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In January of 2000, the Hughes Brothers took over the former Roy Clark Celebrity Theatre, Branson' s landmark theater in the heart of town. The family not only performs there six days a week, but also owns and manages the theater now renamed The Hughes Brothers Theatre.
When the entire Hughes family packed up and moved to Branson, Missouri from their home of 27 years in Taylorsville, Utah, they had no idea of the adventure in store for them. Two of the brothers were married at the time and came with their wives and children. The three other brothers have also since been married. Marty, Jason, Adam, Ryan, and Andy are married to Cindy, Mara,Vikki, Carina, and Becky, respectively. Now their wives and 29 children are also in the show, delighting audiences as they entertain alongside the brothers. With the largest cast in Branson, they also carry the title of the "World's Largest Performing Family".
The brothers' Branson-or-bust motorcade even brought along their parents, Gary & Lena Hughes. Lena proudly wears a nametag that reads M&M, which stands for Mom & Manager. She manages the business end of this operation of 30 employees, half of which are part of the family. Gary's nametag says Chief Indian. He runs Papa Hughes' Fudge Shop...along with anything else that needs running.
Even though the brothers have been performing together for 31 years, 16 of which have been in Branson, they are still young, ranging in age from 33 to 43. Their musical training took place naturally as they were growing up. Raised with musical parents, who were always being asked to perform for various events, the brothers' talents simply seemed to fall into place. They've been harmonizing and performing as a group since the youngest brother , Andy, was only two years old. This undoubtedly accounts for their amazing polish and musical flexibility. But their incredible vocal sound is just one facet of their talent. They knock your socks off with their high-energy movement and dance. They are also proficient and versatile instrumentalists. They have a rare ability to make you laugh one minute and tear up the next. Their strong presence, sincere charm, love of fun and seemingly endless talent are just a few of the reasons they are very well loved in Branson.
As the brothers dedicated countless hours developing their talents in their younger years, they also had other varied interests. Today, those different interests have resulted in an astonishing combination of strengths that have come together to create their business, Hughes Entertainment, Inc., in which they are all partners. They developed their attitude of hard work over summers working for their father's concrete fence construction business. All five of the brothers have served two year missions for their Church in various parts of the world, ranging from the U.S. to South America and South Korea. Their missionary experience helped the brothers develop a genuine love for people, which naturally comes across throughout the show. They have a remarkable ability to connect with their audiences in a personal way, something that few entertainers manage to achieve in a lifetime of performing.
The Hughes Brothers totally produce their own show. Marty earned a music degree with a recording emphasis at Brigham Young University, where he was honored with the Dean's Award for "Music in the Media" two years in a row. He directs the musical arrangements for the show, including the brothers' dynamic harmonies, and plays a variety of instruments. He really shines on the keys. In addition, he is an accomplished composer, arranger, and sound engineer, and is the driving force behind the brothers' own recording studio and record label, Huge Records.
Jason is the director and choreographer of the show. His college major was threefold in Music, Dance and Theater. He has played in more than 30 starring roles and has won awards too numerous to mention for his dramatic and vocal performances. And while all the brothers have played lead roles in many school, community, and professional theatre productions, Jason is definitely the actor in the group. A natural performer and fast on his feet, he keeps the audience laughing with his quick wit and hilarious antics. His amazing voice allows him to sing in a wide variety of musical styles, ranging from country to Broadway, to even opera.
Among Adam' s many interests are photography, film, lighting, and graphic design. Having pursued a film major, he oversees lighting design for the show, and is the primary graphic designer for the company. He has also designed for other Branson shows and businesses. In addition to having a rich baritone voice, Adam is also an impressive instrumentalist, playing the banjo, mandolin, and guitar, including the challenging Spanish Classical Guitar. His medley of Leyenda, Malaguena, and Rumores de la Caleta has audiences cheering before it's even over.
Ryan plays the bass guitar. His beautiful voice is outstanding on the country ballads, and he brings down the house with his dramatic performance of music from Phantom of the Opera. Vocally very versatile, Ryan does impersonations of everyone from Kermit the Frog to Jimmy Stewart to Barney the Dinosaur. He has a fun, unpredictable sense of humor, and his ad-libs have inspired many of the show's best comedic moments. The Hughes Brothers have learned every aspect of the business. Ryan does the accounting and paper work.
Andy, the youngest, jokingly says that his job is simply to look good. His boyish good looks win all the girls' hearts, from tiny tots to grannies. He is also the group' s PR man and stage manager. If it's broken, Andy can fix it. Andy is the high tenor of the group and has a vocal style similar to that of Colin Raye or Vince Gill. His versatility and charm are undeniable as he performs classic ballads and Broadway with equal ease.
The brother's equally talented wives also perform in the show. Marty's beautiful wife Cindy sings and dances in the show. Jason actually met his wife Mara when they performed together in a show at a theme park named Lagoon. Ryan's wife Carina is a classically trained prima ballerina and has danced on stages from San Francisco to New York City. And as Andy's wife Becky sings and dances alongside Carina, you may notice a certain resemblance between the two. It's no coincidence; they're sisters! Adam's wife Vikki was the last wife to marry into the family. She has a wide range of talents from the stage to scrapbooking. Click here to visit Vikki's scrapbooking website. None of the wives are strangers to the stage; most are performance veterans, having sung, danced, and acted throughout their lives.
The Hughes Brothers have taken 1st place in several contests, including the Dodge/Wrangler Country Music Showdown, the True Value Hardware Showdown, the Utah You Are the Star Contest, and the national Starmania contest held in Las Vegas. The Nashville Academy of Independent Recording Artists nominated their album "Talkin' to the Man" for four different awards, and they ranked in the top five finalists for Group of the Year; a fantastic start in the recording business. And since arriving in Branson they have received several awards at the Branson Entertainment Awards Gala, including: Branson's "Tradition Award", "Branson's Best Morning Show Award" and "Branson' s Best Vocal Group Award." But far above all the recognition and awards, they feel their greatest achievement is owning and operating their own theater the "Hughes American Family Theatre". Since their audiences come to them, they can stay off the road...and be with their families.
Even though the move to Branson has been full of challenges, the Hughes Brothers feel it has been an overwhelmingly positive one. Audience members constantly commend the brothers for not only entertaining them with good, clean fun, but for touching their emotions with their love of family, God, and country. People often comment on the personal connection they feel with the brothers by show's end. Some wonder why their show feels different. Perhaps Marty summed it up best when he said, "There is nothing better than being able to do the thing you love, and having your audiences love the thing you do."
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