I realize this post may lead some of you to question my level of musical taste. My writing on OS consists mostly of tributes to rock heroes from my generation, all of whom are rapidly approaching senior citizen status. But that love of music started earlier than with the rockers I grew to admire and make part of my daily life.
What I'm about to tell you may make me lose all credibility and any coolness factor I may have had in your eyes when it comes to music. Deep breath. Here goes. Did you ever have a ridiculous music crush on someone when you were just a kid? Someone that covered your walls in posters? Someone with the cheesiest tv show ever and yet you were inches away from the screen each week taking it all in?
I admit it. I was a huge Donny & Marie fan. Don't go screaming into the night! The Osmonds came along when I was a young tween and my parents loved the squeaky clean image they presented. Perfect for an 11 year old girl.
Donny was kind of the Justin Beiber of the day.
Go Away, Little Girl
The Osmond Brothers had nice harmonies and could play instruments.
And Marie, well, Marie just seemed perfect.
My allowance was spent on Osmonds albums, Tiger Beat Magazine and Sixteen Magazine.
This was rockin' to my 13 year old friends and me. And we all had purple socks. What?! You didn't know Donny's favorite color was purple?
Then Donny & Marie had their first hit.
Every Friday night there was the variety show of the brother-sister act.
Those impressionable years were forever imprinted by The Osmonds and especially Donny & Marie. I quietly watched them on specials over the years, followed them when they had their short lived talk show from 1998-2000, read reviews of both of their performances in assorted Broadway plays, felt empathy for Marie when she suffered from post-partum depression and went through 2 divorces and endured the unthinkable tragedy of her 18 year old son committing suicide. I called in votes for Marie when she was on Dancing With the Stars and held my breath when she fainted to the ground in one episode. I cheered for Donny when he won the mirror ball trophy on the same show a season later.
Fast forward to 2011 and the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. My birthday present from my husband was tickets to see Donny & Marie perform their nightclub act. But not just see the show- we had VIP seats and entry to a meet and greet with them. I'm a grown ass woman who was having palpatations over meeting Donny & Marie Osmond! First we made our way over to The Flamingo Hotel & Casino.
We were walking through the casino towards the showroom when this display caught my eye. It's Donny's outfit and trophy from Dancing With the Stars.
And right next to it was one of Marie's dresses from the show.
Our tickets were waiting at Will Call along with our VIP lanyards and 8 x 10 glossies for Donny & Marie to autograph.
We were escorted to VIP table number 1 in the showroom.
The stage jutted out between the two number 1 tables and came down to four steps in the front and my knees were about 6 inches from the stage. I couldn't believe how close we were! Before the show began, Donny & Marie trivia questions were projected on the big screen. I knew most of the answers. Have I lost more of you with that little tidbit?
Then the curtain dropped and there they were.
Someone filmed a bit of the opening before security made them turn it off, and where you see Donny giving a high five to people at the edge of the stage on the left side is where our seats were. Donny gave me a high five too.
The next two hours were filled with great singing, dancing, glitzy costumes, corny jokes between siblings, and some tender moments as well. Donny walked down the steps and sat next to my husband, leaning up against him, catching his breath from some vigorous dancing, and joking. Marie came to our side of the stage and sang to me directly. I was struck by the power of her voice, something that I'd not experienced on tv shows. Each performer had time on stage alone singing their particular hits before they reunited as a team.
They sang a range of songs from pop to Broadway all with ease, power, and perfect pitch. A relaxed, friendly repoire with the audience continued throughout the evening as they brought audience members on stage and talked to them directly in the crowd.
Marie showed her operatic side when she dedicated Pie Jesu to her late son, Michael, noting that it had been a year since he was gone, and having to compose herself for a moment as tears welled in her eyes before she began to sing. You could have heard a pin drop in the theater. The following video is from a different venue, but the arrangement is the same.
They ended the show with their signature closing song from The Donny & Marie tv show.