The chilly Winter wind of the British isles was recently colored with a sudden scorching heat. A breath of hot air blowing from sunny Las Vegas has been carried over by Donny & Marie Osmond on tour in the UK and Ireland, those last two weeks. The famous siblings delivered a breathtaking performance that left thousands of fans in a purple daze.
The legendary duet has now stepped across the threshold of the 50th year of show business with grace, glamor and energy supplements. The British audience was fortunate enough to attend an extravaganza, a brilliant concentrate of dynamism, sweat, good spirits and top notch music. The pair’s natural charm, kindness and genuineness always hit the bull’s eye and are the essential ingredients of a family recipe. It’s like stepping away from the table, sated but light, as if one had a hearty meal made of fine food.
Donny & Marie may be 70’s offspring but the siblings do not convey that faded or cheesy overtone anymore. Their show is intended for a broad audience and the range of their artistic skills is nothing but dazzling. Donny & Marie did not only sing the hits but also bridged a wide musical span. Whether in solo or duo sets, brother and sister develop a mesmerizing scenic know-how. This is entertainment in the literal and full meaning of the term.
It’s not all about nostalgia
The siblings were both contestants in “Dance With The Stars” and Donny even won the award in 2009. Apparently, it shows. When Donny launches into the bouncing choreography of “Yo-Yo”, you cannot help but notice that the dancers are half his age but the D-Man does not show any sign of weakness or breathlessness. The track starts off in the old-school way and eventually takes a modern twist with a catchy beat. “Celebrate” even borrows some notes to Kool & the Gang “Celebration” and to Psy’s “Gangnam style” – horsey dance included – .
Marie is every bit as sexy and beautiful as the young female dancers wiggling around her. She even gets more rock ‘n’ roll than country when she grabs the electric guitar and turns into a quite convincing rocker. Both in their fifties, Donny and Marie never seemed so fit and slim, they are in fact at the top of their career.
Of course, Donny and Marie gladly sink into a 70’s medley but the performance is also based upon Broadway musicals and even opera pieces.
Donny up and close
Ageless charmer, Donny is well aware of his drawing power that never seems to fade away. He is an expert in the art of seduction and maturity glamorizes him even more. Never in his career was he this close to his fans. No more social phobia. The man allows himself to become sensual or so it seems. Almost all senses are indeed solicited : sight, hearing but also touch. Dozens of lucky fans could even kiss, embrace him during his walk in the audience while crooning “The Twelfth Of Never”. Donny gives his all, he is an artist with great integrity and generosity. Pretending to collapse on stage, sweaty and worn out, he is begging for a Kleenex and wiping off his sweat in a fan scarf. Some enthusiasts will even get a backstage pass.
Marie is looking hard to hunt down a few men scattered in this massive feminine wave. A happy chap will have the opportunity to sing and dance, his hands pressed tight on Marie’s hips. Then, she steps down in the audience and leaves the flame red mark of her glossy lips on some fellow’s forehead.
The show is stuffed with smiling and friendly cues, although the sensitive touch spices it all. Marie dedicates “Pie Jesu” to her late son Michael. Clouds of steam are rolling on the set to vanish in the first rows of the audience. Lyric soprano Marie is singing at the top her lungs. Her crystalline and lavish voice is blowing breaths of bright notes bringing the crowd to an ecstatic mood.
Even self-derision is handled with relevance. Donny is masquerading himself into a younger self, back to his sweet triggered smiles era. At the end of a vigorous choreography, Donny is bowing and eventually collapsing. The exhausted entertainer throws away his mask. No more radio-controlled smiles. Now he is really himself. Today, he is fit and feels good about himself. The man is aging gracefully. The 55 year old unfaltering heart-throb has never been so close to his fans. He does not fear to be mobbed like before, he is more accessible. His superstar status did not alter what he is : a down-to-earth genuine guy. At last.
There will not be any curtain call. The show is tailored. Pale neon lights are bringing the audience back to a gloomy reality. Though, magic powder is blazing and lights up souls with glitter dust, sowing the seeds of wonder in our dreams. As long as our “deep purple dreams” will live on, our morrows will bear the promise to be “perfect days”…
© Nadine Lebrun