Fort Worth-area promoter Sam Houston has fond memories of watching television’s “The Ed Sullivan Show” and “The Dean Martin Show” back in the 1950s and 1960s when variety shows were common fare.
Variety and brevity were the hallmarks of the entertainment presented on those shows and that brought a built-in sense of anticipation.
“When Ed Sullivan pulled back the curtain, you didn’t know if it’d be dancing bears or Elvis Presley,” he recalled.
Houston tries to build that sense of anticipation in his “The Best Show Ever,” a variety show that packages music, comedy, magic, acrobatics and more with a eye to modern audiences.
The lineup he brings to Waco on Saturday includes Waco country singer-songwriter Holly Tucker, Texas Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year; comedian Linda Stogner, 2014’s Funniest Comic in Texas and a multiple Emmy Award-winning filmmaker; western swing musician Dave Alexander, a member of western swing Halls of Fame in Texas, Sacramento and Seattle; and Braden the Magician.
He supplements that lineup with acrobats, a fortune teller and more — watch the curtain — as well as a house band whose members have played with the likes of Wayne Newton, Restless Heart and Doug Stone.
Houston said the 90-minute show is smartly paced for younger audiences with shorter attention spans, with performers running through their acts on the day of the show to make sure it all goes smoothly.
“The Best Show Ever” debuted to two sold-out shows in Granbury and Houston is confident it will find a receptive audience in Waco. “I’ve done this show twice before and it appeals to people of all ages,” he said.