Warning: This review might make all South Texas culture-vultures angry, for different reasons.
Those who love opera, symphony, bands, solo pianos, etc., often look down on other types of music.
Home-grown, unusual music like Grand Ol Opry deserves seating at the head table, too.
Have you never seen The Grand Ol Opry in Nashville, Tenn.? Or the Baldknobbers in Branson, Mo.? Relax, and get the joy of seeing “The Chicken House Opry” here in the Rio Grande Valley.
Many of the 30-some dancers, singers, and comedians have performed at Nashville and Branson. They are pros who can make audiences laugh, cry and join the singing.
Frankly, I didn’t believe it until I saw it work on Saturday, Jan. l6. The next shows are coming each Saturday at a hard-to-find country location six miles northwest of Mission.
The best way to discover this far-out musical treat is to phone 479-970-5204 for reservations and directions.
Their address, 8049 N. Bentsen Palm Drive, Mission, is so far out of town, I got lost both times I went there. Be warned it is back from the road and easy to drive past.
I advise all except the highest highbrows of music to go see it.
Not a single teen-ager appeared to be present when we attended. Teen-agers live in their world, senior citizens in theirs. But most in between, if not prejudiced by music they never have seen live before, might discover they like it too.
A day later, I was still laughing over the skits that punctuate the music. It is hard to keep from laughing, and occasionally crying, from what is called hillbilly music by some.
Most of the performers carry stage names. A few singers and comedians are 80, most of them are seniors. They are a happy group, more than most performers. So is the audience, which loves sing-alongs.
The theater at the Chicken House Opry has 400 seats and often fills them. In January, February and March, shows are held at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets for the show are two persons for $20 and a “cowboy meal” before the shows, $5.
These older people seem far happier than most musicians, perhaps because they don’t fall out of the limelight when they get old.
“We love to entertain,” said emcee and host Bob “Punjo” Reed, who is president of the National Performance Horse Association.
“Many of our group have recorded in Nashville, been on television and worked Branson,” Reed continued. “We take pride in our music and our comedy leaves people laughing for days.
“We are humbled by the success of the show with many guests returning week after week,” Reed concluded.
Donations for the show and the meals keep NPHA and the Opry going.