Surprises galore at Hamner’s Variety Show

BRANSON, Mo. – Watching this show, you keep asking yourself, “How did they do that?” and “That is hard to believe.”

Maybe that’s where they got the name for Hamner’s Unbelievable Variety Show.

In a wonderful theater on Shepherd of the Hills Expressway (away from the traffic of Highway 76), illusionist Dave Hamner and his wife Denise captivate audiences for two hours with their classic magic, talented vocalists and more than a few surprises (with a nice touch of humor).

Dave Hamner (who used to team with Jim Barber in the Hamner/Barber Show), has starred in Las Vegas, Disneyland, Hollywood and on television (NBC’s World’s Greatest Magic, Trinity Broadcasting Network and others).

His signature trick is to make incredibly beautiful cockatoos and macaws appear from nowhere. The birds appear from thin air and then swoop across the audience before landing back on Hamner’s arm. The little kids in our audience gasped and then squealed in delight.

Hamner’s repertoire of illusions include Stargate, The Lightning Levitation, Vertigo: The Fall of Death and Secrets of the Lost Ark Revealed.

Jeff Brandt is a singer/impressionist and a former nominee for male entertainer of the year and top male vocalist of the year. He was part of the Wayne Newton Show – in Las Vegas and in Branson – for 13 years. His impersonation of Newton is about as close as anyone could get.

If vocalist Tamra Tinoco seems familiar, it is because she has performed with Lee Greenwood, Vince Gill, John Davidson, Jim Stafford, The Osmonds, and Ferlin Husky. And she was Porter Waggoner’s guest star on the Grand Ole Opry. She has also been nominated for both 2014 Female Entertainer of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year.

Another amazing act is the duo of Vadim and Mariya Serykh. Vadim, from Russia, does an incredible balancing routine with a 6-foot ring (like a big hoola hoop) and Mariya has an acrobatic aerial act with two lines of fabric high above the stage. Vadim and Mariya have performed at Cirque Montage and on the Showboat Branson Belle.

These two really are unbelievable. You have to see them up close to appreciate the talent.

As with most shows in Branson, the Hamner Variety Show has a special tribute to veterans and those in active military service. It is heartwarming to see these veterans – all ages but some in their seventies and eighties – stand up and get the recognition they get nowhere else.

The shows in Branson are filled with Christians who are not shy about living out their faith. That’s one big reason why you don’t have to worry about taking your children to the shows.

The Hamners are special people. They host a nondenominational service, Branson Gospel Sunday, from 10-11:15 a.m. in their theater.

Dave Hamner, the son of a Baptist minister, is the preacher. He is an ordained minister with a master’s degree in Bible exposition from Talbot Theological Seminary (a great school). We were not able to catch the service because of our schedule. But those who do not only get a great Bible message but a fantastic lineup of Gospel singers, including Tinoca and Bernie Parquette.

By the way, it’s free.

Hamner’s Unbelievable Variety Show has performances at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays through December 10. There are 3 p.m. shows on Sundays (except for September 11). Hamner’s show has four 8 p.m. performances December 27-30 and then a special 9 p.m. show on New Year’s Eve.

More information on all the shows at the theater is available at www.hamnersunbelievable.com.