Dolly Parton herself greeted the audience Friday at the premiere of the Smoky Mountain Adventures show in Pigeon Forge.
She told them the show concept is personal.
"Going back in time when Mom and Dad first started dating, it's their love story in the 1930s. And we would have a rivalry between the Owens family, which is my mom's people, and the Parton family. Although they did get along pretty good," she said.
Dolly looked pretty in pink when she introduced the show. Then she sat down to watch it with the audience.
They experienced music, dancing, and acrobatics.
The acts are tied together with the story of the Owenses and the Partons in East Tennessee. The cast members appreciate the local connection.
"We get to bring this to the community. They live here. This is their community that they are getting to watch on stage," Joshua Johnson said. He plays Josh Parton in the show and performs many daredevil moves.
Smoky Mountain Adventures ends with a huge fire that burns down the old mill. That fire brings the families together in the face of adversity.
"We feel that the Smoky Mountains story message is timely at this particular point in time. But this is a message that we need to know going forward and going back, too," Bud Beasley said.
As the character, Applejack, Beasley leads the audience through the twists and turns of the family rivalry.
He said: "Folks have to work together, I think. It will make for a better world in general. I think that is the message of Smoky Mountain Tough."
The show features Dolly Parton's voice as a narrator and in five songs. That presence gives Smoky Mountains Adventures an authentic East Tennessee flavor.