560 Wisconsin Ave.
Wisconsin Dells Wisconsin 53965United States
After more than 50 years, the Tommy Bartlett show still awes audiences two times a night with its impressive water acrobatics.
It's hard to believe that something like the Tommy Bartlett show still connects with audiences in the era of WiFi and other ever-present entertainment. But 50-plus years into its run, the Lake Delton show consisting of guys jumping ramps on water skis and girls skiing in pyramids still packs em in. Audiences sit in an amphitheater facing a cove filled with ski ramps and a dockside stage. At 4:30 and 8:30 p.m. each day, the show launches its lineup of comedy and stunts. Be sure to come early so you can savor a walk on the paved path leading through the huge pine woods to the water, as well as the preshow entertainer that invites kids up on stage for contests with the Hula-Hoop and limbo stick. The first half of the show wows audiences with all kinds of ski and wakeboard stunts, topped by a daredevil who soars 650 feet into the air on a hang glider towed by a skit boat. After a short intermission, the show turns vaudeville with jugglers on unicycles, pole-climbing acrobats, octogenarian comedians balancing teacups on their heads and a laser-show tribute to the USA. Both the comedy and the "plot" of the first-half thrill show are plenty corny, but it's always executed with a knowing wink, and the stunts are legitimately impressive. Families with kids should make a point of spending one evening of their Dells vacation at the Tommy Bartlett show.