What began as a simple sharing of talents became Buckets N Boards, one of the most popular shows for families visiting Branson and a frequent headliner on Disney Cruise Lines.
Entertainers Gareth Sever and Matt Levingston met while working at a theater in Branson, and during downtime, the two enjoyed teaching one another their unique sets of skills. Sever began to share his love of tap dance, a passion he had had since watching Gene Kelly, Shirley Temple and Fred Astaire while growing up. In return, Matt Levingston would teach Sever percussion. These casual creative sessions soon grew.
"We enjoyed it so much we started performing together at Branson Landing," Gareth said. "As a creative side project we'd go down there before and after work. That became more fun for us; much more creative."
In 2009, the comic duo put together its first one-hour show. Their comedy hour soon became the full-blown two-hour comedy show now known as Buckets N Boards, and now entertains audiences at The Starlight Theatre in Branson for several performances each week with high-energy comedy, tap dance, rhythm and percussion — and dog squeaky toys.
"We have a whole section that's nothing but dog squeaky toys," said Levingston. "That's one that's most requested by audiences."
Levingston and Sever felt that while there were plenty of family-friendly shows in Branson, there were not many family-oriented options. Being parents themselves, they work to maintain a show that is sure to entertain every member of the family.
"One of our goals was, what would our kids enjoy, and what would we like?" Levingston explained.
The comic duo estimates that between 30 and 40 percent of the show is improv, inspired by another great comic duo, the Smothers Brothers. Audience participation is highly encouraged. As for their source of inspiration? They attribute much of that to happy accidents.
"Some of our funniest bits are things that accidentally happened in previous shows," Levingston added.
Sever and Levingston also create bits that entertain one another, but their final litmus test for their humor is their spouses' reactions.
"If we ever had a joke and we told it to our wives and they rolled their eyes, we knew it was good," Levingston said.
Sever and Levingston have been touring the show across the country and around the world. They have been featured as a headlining act for Disney Cruise Lines for the past four years, and are currently one of the most requested shows onboard. Buckets N Boards also performs at school assemblies, corporate retreats and other private events, and adapts its material to fit the audience's needs. Regardless of the age or the size of the crowd, what the comedy geniuses behind Buckets N Boards enjoy most is keeping the show fresh and entertaining.
"I've always felt like that was my number one purpose: to make people happy," Levingston said. "If you make somebody's day better, they're going to make someone's day better, and it's a ripple effect."
Experience Buckets N Boards for yourself by visiting bucketsnboards.com or catch them live in Branson, where they will be performing throughout the summer at The Starlight Theatre. You can also keep up with the fun by following them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For information on booking Buckets N Boards for your next event, call 417-894-2957 or e-mail [email protected].
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