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Yakov Smirnoff   
470 Hwy 248
Branson, 65616
Branson Reviewed rated
  • Currently 1.5/5 Stars.
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" I think I know how you think this review is going to begin. You are expecting us to open by quoting Yakov, and then lazily concluding ‘What a country,’ right? Well, we’re not.

In doing background research, I looked at several current (and a few not-so-recent) pieces written about the very funny Yakov Smirnoff and you know what? Most everything I read was pretty lame. So I went to the official website, and was surprised and disappointed to discover that it reads like an all-too obvious and oh so- not- clever article written by someone in a hurry to draw conclusions, not bothering to explain the when’s and why’s behind them. To continually refer to Yakov as “the famous Russian comedian,” to state (poorly), that the action in his show “… keeps speeding up with the brilliant Russian dancers,” and then to throw-in that the comic is a “command performer” at the White House, well, it all just seems all so forced, curt and a bit tortured. And hey- why rush a Russian?

BRANSON REVIEWED! was born out of a real desire to bring to the public thoughtful, well-written and totally independent reviews of all of the many shows Branson has to offer. While we have been impressed at the number of stars who have become such savvy self-promoters, we find the unoriginality of so many of the other shows a little troubling. After all, this is show business we’re talking about. The public has a right to expect show promotion to be entertaining.

Amazingly, since arriving in here in 1992, Yakov has entertained over three million people! He has been a major part to fueling Branson’s ‘explosive growth.’ And even though he’s appeared on the big screen in films like ‘Moscow on the Hudson, and ‘The Money Pit,’ on numerous national television shows like The Tonight Show, cable specials, including Showtime’s ‘Moscow…Idaho,’ and, recently, on Broadway, Yakov has been so successful in the Ozarks that most visitors associate the Russian funnyman with Branson. And that’s great for Branson.

People who haven’t seen Yakov perform live may be suffering under the misconception that he is a one- joke comedian, that the ‘Back in Russia,’ thing is his entire show. Well, now is the time to end the suffering. Get a ticket to Yakov, go see a real star and experience a real show. Yakov has an authentic perspective, a clear and funny voice that is authentic throughout. His show has a starting point from which he takes his audience on a journey and by show’s end, you’ll know you’ve been somewhere and somehow have been changed for the better for it. That’s what good entertainers do- that’s what real entertainers do. That’s what Yakov is doing in Branson. He inspires. He instructs. And he really, really entertains. It is a well-produced two hours, full of exhilarating dancing, exciting specialty acts and yes- explosive laughter.

Yakov Smirnoff became a distinctive and daring comedic voice during a time when Russia was still part of the Soviet Union, an empire President Reagan rightly referred to as “evil.’ Back before the wall came down, Yakov was cracking them up on this side…on our side. And what an original voice! Looking back, he sounds like an early Borat (Sacha Baron Cohen) but if you listen closely, you’ll discover that the character Yakov created allowed the joke to be on him- his homeland, his lack of intelligence, and his shortcomings. And that’s a hard thing to do and a really difficult thing to maintain. After all, it’s not easy being a major star and, at the same time, the butt of your own jokes. But Yakov pulled it off, and he continues to do so at his Yakov Theatre. His audiences adore the lovable Russian because he allows the joke to be on him.

BRANSON REVIEWED! proudly recommends the Yakov Show as the wonder drug of the Century, and salutes the comic with FOUR STARS.
" - Branson Reviewed

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