The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Enjoy

September 21, 2012

Daredevils bring Silver Dollar City show to life

BRANSON, Mo. — Robert Keith admires the daredevil cast members of “The Pinkerton Man.”

“Any time you set someone on fire it’s very dangerous,” said Keith, director of Silver Dollar City’s newest show. “The fire burn is amazing. What these stunt guys and girls are doing is very dangerous.”

Keith praises the stunt performers who make the high falls, snap bullwhips and stage physically demanding fist and ax-handle brawls.

“Everyone will get a wow watching them,” said the 40-year veteran of stunt shows and performances.

While the theme park’s new musical Western stunt show offers thrills, pyrotechnics and stunts, Keith said the show is really about pioneer-era folks who won the West.

“It’s about the real guys and gals who tamed this country,” he said. “The cowboys.”

Through Oct. 27, the park’s annual National Harvest Festival will feature 125 crafters and their wares, dozens of players, pickers and musical performers, trick riders and ropers as well as the long-loved salute to the American cowboy.

The plot unfolds

“The Pinkerton Man” is a Western stunt show featuring a cast of 14.

The show’s team created the imaginary town of Sumptin, Mo., nicknamed “Sumpthin’”. The small Ozarks community is located near Ñ almost above Ñ Marvel Cave, a deep Ozarks cavern around which city slickers want to create a tourist attraction focusing on the heart of American craftsmanship.

Who ends up with the cave and surrounding land drives the tale. Sound familiar?

A Silver Dollar City-esque story weaves the show together.

“It goes way back to the Pinkerton men of the 1850s,” Keith said. “Alan Pinkerton is storied to be the first to own a detective agency, the first agency whose agents donned disguises and later, way before Title 9, employed female detectives.”

Beyond that, the plot relies on local lore and lots of Hollywood-style fire, flames and fun.

The mayor’s daughter, Kimmie Sue, the prettiest girl in the territory, is kidnapped and held for ransom until the mayor grants the kidnappers’ demands.

Enter the Black Rider.

A mysterious do-gooder Ñ a Pinkerton agent on a mission Ñ fights the bad guys and zips a 220-foot line over Echo Hollar onto the stage below. He has fist fights, ax-handle fights and is proficient with a bull whip. He’s one tough cookie.

“You name it, and the Pinkerton man can do it,” Keith said. “The bad guy is finally shot and falls 37 feet, but doesn’t die. No ever dies in Sumpthin’, Mo.”

SPOILER ALERT: Finally, Keith said, in a surprise move, the Pinkerton man defeats the bad guys and goes up and kisses the sheriff. The town folks and the crowd in Echo Hollar are shocked, to say the least.

As the Black Rider pushes through the surprise show of affection, the rider removes his cowboy hat to reveal a bundle of long, blonde hair. The Pinkerton Man isn’t a man after all, the audience discovers. She’s a skilled female detective, a gunslinger and unafraid of the men who would see her fail in her assigned mission.

She says to the sheriff, “Remember, I’m Pinkerton, and we always get our man.”

Text Only
Enjoy
  • 071814_whiskeydicks.jpg Stretching out: Whiskey Dick's can do more in a bigger downtown location

    For the Whiskey Dick's owners, it isn't a matter of what's in a name but more of a place where everybody knows your name.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Film-Hollywoods Ape M_Cast.jpg Benji Tunnell: Great CGI, solid writing make 'Apes' a near-perfect blockbuster

    A couple of weeks ago, we saw "Transformers 4," a big, computer-driven blockbuster film that was symbolic of all that is wrong with filmmaking today.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • polyphony.jpg Marta Churchwell: New Mexico marimba group returns for concert Sunday

    They're back. Polyphony Marimba, the Santa Fe, New Mexico, band that wowed the crowd with African music during a Downtown Joplin Third Thursday last summer, received such a response to that performance that they're coming back on Sunday.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • River Regatta 2013.jpg Dave Woods: Nevada regatta makes for a birthday escape

    In just three weeks, I'll spend my 50th birthday floating down the Colorado River with 35,000 of my closest friends.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow 1 Story

  • 071814_pickin trimmin.jpg New festival focuses on short independent films

    As Jack Truman saw his films play in festivals around the world, one lingering thought persisted: He wished that such festivals existed in his hometown area.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 071614 Glory Days_72.jpg Glory Days Music to resume weekly in-store concerts

    The staff at Glory Days Music have been working their business as usual. Musicians demonstrate guitars, drums and other instruments. Music is sold; lessons are taught. But something has been missing.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug_joe-hadsall-112613.jpg Joe Hadsall: All the hidden secrets in "Weird Al's" "Word Crimes" video

    I sincerely believe the "Word Crimes" video will become the most important song in history, and the most mandatory-to-watch video in schools across the country.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug_joe-hadsall-112613.jpg Globe Phone Test: Concept is clever, but transitions tricky with Asus PadFone X

    It's kind of embarrassing to point this out, but "Candy Crush Saga" is one of the best ways to illustrate how well the Asus PadFone X, a smartphone and tablet combo really works.

    Anyone who has more than one device will understand this situation completely: Let's say a player fires up "Candy Crush" on his tablet computer and really digs the game. A lot. So much so that he downloads it to his smartphone.

    Only there's one problem: All the progress made on the tablet is stuck on the tablet. The smartphone has a completely separate path of progress, meaning the player has to play each level twice. This makes progress through the game twice as long. (This problem can be fixed by signing up for the game on Facebook, but no one really wants their Facebook friends to know they spend so much time crushin' candy.)

    The Asus PadFone X is the dream solution to this nightmare of a problem.

    Available exclusively from AT&T, the device is actually two devices. A standalone smartphone can be plugged into a tablet computer, meaning the owner can take his pick of how he wants to play the game, and all the progress he makes is saved on one device's hard drive.

    AT&T loaned us a device that we tested for more than two weeks -- didn't like having to send it back -- and we found a lot of its qualities and quirks.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tantric tours in support of latest studio album

    "37 Channels," the latest album from Hugo Ferreira's band, features a lineup of guests including Hinder's Austin Winkler, Shooter Jennings, 3 Doors Down drummer Greg Upchurch, Uncle Kracker guitarist Kevin McCreery, Saving Abel guitarist Scott Bartlett and Leif Garrettt.

    July 11, 2014

  • 071114_steve cindy head.jpg New exhibit combines works of married couple

    Steve and Cindy Head create different types of art, which means they can be each other's best mentor. Steve makes mixed media works assembled from photographs, headlines and more; Cindy paints vivid patterns and fanciful scenes with bold color palettes.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo