Posted by Darryl Payne in Smoky Mountain Shows
Folks are looking forward to getting back to the Great Smoky Mountains this summer. But for most visitors, the Smoky Mountains experience extends beyond the national park and its many outdoor possibilities to include everything from restaurants to shops to fun attractions. Among those attractions is a lineup of shows promising an evening (or an afternoon) of live entertainment that's guaranteed fun for the whole family.
This time around, we're going to introduce you (or maybe reintroduce you) to what we think are some of the must-see shows in Pigeon Forge. From music to magic, dinner shows to fierce competitions, these productions run the gamut of entertainment. You may not be able to see them all in one trip, but look at it this way; you'll have something to look forward to on your NEXT trip back to the Smokies.
We're sharing these shows in no particular order.
This has been one of the Smokies' most beloved and popular live-show experiences for a quarter-century. This dinner show is based around a friendly rivalry between the North and the South, and it's played out in a massive 32,000-square-foot arena on the Parkway. The stars of the show are 32 magnificent horses handled by a cast of skilled riders, and they all go head-to-head in a series of equestrian competitions to determine which side gets bragging rights. There's stunt riding, special effects, musical productions, comedy and more, including a four-course feast that you'll need two hands (and no utensils) to eat.
If you're a fan of country music, Country Tonite is one of the theaters you need to put near the top of your list. Going into its 24th year, this Pigeon Forge show is a high-energy revue of the greatest hits of country music, both old and new, performed by one of the most talented casts of singers and dancers in the Smokies. But you don't have to like country music to love Country Tonite; the non-stop production features comedy, gospel music, patriotic tunes and more. Just go to one performance, and you'll see why it has repeatedly been voted Show of the Year, Best Live Country Show in America and Best Show in the Smokies.
They say laughter is the best medicine. If that's the case, you'll get humor in large doses at the Comedy Barn Theater in Pigeon Forge, which has been one of the area's most beloved live shows for more than 25 years. Clean, family-friendly comedy is this theater's particular brand of medicine, and it includes everything from stand-up and ventriloquists to animal acts and a few performances that defy description. A live country band and dancers round out this show, which is known for keeping audiences rolling nonstop.
Here's an idea if you're looking for a change of pace from all the music-based shows in town. Internationally acclaimed magician and illusionist Terry Evanswood stars in this live magic show at the WonderWorks attraction in Pigeon Forge. In fact, Evanswood is the longest running headline performer in town, having made his first Pigeon Forge stage appearance more than 20 years ago. You'll see everything from close-up magic to large-scale illusions during The Wonders of Magic; it's an event that leaves audience members of all ages amazed and dumbfounded. Update: Terry Evanswood has moved to The Grand Majestic Theater.
This unique dinner show is brought to you by the same company that created the Comedy Barn. As the name suggests, the theme is a feud between the legendary Hatfield and McCoy families, and the age-old rivalry is played out through a series of mountain-style competitions, song and dance numbers, feats of strength, stunts, comedy routines and even platform diving at the indoor swimmin' hole. Meanwhile, audiences enjoy a multicourse feast featuring fried chicken, pulled-pork barbecue, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, homemade rolls, creamy vegetable soup and more.
Ah, yes, another dinner-and-show experience, but this one is also very cool. I mean, who wouldn't enjoy a show where swashbuckling buccaneers fight each other on dueling pirate ships? Audiences watch as Blackbeard and Calico Jack lead their respective crews in a battle on land, on deck, in the water and even high in the air for supremacy on the high seas. The large-scale ship replicas are impressive, and the show offers everything from mermaids to tropical birds to a four-course meal featuring pan-fried chicken, sugar-cured ham, corn, potatoes, biscuits, creamy vegetable soup and a peach turnover. This show is produced by the Dollywood company, so you know it's a quality product.
We'll leave you with yet another competition-themed show, and this one is pretty hard-core thanks to the cast of real-life lumberjack athletes who go head-to-head for an hour and a half in classic events like log splitting, log rolling, speed climbing, double-buck sawing, axe throwing and more. The exhibition takes place in an outdoor venue with water features and climbing poles, but the audience is covered and protected from the elements. What also makes the attraction interesting is that it offers a separate, interactive lumberjack experience where guests can try their hand at many of the lumberjack skills themselves.
Someone's been killed in Pigeon Forge! And it's up to the audiences at this murder mystery dinner theater to help the talented and hilarious cast piece together the clues and determine whodunit. Guests can choose from three different rotating shows, depending on the day of the week. Productions currently include The Killbillies, Moonshine Murders and Who Shot The Sheriff? This interactive show is great for the whole family or even for a date night with that special someone. Although audience participation is encouraged, don't worry; it's not required. On top of the show, guests get to enjoy a delicious three-course meal, making this Pigeon Forge venue a truly killer idea for a night on the town.
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