Sep. 9—BRANSON, Mo. — Members of The Duttons were gearing up for a new season of music following a much-needed summer break on July 13 when their phones, en masse, lit up in their hands.
Turns out a fire had broken out in an outdoor trash can and had quickly spread into the area above the lobby portion of their theater, The Duttons Family Theater, located in the heart of Branson's music district.
Though the fire was quickly contained, smoke damage wreaked havoc.
Realizing repairs would be extensive, the internationally known Dutton family has temporarily moved their award-winning show to the nearby Yakov Theatre. Their first show debuts Monday, Sept. 26; throughout that week, the shows will feature all seven Dutton members on stage together, performing live.
"This is the first time we have all performed together since 2013," said Amy Dutton Arambulo, who plays the violin, viola and bass.
She will be joined by her siblings Jenny, Jon, Ben, Abigail, Amy and Tim Dutton.
"I am so excited to have everyone back here again; there is an electricity and, honestly, almost a spiritual connection when we all play together," Arambulo said. "Some people would call it 'being in the zone.' I think my mom has the best description, she just calls it 'the magic of a family working together.' and I think she's right. The magic of everyone working hard together with a common goal is just the most amazing feeling."
While it may seem like a long time since all seven siblings have performed together, particularly to their fans, "at the same time, every single one of my siblings has said that when they come back for a performance, it's like they never left," she continued. "They just pick up their instruments and go."
After that first special weeklong run of reunion shows, The Duttons will return with their regular show that was being performed earlier in the year, prior to the fire — it runs through Oct. 13. Immediately after that, the group's Christmas shows ramps up on Nov. 1 and runs through Dec. 14.
"We are calling the fall and Christmas season of 2022 our 'Beat the Odds' season," Arambulo said, "since we want to show everyone that we can beat the odds and get past this fire with flying colors."
The renovated Dutton theater will open to the public in April 2023.
The Dutton legacy began as the Dutton Family Bluegrass Band, when Arambulo and her brothers and sisters were children. Their parents, Dean and Sheila, wanted to create a family singing and performing group, and they succeeded. The kids learned how to play the violin and other string instruments, while their parents learned the bass and guitar, respectively. Performing inside homes at first, they quickly moved on to churches and, not long after, festivals — even attending the International Children's Festival in France in 1986.
Between 1986 and 1991, the family toured Europe three times, and played 250 shows across America's heartland. They settled in Branson in 1997, eventually building their own theater.
"I don't know where Branson would be today without us," Arambulo said, "but I can say that we have done our part to make sure people all over the world know about Branson and what a great place this is."
Tickets for the upcoming shows are available by calling 417-332-2772 or by visiting www.theduttons.com.