BRANSON, Missouri – Fine food, fun, fantastic music and a relaxing concert cruise over Table Rock Lake are the hallmarks of the Showboat Branson Belle.
You can hardly tell when the 700-passenger paddle-wheeler eases away from the dock. The excitement begins when the show starts.
The Showboat Branson Belle adventure begins with a great meal of comfort food including the best pot roast on the planet and the signature dessert for the ship (and Silver Dollar City) – a frozen lemon cheesecake that melts in your mouth (I asked a waitress for the recipe and she said it was a well-guarded secret).
Christopher James is the perfect host for a fun evening on the lake. He’s my “favorite part of the show” (inside joke). James intertwines comedy with an impressive magic act. The funniest part of the show is his interaction with the audience.
The show we attended was half-filled with a high school prom group from Missouri and a high school choir from Texas. James had the teenagers laughing as much and the older crowd.
I have been to a number of shows on the ship and I have yet to hear a vocalist who is not outstanding.
Cassandré Faimon-Haygood is as charming as she is talented. She formerly sang at Silver Dollar City and at one time had her own show, Cassandré The Voice of Angel, and Cassandré and Friends, where she was awarded Best Female Entertainer in Branson. She joined the cast of the Showboat Branson Belle in 2015.
You can tell that she loves her work. Her vocal range seems unlimited and she’s a pretty good dancer, too.
Jordan Dickison, David Griffin, Steven Parrish, James Redden (from Miami, Oklahoma) and Nathan Pufall are The Showmen, five outstanding singers and dancers. Again, these guys love their work and that bleeds through every part of their performance.
Their resumes include parts in theatrical performances in Grease, The Little Mermaid, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; Fiddler on the Roof; Little Shop of Horrors; A Dickens’ Christmas Carol; and more. Redden was a backup singer for The Swon Brothers.
It would be hard to find any act with more enthusiasm than Rhythm, a dance group with “The Fastest Feet West of the Mississippi.” Clark Roberts, Drake Walls, Dustin Stephan and Miles Stewart provide amazing footwork in a show you won’t see anywhere else in the nation.
The cruise band, the Rockin’ Dockers, played some great hits from the 70s and 80s while we ate dinner.
The cast does a medley of show tunes that really got our audience going. And the finale is worth waiting for (actually, you can’t leave the show early because you are on the lake).
Along with the Celebrate show we saw, the Princess and Pirate Cruises begin in May, as does the Country on the Lake (May 27). A Southern Gospel Music Cruise begins August 27. The Santa’s Pancakes and PJs Cruise for kids starts November 26 and the New Year’s Eve Cruise would be a special treat.
“Country On The Lake will be designed as a concert cruise, featuring multi-talented rising country stars performing #1 hits from yesterday’s classic rock to country favorites of today, backed by a live band,” said Nick Guevel, operations director for the Silver Dollar City Attractions. “We’ll include tributes to country stars of the ’90s with songs by stars such as Garth Brooks and Faith Hill, plus include many of classic rock’s most memorable songs.”
We took the 8 p.m. cruise. Generally, there are two cruises every day but Monday but you should check the schedule at www.showboatbransonbelle.com or 800-775-BOAT(2628).