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Southwest Missouri News--Branson

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by Carol Harris, Branson area, and Mary Engler-Guccione, Joplin area

Branson theaters are announcing new lineups for the 1998 season.

The Jim Stafford Theatre has incorporated the Titanic theme with props and music from the Broadway musical and movie soundtrack. The theater is also adding a 3-D show using what is being touted as the largest 3-D rear-projection video screen in the world and a 15-foot great white shark effect using a black-light aquarium.

Showboat Branson Belle will have three new shows this year, including singer Steve Grimm, who has performed around the world with the New Christy Minstrels, and a Russian adagio team which showcases a blend of dance and acrobatics.

The husband of the team, Andrei Soumiatin, performed with the Moscow Circus for nine years. His wife, Marina Boichakova, danced with the Bolshoi Ballet for eight years.

Entertainer Todd Oliver will perform during the spring and fall with midday cruises with the Neilsons of Ontario, Canada.

During dinner, he will perform his own comedy and ventriloquism act. Cirque Fantastique, a new theatrical circus show geared to families, will be held midday during the summer.

Syncor Entertainment Inc. and The Grand Palace have booked The Oak Ridge Boys for limited engagements throughout the season.

According to Syncor Entertainment, The Oak Ridge Boys will also star in a one-hour variety series on TNN called "The Oak Ridge Boys Live From Las Vegas," the first network-television, prime-time variety series to originate from Las Vegas.

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