It has been a long time since The Osmonds got their big break in show business. Andy Williams hired them in 1962 to be regulars on his television show. Initially, Donny Osmond was not a member of the group but joined the band at the age of five. Marie Osmond was the youngest member of the clan and was not officially a member of the ‘bubblegum’ boy band.
Donny & Marie have had solo careers during years, but they have hit their stride as a performing duo in Las Vegas over the last ten years. It was apparent that Tucson still loves Donny as heard by the screams as he appeared on stage. They brought their show to Tucson on July 22 to a packed house at AVA Amphitheatre. AXS was there and here is what we saw.
1) All the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas
The 90-minute show had all of the sparkle one would expect and much more. They began the show walking down steep stairs on to the bottom of the stage. They still appeared very youthful even though Donny is sixty years old and Marie is just two years behind him. Their voices and their moves have held up as well as their appearance.
There were videos in the background and very arty stage lighting just as you would expect from a Vegas extravaganza.
Marie rivals Cher in the costume rotation department. A room divider was on the side of the stage to allow Marie to do quick costume changes. Her ensembles were breathtaking. Our favorite was when she sported a sequined Stetson, tall glittery boots and a duster with a guitar slung over her shoulder. Her boots were to die for.
2) An Osmond history lesson from over the last five decades
The videos manage to carry you back in time showcasing Osmond’s career. There was a video clip showing Donny’s first appearance on the Andy Williams show at the age of five. Donny augmented the videos with his stories about many of the celebrities he has collaborated with.
There was a plethora of nostalgia for the more mature fans that came of age in the '70s. Donny reminded everyone that his first hit record was not “Puppy Love,” but was “One Bad Apple.” He flawlessly recreated the Osmonds' "Yo-Yo!" dance for fans.
3) Multiple genres of music that seemed to fit
This was not a show of Osmond hit songs. Frequently, the hits performed as medleys or as quick snippets.
They started the show with a Black-Eyed Peas number, “Tonight’s Gonna Be a Good Night” infused with the B-52’s “Love Shack.” They also sang the Beastie Boys' "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party),"
Marie’s solo set included her country and pop hits, but also flirting with R&B and traditional pop. Her standout moment was when she delivered a stunning, operatic “Nessun Dorma” into the mix of songs. She also did a collection of Broadway songs that started with "Getting to Know You" from "The King and I."
Donny revisited his theater career during his solo portion of the show, as he performed "Close Every Door" from "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." He displayed his dancing skills and took the first of many opportunities to remind the fans that he earned a "Dancing with the Stars" (DWTS) trophy in 2009.
4) Humorous banter and gags
There were many tongue-in-cheek moments throughout the show. It was sibling rivalry to the max. Marie began talking about the Arizona heat, which is very typical this time of year. She quipped, “Speaking of hot, it’s so hot that your brain gets kind of stupid. I feel like Donny.”
She quickly dropped to the floor on her knees at one point, wearing her expensive threads and said she had to acknowledge "my favorite fan." She proceeded to put a small electric fan right in front of her face as she wallowed in the breeze. Marie is not afraid of physical comedy.
Donny got his digs in as he reminded Marie many times that he won DWTS and she didn’t. He even poked fun of their Mormon religion on occasion.
Donny joked about the loincloth he had to wear in “Joseph and the Amazing Dreamcoat.” It only had four snaps holding it on his body. He mentioned that the snaps failed only once.
5) Top-notch band and dancers
The band did a superb job keeping up with the very fast paced show. There were four ‘constantly-in-motion’ dancers who worked diligently throughout the show. Donny mentioned that their dancers were voted ‘The Best in Las Vegas” this year.
There were some serious moments too. Marie proudly spoke of her charity work with Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. They have raised approximately six and one-half billion dollars for the foundation.
Marie also asked for prayers for her friend Olivia Newton-John. Newton-John is fighting a new cancer diagnosis.
Donny & Marie’s show is as fun as it gets. More popular entertainers are seeking a residency in Las Vegas these days. Donny and Marie have survived and stayed relevant in a business that is notoriously tough.
Click here for a complete setlist.