It’s hard to describe The Hughes Brothers Christmas Show in just one word. You might think of words like singing, dancing, instruments, fun, and exciting. But maybe the very best word is simply what they believe is the most important word – family.
The Hughes family first moved to Branson, Missouri in 1995, and immediately began to use their performing talents. That included performing at Silver Dollar City, as well as the former Wild, Wild West Show Theatre. During their performances at Silver Dollar City that year, a special moment “just happened,” and it became a part of what their show is all about. It happened when two of the brothers, Marty and Jason, were singing a song on stage. Marty’s daughter, Kristina, who was around two years old at the time, was in the audience with her mom. As the brothers were singing a song called “Little Hens,” Kristina unexpectedly broke free from her mom and ran up on stage, where she began doing a little “wiggle dance” to the music. The audiences LOVED it, and a tradition was born! After seeing how the brothers connected with audiences, the owners of the Wild West Theatre asked the Hughes Brothers to do a family Christmas show that year, and that was the start of one of the most recognized and celebrated shows in all of Branson.
When Marty and Jason put together their Christmas show that November, the brothers decided to include the whole family in the show, including their wives as well as both of their young sons, and of course, Kristina, featured in a new song called “Shake Me, I Rattle.” The audiences immediately fell in love!
This year the Hughes Brothers Christmas Show has grown to include 34 kids, including one grandchild. There are 15 children from one brother, nine from another, six from a third brother, and four more from another. Fans will see a family show with kids ranging from four months old to 26 years old.
Just by being around the family and the theatre, the kids are curious and anxious to be a part of it, expressing their musical talents and interests, just like Kristina did at the age of two. Jason Hughes explained how the family involvement in the show happens, when he said, “If your dad was a baseball coach, then it would be natural and easy for you to begin throwing and hitting a ball, and you probably would be doing it before your friends, because it’s what your dad does. You just naturally pick it up.”
The children begin learning to sing at a very early age, and as their parents see each child’s individual talents and abilities, they encourage them, and begin helping them learn to be on the stage as part of the show. Over the years, the children get lessons in singing, using the same vocal coach as their parents. They also take instrumental lessons, such as violin, guitar, and piano, and of course dance lessons. The family is so devoted to developing their kids’ talents, that they now have their own dance and recording studios in the theatre!
The Hughes family has a goal of helping to train the next generation to provide high-quality moral entertainment for the entire family. They also know that a key part of that is providing their kids with the very best quality teachers and coaches, encouraging them to keep going and improving. They even offer a performance boot camp every summer at the theatre, for kids everywhere who want to come to Branson and study to develop their talents!
The Hughes family will have shows through the end of December this season, with a special, non-alcohol family New Year’s Eve Show. Your family can find all the information they need, and buy tickets, on their web site, Hughes-Brothers.com.
By Jim Grady – Special to Official Kids Mag