Live music, live entertainment, Myrtle Beach shows are Live-lee!
Ever since gospel singer Calvin Gilmore opened his Carolina Opry music show in 1986, it seems like everyone has tried to get into the act. The “act” of course is shows and lots of them, with a
wide variety of styles from country music to magic to dinner theatre extravaganzas. At one point Myrtle Beach was poised to become the “Branson of the Southeast.” Fortunately that moniker has disappeared, but it seems the shows are here to stay.
What we’re talking about is professional live entertainment with nightly performances by singers, actors, comedians, and artists who’ve paid their dues in the entertainment industry. Shows run the gamut from singing and dancing to a type of theatre in the round where audience participation is encouraged. Most of the variety shows are suitable and entertaining for the whole family, but there are also ones with “grown-ups only” appeal.
Here’s a run-down of what’s there to entertain you.
There are seven major theaters with seating for as many as 2600 patrons at one time. The Carolina Opry is the longest running show and offers humor, dance and music ranging from country and rock and roll to jazz and gospel. Calvin Gilmore Productions also presents the Carolina Opry Christmas Special during the months of November and December each year, and the show Good Vibrations, with the Carolina Opry cast, showcases the hits of the 60s, 70s and 80s.
Several years back Gilmore’s show “Tribute: The Concert” merged with Onstage Entertainment’s Legends in Concert, creating one show located at the Legends theater. Full of glitz and glamour, this Vegas-style show features the likes of Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, Elton John, The Beatles and many more, in performances that are true to the originals.
Located at Broadway at the Beach, the Palace Theatre is the largest and is reminiscent of theaters built in the 1950s. Shows change periodically and include National Broadway Touring productions such as Broadway shows and one of the top touring illusion productions “Illusions of Magic,” that features special effects and elaborate scenery.
If you’re looking for live music and more of it you’ll find it at two theaters both located at Barefoot Landing, Alabama Theatre and House of Blues. Alabama Theatre features everything from Country, Rock, and Gospel, to Broadway and Motown and it too presents an annual Christmas show. Its Celebrity Concert Series hosts many of today’s top country artists, including the auditorium's namesake, Alabama. At the House of Blues you’ll find top adult contemporary, pop, rock, and blues artists featured, as well as exceptional local talent.
If you want fries (or more) with that, there are two themed dinner and show extravaganzas. Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament takes you back to when knighthood was in flower and fair damsels always needed rescuing. Partake in a royal feast, and delight in the daring do of expert swordsmen, the magic of sorcerers, and the thrill of knights on horseback in an authentic joust. It’s a full evening of fun.
Several years ago, the Dolly Parton Company opened the Dixie Stampede next to The Carolina Opry theater. The show was part rodeo, part country music show and featured ropin’, ridin’, and lots of horses. Dinner was included. Someone at corporate must have decided that pirates were more appropriate for the coast, so the stampede hit the trail and Pirates Voyage sailed into town with a swashbuckling adventure, dinner included.
With an elaborate set that includes two pirate ships in a 15-foot deep lagoon, Pirates Voyage is interactive pirate fun as two pirate crews battle it out over treasure and territory. There’s also a pre-show activity for kids at an additional fee called Pirates Village that includes face painting, a pirate hat, ear ring, a sword and a pirate flag.
Myrtle Beach live entertainment also includes comedy shows, like the Big Laughs Theatre where stage hypnotists Rich and Elizabeth Wylde get members of the audience to do wild and crazy things under hypnosis. There are several shows available from family fun to adults only.
The Comedy Cabana features three new professional comedians each week and children under 15 are not permitted. Seating is cabaret style and dinner is served during the show if you choose. There is a cover charge and the Cabana stocks a full bar.
Carolina Improv brings together professionals and amateurs in an audience-interactive improv comedy show. Performers take suggestions from the audience about the funny things that pertain to Myrtle Beach and use those suggestions to create instant comedy.
The Comedy Club at Broadway at the Beach features rotating shows of hypnosis, stand-up comedy, and a family show of magic and illusion. There’s sandwich and wings menu and beer, wine and mixed drinks are available.
There are numerous other live entertainment venues where you can hear music, see shows and laugh out loud, as well as music festivals scattered throughout the year. If you have any suggestions for a show we didn’t cover, or comments about one we did, please use the comment box below. We'd Love to hear from you.
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