This past Wednesday I was invited by my friend, Bogie Bohinc, to come take photos of an event he organized called “The Wrong Show”. Bogie was the longtime guitarist/band leader for Tony Orlando as well as Andy Williams and numerous other musical projects. I knew anything with his name attached would be an evening of great entertainment, so I was excited to go to the Hamner’s Variety Theater and do some southwest Missouri event photography!
A take off on television’s, “The Gong Show”, The evening featured a wide array of performers from traditional song and dance, to more, uh, eclectic acts.
The show was most capably hosted by Branson favorite, Clay Cooper. Mr. Cooper’s interaction with the contestants and the crowd kept the theater laughing and show moving throughout.
Also on hand were the judges, made up of a panel of some of Branson’s funniest entertainers. Terry Wayne Sanders was a favorite as always and kept everyone in stitches with his Joan Rivers alter-ego.
Along with “Joan”, the judges panel also boasted Branson’s own Wonder Woman, Dalena Ditto, Jennica McCleary from Legends in Concert as Bette Midler, And Debi Diamond who portrayed a spot on Ruth Buzzi, and whose characters “crush” on host Cooper, made for lots of laughs, as did all of these talented ladies and one sort of lady 😛
Speaking of spot on imitations, I personally was amazed by comedian Joey I.L.O as Otis Campbell from The Andy Griffith show. Danny has Otis’ drunken mannerisms down to a T and I look forward to seeing him in the Barney Fife: Fully Loaded show here soon!
The contestants ranged from novelty acts to more polished performers, some familiar faces on the Branson scene. As with the original T.V. show, it’s good to have a few “clinkers” mixed in, as this gives the judges material to riff on. And really, what good would a gong show be if nobody got gonged?!?!
The main purpose of the evening, beyond mere entertainment, was to raise money and awareness for the Branson Senior Center, who provides low cost lunches, Monday through Friday, to area seniors, as well as gives them a place to socialize and be active. It was wonderful to see so much talent from our community pull together for such a worthy cause.
I was honored to have the chance to photograph this evening of entertainment and Southwest Missouri event photography and had a fantastic time! This is an annual event, so be on the look out for it next year, you won’t want to miss it! You can see more photos from the nights performances by clicking the picture below, and you can catch tickets to all of the shows mentioned here from our friends at Deals On Branson!