The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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November 23, 2012

Redneck Tenors pack house for holidays

BRANSON, Mo. — Matthew Lord said his secret formula to the "3 Redneck Tenors Christmas Spec-Tac-Yule-Ar" is simple.

"It's Christmas from top to bottom," said the show's creator and director. He performs a role in the show, too. "What I've noticed across the country is that a lot of Christmas shows are a condensed version of the original show with some Christmas songs tossed in."

The "Redneck Tenors" show is all Christmas, but in different ways. Very different ways.

During the show's first half, Billy Joe, Billy Billee and Billy Bob -- three tragedy-tested friends -- set out to help Edna Mae, the widow of Billy Ray, their dear, dead friend and beer-drinking buddy. Billy Ray recently met his maker in an untimely fashion.

"Billy Ray dies in a wood chipping accident," said Lord, suddenly serious. "The guys set to help Billy Ray's love, the beautiful Edna Mae, fulfill her dream."

She and Billy Ray were building their dream trailer before he got mulched. The talented but unassuming friends are soon discovered by the Colonel, a man of questionable character with sorted entertainment connections. The guys get sucked into his scheme on their quest to help Edna Mae.

"All we are doing is trying to raise money to help Edna Mae finish Billy Ray's dream trailer," Lord said. "The beautiful Edna Mae is alone. She runs off in search of her Christmas spirit and we try to chase her down and get her Christmas spirit back."

It's a simple tale. Well, maybe not that simple. That's just the first act. Holiday antics and a gender-bending song and dance number ensue.

"That part was inspired by my daughter," said Lord. "In the movie 'Mean Girls' they do a similar number, and our outfits are exactly like what Lindsay Lohan wears. It's Santa Baby in 6-and-a-half-inch pleather heels."

Lord and his cast of redneck characters are entertaining crowds at the New Americana Theater through Dec. 15 with a New Year's Eve engagement on tap.

Lord leads the cast as Billy Joe; Dinny McGuire plays the Colonel; Alex Bumpas plays Billy Bob; Blake Davidson mullets up as Billy Billee; and Sarah Tweed stars as the Beautiful Edna Mae.

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