Me: “Have you heard of Donny and Marie Osmond?”
Daughter: “There is a guy named Alex who is a senior. Maybe those are his parents.”
Such is the generation gap that my kids have no knowledge of the so-wholesome-your-teeth-ache Osmond brothers or little-bit-country-little-bit-rock’n-roll flavored “Donny and Marie Show.”
Truth be told, I hadn’t really followed them much in the past few decades other than to have scant knowledge that Marie was on Dancing with the Stars where I once caught a brief glimpse of her in an ill-conceived doll costume.
But I was offered tickets to see them in Vegas and despite my lingering reservations that we’d be in for an endless medley of “Puppy Love” and “Paper Roses,” we decided to check it out.
Once we found our way to the theater in the Flamingo Las Vegas, we were escorted to a booth right up front with a perfect view of the T-shaped stage. We had seen a giant mural advertising the show as we had walked up the strip, so I was able to point them and their teeth out to Catherine.
From the minute they come out and Donny runs down tables and leaps over booths to shake hands and touch his fans all the while flashing his famous grin and Marie strides confidently in mile-high stilettos, the audience was enthralled.
The 90-minute show is pure Vegas, with eight mega-talented dancers, a nine-piece band with horns, light-up staircases and enough costume changes to make Cher proud. And Donny and Marie put their hearts into it – especially during the many demanding dance numbers.
They sang some of their hits, but also covered others by Stevie Wonder and the Isley Brothers and many others, interspersed with a little sibling banter. Marie, who has been training in opera, performed Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Pie Jesu.”
They performed together, then separately, then back together and even engaged in a dance-off, West Side Story style. Their voices and dancing skills show years of training as well as talent. The action-packed show ends with a montage of their years on TV.
Afterwards, as we were in possession of the very special VIP badges, we were allowed backstage where we got to meet the famous duo and chat for a few minutes. I employed my hard-hitting investigative journalism techniques to ferret out sensitive information:
Me: How did you learn to dance in those six-inch stilettos?
Marie: It takes training! It helped when I went on Dancing with the Stars.
We both loved the show and now, my daughter knows who Donny and Marie are.