BRANSON, Mo. — Storms from the weekend, turned the Yakov Smirnoff theatre, into a water park.
The longtime entertainer says he’s never seen anything like this before.
“It’s] kind of [an] act of God, there is nothing you could do. It just ripped off the roof,” Smirnoff said.
The roof was taken off the building, exposing the auditorium to extensive water damage.
“Water is in everything,” Smirnoff said. “That means the mold can set in any of those aspects. So we’re protecting the customers to make sure that there is no future damage to and the liability to people who are my fans.”
There’s so much damage that Smirnoff is launching an almost total rebuild.
“I talked to the insurance people and it was my goal [on] September 9th to open that the theater,” Smirnoff said. “They said, ‘September 9th, [of] which year?’ I realized that I’m way, way off. They took the carpet off. They’re taking the tiles off there. There’s tubing is to heat the space so the mold doesn’t set in.”
However, it won’t be long before the 30-year performing veteran is on stage again.
“This happened next morning, I got a text from them,” Smirnoff said. “[They said] we are here to return the favor. This space is here for you with your name on it.”
The family who texted Smirnoff? The Duttons.
It was Smirnoff who offered his venue to the family when fire damage caused them to have to rebuild and relocate in 2022.
“Most people don’t know, the very first person to contact us after our fire was Yakov and offering a place and he could not have been kinder. When I heard, I was on my phone, flashed him a text, ‘Hey, what’s going on? How can we help?’,” Judith Dutton said. “We couldn’t be happier to offer and offer our friend a home for this time.”
Smirnoff is looking forward to performing as soon as he can.
“We’re going to keep the laughter controlled so the explosion doesn’t tear off the roof again.”
Smirnoff told OzarksFirst that he aims to have his first show at the Dutton Theatre in early September.