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Area Entertainment: Make America Laugh Again

Well, I don't know how many of you were able to attend the opening night for Yakov this year. My husband John, our son Montie, and I were able to.

Let me just say, "that we had a laughing good time!" It was a SOLD-OUT show. Laughs were just part of this memorable night. His remodeled theatre is just beautiful. The lobby is full of his artwork, he has his dancing Tesla in the front to greet you, some wonderful assistants on stage, plus, Yakov has his beautiful wife, Olivia, and the great Jim Barber; both join him on stage. Yakov has a motto, "To experience happiness and teach it to the world with passion through laughter and comedy.

              Yakov, "Yakov Naumovich Pokhis" was born in Odesa, Ukraine SSR Soviet Union. He changed his name to Yakov Smirnoff because he worked in a bar for a short time and knew that it would be memorable to people. He and his parents lived in New York, then moved to Los Angeles. He has two children. In 1992, he moved and opened his beautiful theatre. He has entertained millions of people since then. He stated that you know that you’re funny if you can even make the leaders of the Soviet Union laugh.

    He takes you on a little journey throughout his show about he and his parents leaving the Soviet Union in 1977 to come to America to fulfill a dream. They had the task of learning the language and becoming accustomed to the ways of America, but they did it!  He tells you about the different trials they endured and the jobs that he did. He has different pictures portraying on the screens, too. Did you know that Yakov was in many different movies, on Broadway, been on podcasts, and countless TV programs? Yakov has earned an award for a PBS special. He still tours as well as having his show here in Branson.

              Dr. Yakov, yes that is not misprinted, has also earned a Psychology Master's Degree, that had him become a professor at Missouri State University. Recently, he gained a Doctoral Degree in Global Leadership.  He teaches art, has become an author, and performed for USA Presidents. He even wrote a speech for Ronald Reagan, when Ronald was to meet with Mikhail Gorbachev during the Moscow Summit. A picture was taken and is shown during the show. So, despite the rocky start of a language barrier and learning the American ways, I would say that Yakov can rightfully state, "What a country!" He does have a patriotic part in his show of course! Why wouldn't he?  

If you didn't know at the 9/11 first anniversary of the attacks, at the ground zero memorial that was assembled, a mural was painted that at the time no one knew it was the artwork of Yakov, named, "America's Heart." He shows a video that is so heart touching in so many ways. The narration is done by an outstanding voice/person—the late, Paul Harvey, who tells, "The Rest Of The Story" of the mural. I didn't have a dry eye during this.

              During his show, he also includes you in the struggles of marriage, divorce, single life, co-parenting, the opposite sex and all that goes with that. He is very open about his family and life struggles. This is so enduring that you feel like you're a good friend of his to have that revealed in the open. He introduces you to his "love of his life" now, who is a big part and cheerleader of his show.  Yakow talks about how she has helped him find his true laugh and how touching that is.  

His comedy is a variety and clean family friendly. 

             So do me and yourself a favor; don't miss the show! He is doing limited dates, and you can find his schedule at You can also find him on several media outlets, including Facebook, Instagram, X and YouTube. Tickets are available at his theatre: Yakov's Theatre, 470 State Hwy. 248 Branson, MO. or call 417-336-3838.


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