Midwest Living Review
On the legendary Branson live-music scene, they don't get much more legendary than Shoji Tabuchi. The Japanese-born fiddler has been drawing crowds to his self-titled theater for decades with a breezy show heavy on Vegas-style costumes and corny jokes. Shoji, as he's generally known, is the unquestioned star of the show each night. Rising from beneath the stage with his fiddle bow blazing, Shoji launches into a program of classical melodies and beloved fiddle tunes interspersed with banter with the crowd, relying heavily on stories like his first encounter with American grits (even though he's lived in the States for most of his adult life). Shoji is friendly and engaging and never tires of reliable routines like constantly rotating his wardrobe of sparkling jackets throughout the show. Shoji's supporting cast includes a variety of singers and dancers who showcase flamboyant costumes and set pieces that might include giant dancing rag dolls or penguins. At various points, a Lawrence Welk-style orchestra comes on-stage to back up Shoji or a featured singer. Of course, among Shoji's best-known costars are his theater's bathrooms, which are world-famous palaces that draw bus tours in the middle of the day. The men's room, for example, includes a dedicated billiards room and fireplace. Tickets start at $46 for adults, $29 for teens and $18 for children 3-11.