Donny Osmond loves making jokes. Even when the gag seems to go over the audience's head, he still keeps chuckling. "Did you get that one?" he asked, referencing This Is Spinal Tap's famous "up to eleven" quote. "I think you were one of the few who did," he laughed, as we spoke after a recent performance of the Donny and Marie Show show at Flamingo Hotel Casino.
The beloved brother and sister of the famed Osmond clan have indeed turned up the dial to maximum setting. Not only is their revamped show better than ever, but the Utah natives are about to wrap up an amazing eleven years on the Strip. "You know, we were only supposed to be here for six weeks. And now we're in our eleventh year," Donny exclaimed. "Can you believe it?"
While other nostalgia-based Vegas productions have had mixed success of late, Donny and Marie continue to pack the house, perhaps now more than ever. Derrick Boyce, one of the production's award-winning dancers, is excited about their continued success. "I was in the casino before show time, and was stunned at the long line stretching around the corner. We're sold out on a Tuesday night. It's amazing!"
"Amazing" is also the perfect word to describe the show itself. A perfect blend of their original hits and chart-toppers by other artists, Donny and Marie leave everyone wanting more. While their legacy is certainly the catalyst in attracting longtime fans, it's the charisma of the two leads, combined with their fantastic voices, dance skills and production numbers, that lure in audiences of all ages.
Opening with a high-energy medley of the Black Eyed Peas’ "I’ve Got a Feeling" and B-52's "Love Shack," the siblings thrill the crowd with non-stop banter and good-natured rivalry. Despite the passage of more than four decades, it feels like you've stepped into a live taping of their beloved ‘70s TV variety show.
After that raucous opener, the Osmonds stroll down memory lane with their successful individual careers. Marie makes a visit to Broadway, then slips on a pair of cowgirl boots for country favorites. “Duo Des Fleurs” (from the French opera Lakme) is a beautiful sequence in which Marie performs a duet with herself via special effects. The segment closes with “Music Is Medicine” (from the album of the same name). That release features a collaboration with Olivia Newton-John and benefits Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, which Marie helped to establish in 1983.
There's definitely no opera or country when brother Donny takes over the stage. He unleashes serious rock and roll amidst hardcore pyrotechnics for “Crazy Horses” and “Soldier of Love.” The former heartthrob boasts about his recent Dancing With the Stars and The Masked Singer successes, revisits those teen idol days with “Puppy Love” and reunites with the legendary Osmond brothers, via video, for “Love Me For A Reason.”
It's worth noting that when this writer attended Donny and Marie the previous week, Marie had to abruptly cancel due to illness. Always the consummate professional, the 61-year-old Donny turned the evening into a stellar showcase and career retrospective. "Yeah, we really scrambled to put that one together. I hope it turned out alright," he told me. Indeed it did.
When prodded about the possibility of a solo Vegas residency, the ageless father of five leaned in and revealed, "We're already working on that." Did Donny just give us a Best of Vegas exclusive? It certainly sounds that way, but don't take any chances – experience the award-winning Donny and Marie Show before it becomes a part of Las Vegas history.
Donny and Marie Osmond perform Tuesday through Saturday at Flamingo Hotel Casino. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. The final show date is November 16th, 2019