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Call me madame, too — Nashville’s Tussauds is a different experience

Posted on Thursday, September 14, 2017 at 3:08 pm

 

 

 

By Peter Covino

A&E Editor

All Madame Tussauds are not created equally.

If you have ever been to the popular wax attraction near the Orlando Eye, off of International Drive, no doubt you have been fascinated by the collection of figures, and of course, took at least a couple of selfies.

But the fun of posing with your favorite stars is not limited to Orlando. There are several Madame Tussauds worldwide, and during a recent trip to Tennessee (mostly with the total eclipse in mind), I stopped in for a visit to the Madame Tussauds Nashville for a different wax experience.

While the Orlando attraction features a broad range of celebrities, past and present, in Nashville, not surprisingly, it’s all about the music.

The Nashville attraction is icon central, with legendary country artists of the past like Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash as well as some guy named Elvis. In fact, one of the highlights, and there are many, in Nashville, is the recreation of a historic day at a impromptu jam session in Memphis in 1956, on Dec. 4, 1956 session, three rising stars — Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins and some newcomer named Jerry Lee Lewis, got together.

Of interest to Floridians, especially Central Florida, is an exhibit that showcases just how a wax figure is created, an intricate process that can take six months to complete.

What’s so special about this figure? It features Darius Rucker, who will be headlining in Kissimmee this spring at the 2017 Runaway Music Festival at Osceola Heritage Park.

Rucker is shown in various stages of the creation project at the Nashville museum and how modern techniques are now used, in addition to the methods used during Victorian times.

About the process: Usually Madame Tussauds’ experts will try and meet with the celebrity in person, taking hundreds of photographs and measurements, as well as taking a hand cast and match eye and hair samples.

Then the figure is sculpted,  using 330 pounds of clay. The figure  features real human hair, which is inserted  into the wax head one strand at a time. Even the teeth are individually crafted. Finishing touches include building layers of oil paints to ensure the skin color is right.

The celebrity outfit is usually donated by the celebrity or designer label or reproduced with their permission.

Other classic “stops” on the Nashville celebrity tour, include a stop at the WSM studios to see Patsy Cline and a radio show featuring Billie Holiday and Hank Williams. The Soul and Jazz Bar features Diana Ross singing and Stevie Wonder at the piano.

There’s even a rock bar with the likes of Jimi Hendrix and an autograph session with Bruce Springsteen.

The finale in Nashville, appropriately enough, is at the Grand Old Opry, where you are on stage with the stars.

If you are going to Nashville, tickets for the Nashville show start at $19 for adults, if you book online. At the door prices are $24. Go to https://www.madametussauds.com/nashville/en/tickets/ for information.

Of course, you can always experience Madame Tussauds in Orlando, as well as the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye and Sea Life Orlando. Online pricing includes a combination ticket for all three attractions for $49.

Go to https://www.madametussauds.com/orlando/en/tickets/?gclid=CI73zN7QjtYCFQwQgQodP84KXQ for information.

The Orlando Madame Tussauds includes sports figures like Tiger Woods and Shaquille O’Neal, celebrities such as Selena Gomez, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt and film sets with Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Kung  Fu Panda, and many more.

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