Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Smokies In September: Part 2

Welcome back to the RHFactors blog. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to read this post. 

This is the 2nd part of my series sharing with you some of the new experiences I had while on my birthday getaway to Pigeon Forge, TN earlier in September. 

As I mentioned in part 1, on my actual birthday, the 9th, Paula and I decided to go to the newest dinner show in the area. 
The theater is located in front of The Island along the 441 Parkway.

The show is in the building that used to house the Lumberjack Feud show. 
Dolly purchased the show in 2015. Her management company, World Choice Investments, made some changes to the outside of the theater for the 2016 season, it became this:
But in May of this year the set inside set the theater was redone and the show was change to something new. There are still elements of the old Lumberjack Feud used in it but, for the most part, it is a brand new show.  

We have had very positive experiences when it comes to Dolly Parton's shows in the past. We have been to the Dixie Stampede, twice, in 2001 & 2005.

Last December, we spent a couple of days in Dollywood enjoying the shows their Christmas celebration had to offer. You can read about those shows in my December 28, 2016 blog post:
 Anniversary In The Smokies Part 2

When it came time to choose what to do on my birthday, I decided that the new Dolly Parton show would be fun. 

On the night of the show we parked in the parking lot off Tester Lane and took the tram to the front of The Island area. 

We walked over the bridge and down to the show building. Along the way, I took this picture of The Wheel and Paula Deen's restaurant from the bridge. 
It was a little bit of a walk. We didn't realize that there was a separate parking lot, that's a lot closer, right in front of the building. 

Once we picked up our tickets at the box office we went inside where we met a photographer. She set us up and took our picture. 
I'll explain why we are holding the name sign in a bit. 

Once inside the theater we were in the pre-show waiting area. There was a concession stand in the center of the room. You could get something to drink including specialty adult beverages and soft drinks. There were snacks available too. 

The area was themed as a country general store similar to what you'd see at The Cracker Barrel. There were classic games such as checkers, tick tac toe and corn hole available for kids and families to play while waiting to be seated. 

There were benches for people to sit on as they waited. Here are a couple of pictures that I took. They don't really show the lobby very well but you'll get an idea. 

The monitors you see ran a pre-show program that featured fun facts about Dolly Parton and her family history. 

In fact the entire theater was themed to reflect Dolly's back woods Smoky Mountains background. Here's a link to the video I shot while waiting to go in to the main hall. Smoky Mountain Adventures Theater Lobby Tour 

At about 5:45 we were let into the showroom. It's a large set with a lot to see. There was a lot more than initially meets the eye. 

We were seated on the left side of the theater. That made us part of the Parton Family for the evening. 

The premise of the show is that there's a backwoods competition between the Owens and Partons; Dolly's mother and father's last names, respectively. The audience is divided into honorary members of those families for the evening. 

Once we were seated I shot a couple of videos. They both show some of the same things. Together they give you a good picture of what the theater looked like. Here are links to both of them.  

Dolly Parton's Smoky Mountain Adventures Dinner Show-Part 2

Here's a selfie I took while we were waiting for the show and dinner to get started. 
It had been a few hours since we had eaten anything so we were hungry. 

The meal was served in courses as the show was going on. Much the same as it is at the Dixie Stampede. 

There was creamy vegetable soup, a biscuit, fried chicken breast, smoked pulled pork, corn on the cob, half of a baked potato and a very good flaky peach pie turnover for desert. 
I liked everything except the pulled pork. The chicken was especially good. 

There was a very disturbing moment during the meal. An older woman on oxygen sitting with a group in front of us started choking. 

The man next to her tried to help her by giving her the Heimlich maneuver; but she continued to gasp for air. 

Our waitress was made aware of what was happening and she went and got the EMT on duty. He came quickly and did the Heimlich as well. It didn't help. He did it a second time and she began breathing. 

It was very disturbing. I felt helpless sitting there watching. I can imagine how the row of family members she was with were feeling. 

The woman recovered and went back to watching the show. But she got up and left before it was over. 

Here's a little bit about the show itself. First here's what the set looked like. 
The show's story is wrapped around the romance between Dolly's parents before they were married. 

The main subplot is the competition between the two "families", that I mentioned earlier. The acts are all a combination of skill, acrobatic stunts, and dances. There is a very strong circus vibe to it. There are also a pair of dogs who participate in the competition. 

The master of ceremonies is a character known as "Apple Jack". He keeps things going and gets the crowd involved. 
The comedy in the show is delivered through a character named "Joshua" who is an inventor. He figures strongly in the show's conclusion. 

Without giving you any spoilers, the actual end of the show is a fitting salute to Dolly and her family. 

I was kind of surprised a couple of things that are not in the show; because they are a common thread in almost every Smoky Mountain show. 

There was no acknowledgement of military veterans or, what I call, a "patriotic moment." I don't know why but there wasn't.   

Let me conclude this review with a compilation of video highlights of the show that I shot. Here's the link to it on my You Tube channel. 
Smoky Mountains Adventure Highlights  
Blogger's Note: The camera work in this compilation is not the best. For that I apologize. Also, this is the first time I've ever made a video like this using the Movie Maker app. My editing skills are still a work in progress. 

So there you have a review of what is now one my favorite things to do in Pigeon Forge, TN. 

This concludes my short series about my September 2017 birthday trip to the Smoky Mountains. 

I hope you enjoyed reading about it. If you have never been there I hope the recollections of our experiences inspire you to go. If you have been there I hope I gave you some help in deciding what you do on your next trip.   

That's all for now. Thanks for reading this post I'll see you next time. God Bless. 

No comments: