9 On Your Side Roadtrip: The unique entertainment of Myrtle Beac - WNCN: News, Weather

9 On Your Side Roadtrip: The unique entertainment of Myrtle Beach – The Carolina Opry

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Summer is winding down, and 9 On Your Side is heading down south to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We are looking into what makes the Grand Strand home to some of the most successful and unique entertainment venues in the country.

We started our road trip down Highway 17 to the show that many in Myrtle Beach say started it all – Calvin Gilmore's The Carolina Opry.

We spoke with Gilmore Entertainment who explained how the show has had 28 successful seasons at the beach. They tells us that the impressive variety of live music shows in Myrtle Beach can be traced back to Calvin Gilmore and his vision that first-rate entertainment could thrive along the Grand Strand.

The Carolina Opry was the first show to open in Myrtle Beach and the only show in the area for 7 years. When Calvin Gilmore opened the theater in 1986, the idea of a variety show was unheard of. Several years and many successes later, a number of corporations have followed Gilmore's model and opened theaters and entertainment venues in the Myrtle Beach area.

After 28 successful years, the Carolina Opry boasts nearly 8,000 performances and has been running longer than any show in Broadway history. The longest running show Phantom of the Opera began its Broadway run in 1988.

 Over the years the theatre has gained attention with both critics and the national media. It is the only show to be named The Most Outstanding Attraction by the State of South Carolina, and the only show to win the Governor's Cup, South Carolina's highest tourism award.

Part of the show's success has been keeping the content of the show fresh. This season blended a variety of music. From the sounds of Broadway's Les Miserables to new pop/country music from Bruno Mars and Carrie Underwood, the show is a rare true variety show. Most recently the show's popular dance crew "All That" has been featured on multiple seasons of America's Got Talent.

The theatre has two shows in-house that alternate nights. "The Carolina Opry" is the classic variety show and "Good Vibrations" features the music of the 60s, 70s and 80s. Both shows use 40 musicians, singers and dancers supported by state-of-the-art production. During November and December they feature a popular Christmas Special.

For more information on the theatre visit http://www.thecarolinaopry.com/

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