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Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Hamner-Barber Show in Branson

Flamboyant magic, exotic birds and zany comedy! That's the recipe the Hamners and Jim Barber whip up and dish out to their audiences.

Dave and Denise Hamner's routines range from sleight-of-hand to full-stage illusions to beautiful birds flying through the theater. No matter how many times I see the show, I just never figure out how they do it.

Every illusionist creates his own distinctive acts. Dave's are impressive and unique.

Jim Barber is by far the zaniest ventriloquist I've ever seen. His friends (from Seville to the baby to the monkey) display their own personalities and give Jim the opportunity to display his multi-faceted comedic talent.

Trace, the three-year-old boy in the picture with Jim and Dave, attended the show to see Jim's baby (one of Jim's great characters). Last year, at the age of two, the baby captured his imagination. When they came to Branson again, Trace wanted to see the baby again.

At one point in the show Jim volunteered Deric Johnson and another person from the audience to join him onstage for a special performance. Deric Johnson is shown in the photo with his son, Kendall, and Jim and Dave. Let's just say that Deric, who is from Cranberry, PA, should probably keep his day job - or at least not try to make it as a girl singer.

The last act transitions the show from comedy and illusions to an outstanding tribute to all veterans. Based on interviews with three Iwo Jima survivors, the salute is a well-done moving salute to all who have served their country. It is an outstanding example of Branson's commitment and sincere effort to honor our veterans.

"It's important for young people to see what their grandparents did to preserve our freedom," Jim commented.

Dave added: "They were an extraordinary generation that saved America and the world from tyranny. Without their sacrifice, we wouldn't be standing here today."

For more information on their show, visit

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