, Mo. – They shoot straight at Pierce Arrow.
Pierce Arrow, one of the most popular shows in Branson, has a great blend of music, comedy and Christmas spirit.
Four vocalists – Tony Turner, Travis Spratt, Scott Fraker and Dan Britton – have amazing range. And even though Pierce Arrow has a distinctive Christian atmosphere, the quartet sings a wide range of contemporary songs and old familiar tunes.
Britton is the group’s bass singer. Britton once set the world record for the “lowest note ever sung” and that record stood for 18 years in the Guiness Book of World Records. He beat J.D. Sumner to get the record and was beat out by Tim Storms.
Britton sang with his brothers in various night clubs for 10 years and he decided he was tired of touring. Instead, in 1991 he joined a group called The Branson Brothers and he performed with them at Silver Dollar City for five years. He went to the ’76 Music Hall (now Grand Country) and in 2000, he bought a theater and opened Pierce Arrow.
Fraker is a licensed minister out of Park Crest Baptist Church in Springfield, Missouri, and continues to preach and speak across the United States.
In college, he performed with the Missouri State University Touring Choir and later toured with the accapella group The Wing Tips, which made numerous national television appearances including: The Today Show, Good Morning America, and the CBS Morning program. Scott also performed with Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis and Frankie Avalon. Fraker left the Wingtips to join the group, The Chosen Few, a gospel quartet at Silver Dollar City.
Between songs, Fraker talks about the importance of faith in Jesus.
Turner has had leading roles in productions of Oklahoma!, Oliver, Pirates of Penzance and The Promise.
Turner was a student at Pittsburg State University, majoring in opera performance. After only two years, he began traveling worldwide with both cruise ship and land tours. As a solo artist, Turner opened for Ray Charles, Chris Kristofferson, Michael McDonald and others.
Spratt has spent the past five seasons at the Main Street Music Hall in Osage Beach, Missouri. The Philadelphia, Missouri, native traveled and sang throughout the United States and Canada with the American Christian Youth Chorale, One Accord, and Praise Song. He was a National Finalist in what is now the Texaco Country Showdown and sang at the historic Ryman Auditorium for the Christian Country Music Awards as a New Artist of the Year Nominee.
Add in soloist Shonna Bonds and you would be hard pressed to find a better group of singers in Branson (or even the whole country). Bonds is from Decatur, Illinois. In her early career, she traveled the country opry circuit and competed ijn the Miss Illinois and the Miss America pageants.
She has a bachelors degree in business management from Millikin University. She co-owned and performed in a band called Time Machine (based in Texas). Bonds has opened for people like, Asleep at the Wheel, Rick Springfield, Third Eye Blind, Kool and the Gang, Neil Mccoy, Phil Vassar and Bryan White. She was hired to preform at Toby Keith’s daughter’s wedding and his wife’s 50th birthday bash. In 2013, Shonna joined the cast of Pierce Arrow in Branson,
The new comedian this year is a hoot.
James Sibley, who plays the role of “Gene Pool,” has a dry wit that catches the audience (and sometimes his fellow performers) off guard.
Sibley is truly funny and his material is genuinely family friendly. There’s no blue material in his Pierce Arrow act.
Sibley has been a standup comedian for more than 20 years, working comedy clubs from New York to Hollywood (including Tulsa) and from Idaho to Alabama.
Sibley has performed on Carnival Cruise lines and appeared on TV shows, including My Name Is Earl and The Gilmore Girls. He was in the movie Mr. Woodcock with Billy Bob Thornton.
In the performance I saw, he admonished a young couple that had just gotten married “to find a church and go there together.” Sibley had his own marital problems but as he has aged and become a grandfather, his Christian faith has deepened.
Working at Pierce Arrow is a part of that transformation.
Through Christmas, the first half of the 8 p.m. show is what you would get the rest of the season. After the intermission, they sing a slate of Christmas favorites.
Pierce Arrow, like almost every show in Branson, has a special part of each show dedicated to America’s military veterans.
Arriving early to the 8 p.m., they show an hilarious video of old TV and movie clips. It’s the perfect way to get in the mood for comedy and great music.
Pierce Arrow offers shows at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. November 17-19, 21, 28-30 and December 1-3. The matinee and evening shows have different songs and jokes.
Pierce Arrow has only an 8 p.m. show on November 22-23; December 5-10, 12-17, 26-30 and a 9 p.m. Christmas Eve show. There are no shows on Sundays and the week of December 18-24. There is an 8 p.m. show on Thanksgiving.
For information on tickets, go to www.piercearrowtheater.com. Adult tickets are $37, children are $17, tickets for veterans are $34 and a family pass is $89. There is also a discount if you see both shows.