As long as I can remember, the weird, freaky, outré, bizarre, macabre, mysterious and different have appealed to me. I’ve always preferred dusty used book shops to chain retailers; antiques, pawn shops, thrift stores and flea markets to big-box stores; and horror/sci-fi/suspense/mystery/true crime books and movies to action movies, romantic comedies and “literature.”
I suppose it’s that predilection that always attracts me to a particular place’s strangest features. So as a service to the similarly deranged, here is a collection of the weirdest shows and attractions in Americana tourist mecca Branson, Missouri (which is appropriate, since that’s what this article is titled).
Castle of Chaos
Like a third-person-shooter on steroids, the Castle of Chaos is part movie, part video game, part play, part dinner-theater mystery, part “It’s a small world” theme park ride if the multicultural children were castle zombies. Weird as the whole thing is, maybe because it’s weird, Castle of Chaos is good fun and definitely worthwhile.
3 Redneck Tenors
You know how sometimes you see a movie or show or something and the title turns out to seem kind of misleading? (Speaking of which- quick tip: have you ever heard of Madame Butterfly? Well, take my word for it- that story is not about butterflies.) Thankfully, if redneck opera is your thing, the 3 Redneck Tenors are shooting straight with their title. It’s definitely a show starring three classical-type tenors who do redneck things, too.
Christian Action Ministries’ Gospel Sing-Off
Honestly, if you like gospel, I’m sure you’d love the Christian Action Ministries’ Gospel Sing-Off. It’s got big names in the business competing for a cash prize, a performance slot, and in the case of many previous winners, an at least semi-permanent venue in Branson. However, I just love the really proactive sounding name. It’s not just a ministry, it’s an Action Ministry. The name says- “This ain’t your daddy’s gospel sing-off.”
Jim Belushi and the Chicago Board of Comedy
The Jim Belushi and the Chicago Board of Comedy show is an improvisational show, according to Belushi, in which audience members give suggestions for comedy bits (hence, improv) and those same (or other) audience members are pulled up on stage to join in the act. I don’t know why, but an interactive improv show with Jim Belushi is weird to me, so it’s included.
Don’t Stop Believin’ Journey Tribute Show
This tribute to the 70s and 80s chart-topper Journey wins inclusion on this list for one reason. In the description provided by the official Branson tourism board site, it’s suggested that the Don’t Stop Believin’ Journey Tribute Show is “the perfect fit for anyone wanting a bit more of an edge.” That’s what I love about Branson- it might be the only place in the U.S. where a Journey tribute show would be considered edgy.
David Bryce is a blogger lucky enough to write about his passions: golf, travel, vacationing, fishing, his cabins in Branson, MO and what he refers to as “log cabin living” in general. He has a lovely and patient wife, an amazing daughter and a very spoiled Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Squirrel.