Cape is Hughes Brother's first summer stop

Friday, July 14, 2006
The Hughes Brothers, a Branson act, will perform at the Arena Building on Saturday, July 15. (Photo provided)

Long before Branson exploded into a town with 120 different shows, the Hughes brothers were there.

"The things that have been built here is just amazing," said Jason Hughes, second oldest of the brothers, after a Wednesday morning show. "The hotels, the restaurants, the theaters. And then you think 'How could they possibly build more stuff?' And they do."

It was 11 years ago when the brothers from Utah took their then-15-year-old musical comedy act to Branson. Back then there were only 47 shows.

Since that time, there's no telling how many thousands have seen the brothers at their Branson theater. But the five Hughes brothers know not everyone can make it all the way to Branson to see the shows.

So the Hughes Brothers are taking their act on the road this summer, visiting towns within a day's drive of Branson on the weekends. Their first stop will be Cape Girardeau on Saturday night at the Arena Building.

"We have a lot of fan support in Cape Girardeau, and we realize how hard it is for some people to get to Branson because of the high gas prices, so we decided to bring Branson to them," Jason Hughes said.

The show will be a slight variation on their evening shows (the brothers perform an evening and a night show). They'll perform contemporary country, classic gospel and their Smothers Brothers-style comedy and show off the instrument playing prowess of family members, including 13-year-old violinist Kristina-Marie Hughes.

The five brothers have performed together for 26 years, when the youngest brother was only 2 years old. In their 11 years in Branson, they've won awards for the town's Best Morning Show, Best Vocal Group and the Must See award.

They grew up in a musical home where their parents schooled them on folk and gospel from a young age.

"Back then we didn't even call it a show, we called it a program, something you do at a family reunion or a dinner party," Jason Hughes said.

In 26 years' time, their act went through many phases, said Jason Hughes. There was the cutesy kid phase, the teen heartthrob phase and, finally, the act people see today.

"Now we're all married with a bunch of kids doing a show in Branson," Jason Hughes said. "It's very family-oriented, a show you can feel comfortable bringing a whole family to."

The brothers tour a lot, Jason Hughes said, but this will be the first slate of shows set up on their own initiative instead of arranged through promoters.

With Cape Girardeau being a new market, Jason Hughes said he hopes loyal fans and Hughes Brothers virgins will appreciate Branson coming to Southeast Missouri.

msanders@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 182

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