The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Lifestyles

August 23, 2013

Dave Woods: Fall, holiday shows set for Moon River Theatre

BRANSON, Mo. — I enjoy the time I spend with Kathe Hill. She's been a part of the staff at Andy Williams Moon River Theatre since I've been covering Branson entertainment.

Kathe's always been an advocate for Joplin and included me in the Moon River Theatre family. My friendship with her has allowed me to meet Lennons, a dozen American Idols, Louise Harrison and countless other fun and interesting Branson show folks.

I always enjoy the time -- and wine -- we share together when I head down Branson way or run into her while she's visiting her son, an Ozark Christian College student, in Joplin. Good times.

On a recent Branson trip, I talked with Kathe about the upcoming Moon River Weekends concert series, Irish crooner Daniel O'Donnell's fall run at Andy's and the always-popular Andy Williams Christmas Show. She's excited about the lineup set for the fall and holiday season at Moon River.

"We have a lot of great guest artists," she said. "We have major stars in Rich Little and Clint Black and the Happy Together Tour with four great original artists. We have Lee Greenwood. Then Daniel O'Donnell in the afternoons for Christmas. We have the Lennon Sisters and the Osmond Brothers carrying on Andy's tradition. It's an exciting time."

I agree. It has to be a challenge selecting, promoting and staging a full series of one-off concerts and a Christmas show while staying true to the Moon River tradition.

Kathe knows that better than anyone. When Andy was alive, she would share tales with me of her interactions with the man -- and legend -- she simply called "Boss." When I talk to her, I can tell it's important to her to carry on his tradition.

It's important to many of the theater's crew. It shows in their desire to keep Andy's legacy alive.

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