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February 23, 2018
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The Shoji Tabuchi Show to be held at El Dorado Municipal Auditorium

By Tia Lyons
This article was published February 1, 2018 at 5:00 a.m.

Tickets are on sale for The Shoji Tabuchi Show: American Dream Tour, which will feature the country music fiddler and popular Branson, Missouri, entertainer on March 11 at the El Dorado Municipal Auditorium, 100 W. Eighth.

The show starts at 2 p.m., and doors open at 1 p.m.

Last month, Main Street El Dorado said it was planning a show for March, but the details had not yet been finalized then.

Information came forth this week with the announcement of the Tabuchi show, Main Street’s first major event — and fundraiser — of the year.

Beth Brumley, MSE executive director, said money raised from the show will help to fund other components of the Main Street program for 2018 — part of an overall refocusing of the program that began more than a year ago.

For years, MSE worked to build its promotional events, which served as fundraisers with proceeds funneled into other projects that help to maintain the vitality of the city’s historic, award-winning downtown.

With the development of the Murphy Arts District, Main Street board members agreed in late 2016 that MAD would take the lead in bringing entertainment to El Dorado.

Main Street board members said they would concentrate their energies on the other three points of downtown revitalization, as outlined by the national Main Street program: economic restructuring, organization and design.

Brumley said Main Street is hoping that the Tabuchi show will help the group do just that.

Tabuchi has been one of the main draws in Branson, known as the Live Entertainment Capital of the World, for three decades.

With an eponymous theater, the Japanese native often performs to sell-out crowds in Branson, having built a loyal fan base with a family-oriented variety show that includes not only country music, but also several other musical styles — rock, gospel, rap, Cajun and others — and choreography.

Tabuchi has been recognized by national publications and has appeared on 60 Minutes, Good Morning America and Regis and Kathy Lee.

He has performed with some of the biggest names in country music, including Dolly Parton and the late Tammy Wynette, George Jones and Johnny Cash.

Unfortunately, the Shoji Tabuchi Theater was damaged by fire last May. The theater is set to re-open in March, according to published reports.

In the meantime, Tabuchi has taken to the road, selecting El Dorado as one of the stops of his tour.

Brumley said Tabuchi and his team had initially planned an El Dorado show for December, but the date would have coincided with a Christmas show that had been booked by MAD, with Phil Vassar and Kellie Pickler as the headliners.

“They reached out to us to see if we could help, and we told them we did not want to compete with MAD because we’re all working toward the same goal here,” Brumley said.

Main Street continued to work with Tabuchi to plan a show for March at the municipal auditorium.

Since the announcement of the show earlier this week, Brumley said Main Street has learned that Tabuchi has a following in south Arkansas.

“We’ve already sold quite a few tickets. We had several people call today to order tickets. Many of them said they’re excited about it, and they’re glad they don’t have to drive all the way to Branson,” she said.

Ticket sales were first opened up to sponsors and donors, and they went on sale to the general public on Tuesday.

Tickets are reserved seating only. Prices are $40 for orchestra (first 10 rows) and $30 for parquet (remaining house seats). Brumley said balcony seats will be opened should the need arise.

She said Main Street is already strategizing the rest of the year, with discussions under way about future events, including annual staples Showdown at Sunset, the Murphy USA Summer Concert Series, MusicFest XXXI and downtown holiday activities.

Brumley said MSE will again partner with MAD for the concert series and MusicFest, Main Street’s flagship fundraiser. The two groups first teamed up to host the events in 2017.

She also said a new event may possibly be introduced this year, adding that Main Street is keeping mum on the new project because the details have not yet been finalized.

“We’ve got lots on our agenda. We’re always trying to think outside the box to bring people downtown and to El Dorado, as a whole,” Brumley explained.

“It takes money to fund those programs, and that’s why we’re super excited about this (Tabuchi) show and using the auditorium.. We’re ready to sell more tickets,” she said.

Brumley said sponsorships are still open for the Tabuchi show.

For more information, to purchase tickets or for anyone who is interested in sponsoring the show, call the MSE office at 870-862-4747 or visit www.mainstreeteldorado.org.

Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or by email at tlyons@ eldoradonews.com.

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