Today for your odd viewing pleasure we have the entertainment schedule from Carowinds 1988. (For those of you that don't know, Carowinds in a sister park of Kings Dominion/Kings Island on the NC/SC border.) Live shows ain't quite the priority at theme parks today as they were 20 years ago. This lineup of shows is a great example of the different kinds of shows just about every park had. The show names and the songs would change every year, but the shows themselves were always the same!
First off you might notice IMPACT, a Cinema 180 film just like I wrote about last week. Suddenly you're in the middle of a fast-paced, mound-leaping motorcross race. That just about sums up how all the Cinema 180 films were. (How great would a DVD of these films be!??)
Every park had their one big theatre were they put on the BIG production, here it's called GOTTA DANCE. Probably a lot of glitter, short skirts and a prerecorded music track. Some of the performers in the big show would always also be found in smaller musical reviews around the park. BRAND NEW BEAT and COUNTRY ROADS I'm sure followed this formula: three guys and three gals (one of the guys would be slightly overweight OR one of the six performers would be black...it could go either way), script about how much everybody loves that particular type of music, a salute to a particular singer or songwriter of the genre, duets galore, a finale where some big prop like a fake car would be brought out. They never sang a whole song in these shows, yet they would cover portions of about 35 songs in 20 minutes. The most overused theme for these shows was 60's beach music which would always involve an underdeveloped plot about a romance between two of the singers. (Yes, I saw alot of these shows in my youth!)
My favorite show would always be the character show, here YOGI'S GREAT ELECTION. The character show was made up of several costumed performers and one live human actor. The cartoon characters voices were prerecorded on tape and the live actor dropped in his or her lines live on stage. The live actor character's name would be gender neutral like Chris, Sammy, or C.J. so that it didn't matter if it was a guy or gal - Yogi Bear could still address them by name. Whoever was with me at the park always had to suffer through at least one of these shows with me. One summer during college I took a girl to Kings Dominion and made her attend a performance of THE BEDROCK SQUARES, she was so mad at me she wanted to leave the park after the show. Whatever Katie...at least I got to see the Flintstones!