(CelebrityAccess News Service) — America’s all-time favorite variety show is set for an 11th and final season of live performances next year in Branson. The Welk Show starring The Lennon Sisters, Jo Ann Castle, Ralna English, the Welk Champagne Music Makers and a rotating cast of original guest stars from the Lawrence Welk television show, including Jack Imel, Guy Hovis, Mary Lou Metzger, Arthur Duncan, Ava Barber and Dick Dale, will present the Welk Grand Finale Season from September through mid-December 2004 at the Welk Resort Theater in Branson.
“We have had numerous requests to take the Lawrence Welk Show on tour for Christmas and during the fall season,” said Larry Welk, CEO &chairman of the Board of The Welk Group, Inc. “Because of our packed schedule of shows in Branson, we have been unable to meet these requests. We have decided to do one more season at our theatre and then take the show on the road in 2005.
“We have some exciting new plans for the 2005 fall and Christmas seasons at the Welk Resort Theatre which we will announce next year,” Welk said.
“The Lawrence Welk Show” was broadcast for 27 years — on the ABC television network from July 1955 to September 1971 and in syndication from 1971 to 1982. Demanding that his shows be clean and wholesome, Welk featured easy-listening music performed by a “family” of wholesome musicians, singers and dancers. The show’s enduring popularity has been proven time and again through highly rated re-runs and specials on PBS since 1987 and 10 years of live performances at The Welk Resort Theatre in Branson.
The Welk Show is the first Welk Resort Theatre entertainment act for 2004 announced by SullivanShows. A new alliance announced on October 1 by Larry Welk and Joe Sullivan, president of The Sullivan Company, Inc., will unite the Welk Resort Group and SullivanShows in a venture designed to bring a vast array of new shows to Branson. Effective January 1, Welk-Sullivan Productions will begin to operate, manage and market the Welk Resort Theatre in Branson. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen