Review by Jason Wert
As Branson begins to open theatres for the 2020 season, there’s bad news for almost every show on the strip: the bravado is back with the Kings and Queen of the city.
Last year when we reviewed the Haygoods show, we noted the way Dominic seemed to fade into the overall performance versus previous years where he would dominate his place on stage. While it made him blend into the show, we realized after seeing their season-opening performance that when Dominic is allowing his star to shine, the show is actually enhanced by this.
The good news? The bravado is back.
It’s also a refined form of bravado in that he knows when to turn it up instead of staying on a high all the time. For example, when he was engaging in the “Banjo Boy vs. Fiddle Champion” bit that they’ve done for the last two seasons, he was back to being the Dominic that comes off as if he’s ten feet tall and bulletproof.
That bravado also carried through into his solo segments in the show; it elevated both himself and the overall show. I didn’t realize how much that little element was needed in the show; I’m glad it’s back.
In comparison to last year’s show, there is no drop off in the family’s performances; every Haygood’s A game is as strong as any time in their last 28 seasons. Their performance of “The Sound of Silence” is still so strong that they should seriously consider recording and releasing it as a single; it’s strong enough to make the national charts.
However, there is a noted difference: somehow, Catherine Haygood has gotten even better.
Last year we noted the increase in harp related content owed to Catherine’s mind-blowing talent, but this year she manages to not only take that up a notch with a crisper, tighter performance but she carries that intensity into the rest of the show.
Let’s put it this way: Catherine’s performance has reached a point where she could hold her own with her own show. If they were to give her an afternoon time slot and her own backing orchestra, I truly believe she could pull crowds with modernized arrangements of classic songs similar to what she does in the Haygoods show. (Perhaps a team up between Catherine and Cassandré, Timothy’s wife who has a killer Christmas show?)
And just for the record, recently married Michael actually seems to be rocking harder than bachelor Michael.
Now, the ‘Goods are bringing in new songs and are planning to turn over the show into a new one by April; so if you missed last year’s tour de force, you have some time to still see it before it’s gone.
Again, that’s bad news for the rest of the theatres in town; the Haygoods are coming out of the gate hitting on all cylinders; when they get new parts into the show, they’ll pull back in all the people who’ve seen them over the last few years. It’s almost not fair to everyone else to see the ‘Goods this good this early.