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Harry and Judy's RV Trip
14th Jul 2015 - Summer 2015
Day 44-July 14, 2015-Rick Thomas, Illusionist & Shoji Tabuchi

Day 44-July 14, 2015-Branson, MO Day 3-Rick Thomas & Shoji Tabuchi

And they say Florida’s hot and humid!  Branson’s got it beat! Not as bad as yesterday, though, only about 90.   Threatened to rain most of the day.

Did some laundry and some housekeeping in the morning.

Two shows again today-First Rick Thomas-Illusionist at the Andy Williams Moon River Theater.  We saw him last year and were amazed and this year was no different.  Some of the illusions were the same as last year but a lot of new ones.  Don’t know how he does them which I guess is the point.  He gets the audience involved and has a good personality. He’s got one really good assistant and six men and six women dancers to entertain throughout too.  Harry got up on stage once to confirm that a trick was real and couldn’t figure out how it was done.  I really can’t understand the bird tricks, where do they all come from?  He’s retired his Bengal tigers to a preserve in NEand replaced them with two Pyrenees dogs, Thunder and Lightning, who were just puppies last year when we saw them. They’re now 170 pounds and gorgeous.  They’re still in training but were in a couple of the illusions. Center seats again, nice.

Back to the RV for dinner then off to the Shoji Tabuchi theatre.  Shoji Tabuchi is a 71 year old violin player who was trained in classical violin.  He met Roy Acuff in Osaka and really got into country music, came here with $500 in the 60s and has since played at the Grand Ole Opry and around the world.  He plays country, patriotic, polka, rap, zydeco and rock music, including Michael Jackson, Def Leppard and Justin Bieber.  And, of course Orange Blossom Special, complete with a miniature steam train that runs around the stage. He built the theater, a very elaborate, 2000 seat arena. The restrooms have been featured on 60 Minutes and Good Morning America and are world famous.  The mens room has a pool table in it and Harry said you pee on ice in the urinals.  The ladies room is a maze of elaborately carved wood doors, chandeliers, sinks, etc.  They say they change the décor every season and at Christmas there are six Christmas trees in the loo.

And the costumes!  Every number has a different, sequined and sparkly jacket.  His jackets make Liberace look like he was wearing rags.  After every song three people come out and help him into a different jacket, each one more elaborate than the last and each one more fitting for what he’s playing.  He’s accompanied by a seven piece band, and four male singers and dancers and two women, one of which is his step-daughter, Christina, who shares billing with him.  She’s really into country music and looks and sounds a bit like Carrie Underwood.  They do all kinds of numbers, one with a 2500 pound Taiku drum, especially made for his show.  He did a few Christmas tunes, complete with penguins, soldiers, little drummers and fake snow.  He became a US citizen in the 70s and I haven’t seen a more patriotic show than his here.  Don’t know what we expected this show to be but it sure was different and entertaining.  And, again great seats, fifth row back, smack center.

Next: Day 45-July 15, 2015-Branson-The Duttons & IT
Previous: Day 43-July 13, 2015-Branson-Pierce Arrow and SIX

Diary Photos

Rick Thomas


Shoji Theater

Baby changing station in ladies room

Ladies room

Pool table in mens room

Mens room sinks

Shoji Tabuchi and Christina Lingo Tabuchi

Patriotic tribute

Rick Thomas billboard

Diary Movies

Shoji & Christina video

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