PIGEON FORGE (WATE) - Think you know the story of the Hatfields and McCoys? You may want to think again.
A local entertainment group, Fee Hedrick Family Entertainment, has re-worked the history of the feuding families into an original local production that has a definite Made in Tennessee flair.
Co-owner Jim Hedrick says he and partner David Fee had explored the possibility of a show built around the Hatfields and McCoys for more than a decade.
After a 10-year run with the Black Bear Jamboree, they finally decided to make their idea a reality.
"We wanted to create an experience, not just a show," Hedrick said. "Right when you walk in, you're a cousin, a Hatfield or McCoy. We try to get everyone involved."
In fact, once you are seated the entertainers pit sides of the theater against each other and egg on the audience to participate.
While the show is about a feud, it is filled with jokes, dancing, and classic bluegrass music.
Fee and Hedrick used to be entertainers at Magic World in Pigeon Forge. They say that helps them have the perfect recipe for a successful show.
"We love to entertain," Fee said. "It's what we have always done. Sometimes I want to get up there and perform as well because I can tell how much fun they are having."
You don't have to wait until dinner for the entertainment to start. The fun begins as soon as you pull up in the parking lot. There are live animals and funny signs all around the dilapidated homes that make up the theater.
There's also a two-seater outhouse and a talking doorbell sure to leave you in stitches.
In the lobby you'll find more fun, including lots of Tennessee-made products in the gift shop. That is just another way the owners help to support the local economy.
"We all know in this time and economy everything seems to be coming from China, " Hedrick said. "So how important is it to get things made and done by local individuals in a nice hometown atmosphere?"
Fee Hedrick employees more than 500 people. Most are local performers who put on three shows a day during the busy tourist season. Two shows are staged each day during slower times.
The owners also own the Smoky Mountain Opry and the Comedy Barn Theater.