One of the most unusual benefit shows ever produced in Branson will occur this Sunday, June 23rd - 3pm at the Hamner Barber Theater.
Enjoy an afternoon of fun as seven top professional ventriloquists from America’s heartland put on a show to raise funds to help preserve their heritage. Listen to this recent interview with Jim Barber and Monna Stafford courtesy of BOTT Radio Network…
Tickets are available online below, or for best seats, call the Hamner Barber Theater box office at 417-334-4363.
Vent Haven Museum in Ft. Mitchell, KY, is the world’s only museum dedicated to the art of ventriloquism. The collection houses over 800 figures (dummies), thousands of historic photographs and playbills, and a library of books, some dating back to the 1700′s. When a ventriloquist retires, or perhaps passes away, they often donate their wooden partners to Vent Haven, the Vents Heaven!
Funds raised at this event will go towards the preservation and upkeep of these amazing treasures so they may be enjoyed by future generations for years to come. It’s something that host Jim Barber likes to refer to as… Dummys helping Dummys!
Hosts for the ventriloquist show are Dave Hamner and Jim Barber from the Hamner Barber Theater.
Featured entertainers include: Jim Barber, Todd Oliver, Patty Davidson, Gary Owen, Laura Moyers, David Pendleton, Elisabeth Schoenecke… and some very special surprises with Vent Haven Museum Directors Lisa Sweasy and Anne Roberts, and Ventriloquist-Museum Advisor Tom Ladshaw.
Meet The Stars Of The Show (alphabetical order)
Jim has been performing professionally as a vocal comedian for over 35 years. He first came to Branson in 1994 as the featured comedian in the Glen Campbell Goodtime Show and has worked with many other famous celebrities over the years. His unique approach to the art of ventriloquism earned featured guest spots on every major television network and popular programs such as CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman. Jim has received numerous awards for his creative approach to comedy and he is honored to produce this event on behalf of Vent Haven. When not promoting and performing at the Hamner Barber Theater, Jim serves as the President of the League of Branson Theatre Owners & Show Producers, as well as Chairman of the Board for the Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB.
Growing up in Russell, Kansas, Patty’s career took off in high school after winning the title of Miss Kansas T.E.E.N. She was second runner-up and winner of the talent award in the Miss Kansas Pageant. She now appears at fairs, festivals, banquets and other events throughout the United States. Along with performing in Las Vegas and Reno, she delighted audiences during a European U.S.O. Tour and worked the Canadian Fair Circuit. She has performed with many of the top names in Country Music and headlined at “Club Celebrity” in the Roy Clark Celebrity Theater. Patty has the distinction of being the first full time ventriloquist performing in Branson and was featured in the Box Car Willie Show, the Doug Gabriel Show, the Yakov Smirnoff Show, The Osmond Family Show, The World Famous Platters Show and more.
Aside from performing across the country as a Ventriloquist, Laura is a pianist, singer/songwriter and producer of four albums “Soldier’s Tribute,” “Tickle Me Funny,” “One Million Reasons,” and soon to be released “Love Unleashed,” an album to benefit the Leavenworth County Humane Society in Kansas. She has been on radio, television, even appearing on a Quizno’s commercial.
Laura has been teaching in the public school system for the last 25 years. She was recently named 2013 Kansas Regional Teacher of the Year and is author of the newly released book “Time Out for Teachers”.
When comedian and ventriloquist Todd Oliver takes the stage you’ll meet his two funny companions – Irving and Lucy. No wooden puppets here folks. These live talking dogs are making crowds across the country howl with laughter. Todd’s humor is situational and contemporary, resulting in clean universal comedy that makes you feel good and leaves you wondering, “How do those funny dogs talk?” Todd’s most recent television appearances include becoming a semi-finalist on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, Late Show with David Letterman, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and the Today Show.
You may not know him by name, but you would quickly recognize his resonant, signature voice of The Oklahoma Network as well as numerous TV and radio commercials. He provides many of the character voices heard around Oklahoma’s Frontier City and several Six Flags Amusement Parks. A broadcasting professional for over 40 years , Gary currently hosts the syndicated radio talk show “Oklahoma Innovations” heard on stations across Oklahoma including KTOK in Oklahoma City and KRMG in Tulsa. As a professional ventriloquist, Gary has been featured on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” in Time magazine, and has performed worldwide from cruise ships to Branson sharing the stage with top celebrities and bands.
David will make you believe that anything can talk! A 20 year veteran entertainer, his wholesome humor and stellar technique keeps audiences laughing from start to finish. He incorporates a wide range of comedic characters with delightful and heartwarming truths that can transform lives! David is most proud of his hilarious wooden character named “Mack Elroy,” created by George and Glenn McElroy in the 1930′s. Vent Haven Museum is the current residence for at least nine of these rare ventriloquist figures carved by the McElroy Brothers. David’s appearance in this Branson fun-raiser event will be an opportunity to witness one of these amazing characters actual “come alive” on stage.
Elisabeth is a versatile singing entertainer with a 30 year track record of combining ventriloquism, drama and song. She graduated college with a Bachelor of Music Education degree in 1991 and taught elementary music in Oklahoma before moving to Nashville, TN with her husband Marvin where she continued to teach for six more years. They now reside in the Branson area where Elisabeth teaches music full time in the Hollister Public School System. She also shares her talents and great sense of humor on a regular basis with her entertaining programs promoting character education to schools across the region.
About Vent Haven Museum
The museum was originally a private collection assembled by Cincinnati native William Shakespeare “W.S.” Berger, and opened to the public in June of 1973.
Each year, tourists come from around the world to view the hundreds of ventriloquist dummies on display. Tourists learn the history of both ventriloquism and the Vent Haven museum, see demonstrations of some of the dummies and puppets, watch video clips and have plenty of photo opportunities.
The museum hosts an annual international conVENTion which draws ventriloquists from around the world and remains the hub of ventriloquism for ventriloquists everywhere.
Vent Haven is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and donations to the museum are tax deductible and much appreciated.
Please visit our website, venthavenmuseum.com for more information.
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