Q&A with Donny and Marie Osmond

Returning to their Las Vegas show, “Donny & Marie,” with a full schedule of performances beginning April 14, Donny and Marie Osmond are the sibling duo that undoubtedly still has what it takes to entertain an audience. Over the course of their 90-minute, high-energy Las Vegas concert, the performers sing a perfect blend of their classic hits as well as chart toppers of today. And even though audience members will see that the pair has evolved with the times, they will be delighted to find that the comedic sibling dynamic has remained wholeheartedly intact.

Donny and Marie Osmond celebrate the renaming of their showroom at Flamingo Las Vegas to the Donny & Marie Showroom, photo courtesy of Las Vegas Blog

Since singing on stage together for the first time in 1973, the timeless entertainers have not only perfected the craft of showbiz but continue to up the ante of their celebrated Las Vegas revue with amazing costumes (with a special shout out to Marie’s ahhh-mazing crystal-covered stilettos), top-of-the-line backup dancers and a set list that will have you dancing in the aisles. Having recently extended their Las Vegas contract at the Flamingo to perform through the end of 2015, we sat down with the legendary performers to get the inside scoop on their show, their life as performers and some other questions that involve Batman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Q&A with Marie Osmond

Marie Osmond, photo courtesy of Jeremy Deputat

Q: Since you’ve extended your show through 2015, can audiences expect anything different that will be happening in your show for the coming year?
A: Well, seven is a lucky number here in Las Vegas, and we are so blessed to have people come back again and again to the show. So we are constantly changing the show to make it fresh for our audiences – and for us. And this year, Donny and I will be much more warm, loving and supportive of each other…not.

Q: How do you select the songs you perform in the show?
A: I am a very passionate performer. I like to connect emotionally whether it’s to the songs I sing, or the numbers I perform. And I love to share that passion with the audience. Like the brand new number I just put in the show, Showstopper, where I become 25 iconic women. It took a year to create this one number. I think the audiences feel that passion – they’re really liking it and it makes me happy to perform it.

Q: What is your favorite song to perform in your Las Vegas show and why?
A: That’s a difficult question. I like performing in Vegas because it allows me to perform many different styles of music. But the one that I look forward to, that challenges me every night, is Nessun Dorma. To do it, I studied opera for 15 years before I ever sang opera publicly.

Q: Having been a performer your whole life, what motivates you to continue performing?
A: We have the best audiences in the world. They are so loyal. Nothing can motivate you more that them. That, and I like to wear new shoes!

Q: Your show currently features a lot of newer hits – have you and Donny considered incorporating some more of your classic hits into the production?
A: We do. Even though we change the show a little bit every year to keep it fresh, you have to always incorporate the standards that people want to hear, like “Paper Roses,” “Puppy Love” and “Leaving It Up to You.”

Q: If you could jump back in time to the ’70s or ’80s, who is someone you would have loved to feature on “The Donny and Marie Show” and why?
A: I feel like we featured everybody on that show, so I’m not sure. I remember when we asked Lee Majors to be on the show. He said he would, if we had his wife. We said, “Who’s your wife?” He told us she’s an up-and-coming actress. So we had Farrah Fawcett on before she was famous.

Q: Where is your favorite place to unwind in Las Vegas when you’re not performing?
My home. I’m a homebody. There’s nothing I like better in this world than hanging out with my family. It’s why I moved us all here to Las Vegas. I work 15 minutes from my house.

Q: If you could give your younger self a piece of showbiz advice, what would that advice be?
A: Don’t be so hard on yourself! And I’d tell ’80s Marie that some of those hairdos should have been hair don’ts. What was I thinking?

Q: Are you working on any independent projects outside of your Las Vegas show?
A: Yes, I have a new album I’m getting ready to release, and I have an upcoming solo tour I’m really excited about – “An Intimate Evening with Marie – My Life Through Music.” You can find out more about the tour dates at my website, marieosmond.com. Music has always been my medicine, my safe place – it’s what’s gotten me through the ups and downs of my life. So I’m going to tell the story of my crazy life, the highs and the lows, through my music.

Q: What is a fun or random fact about yourself that is not widely known?
A: I’m Batman. Oh man, I wasn’t supposed to tell you that.

Q: Do you ever put your new-found Dancing with the Stars skills to use in your performances or personal life?
A: I use my new endurance during my performances. It’s so much easier to sing when you’re not panting. And being able to do the splits helped me in my personal life too – now I can find loose change under my couch.

Q: Is there anything else about yourself or your Las Vegas show that you would like to add?
A: Just that I continue to be so grateful to our wonderful audiences that come from all over the world. Their love and support is amazing – I feel it every night when I walk out on the stage. And oh yeah, this guy Donny…he feels it too. We feel blessed to have been voted Best in Las Vegas three years in a row. Let’s go for another!

Q&A with Donny Osmond

Donny Osmond

Q: Since you’ve extended your show through 2015, can audiences expect anything different that will be happening in your show for the coming year?
A: Don’t ever expect the same show twice when Marie and I get on stage. We constantly change it up with new music, dancing and video production. I think that’s one reason why we’ve taken Best of Las Vegas three years in a row.

Q: How do you select the songs you perform in the show?
A: We always like to use current music, for instance, I just added a little bit of “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars into one of my dance production numbers but we also listen to our audiences via Facebook and Twitter to get a feel for the songs they remember. That way we get a good mix of songs.

Q: What is your favorite song to perform in your Las Vegas show and why?
A: “Moon River.” Of all the songs I perform in the show, this one reminds me of where entertainment began for me. I made my entertainment debut on “The Andy Williams Show.” So, to sing this song with 50 years of entertaining under my belt, it’s packed with a lot of emotion. Interestingly, I also recorded “Moon River” for my 60th album, “The Soundtrack of My Life.”

Q: Having been a performer your whole life, what motivates you to continue performing?
A: The fans, and everyone who comes to see the show; that’s where I get my motivation.

Q: If you could jump back in time to the ’70s or ’80s, who is someone you would have loved to feature on “The Donny and Marie Show” and why?
A: …and bring back to the future to perform in Las Vegas? I’ve worked with so many greats throughout the years, I would probably bring back a number of people – too many to name.

Q: Where is your favorite place to unwind in Las Vegas when you’re not performing?
A: My dressing room at the Flamingo. I’ve been there for six years, and have a lot of great memories there; the walls are covered with photos of my family. And, that’s where I recorded “The Soundtrack of My Life.” I have my own little sound booth in there.

Q: If you could give your younger self a piece of showbiz advice, what would that advice be?
Don’t give up. There were a number of times in my past that I considered it, but I’m so grateful I didn’t. Oh yeah, one more thing. Reconsider the whole purple socks thing.

Q: Are you working on any independent projects outside of your Las Vegas show?
A: My wife and I have recently launched a home furnishings brand – Donny Osmond Home. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. It’s like entertaining, but without the microphone, stage, lights, cameras… OK, maybe not exactly, but Debbie and I are having a blast creating new items; some of which will be released this summer on donnyosmond.com.

Q: What is a fun or random fact about yourself that is not widely known?
A: Donatello from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was named after me.

Q: What’s the most unusual gift you’ve ever received from a fan?
A: Themselves. No lie. I actually had someone try to ship themselves to me. I think she got stopped in customs for not having the right paperwork.

Q: Do you ever put your new-found Dancing with the Stars skills to use in your performances or personal life?
A: I use those skills every night on stage at the Flamingo. There’s so much dancing that it’s like going to the gym every night for 90 minutes.

Q: Past or present, who is someone you’d love to sing a duet with that you’ve never performed with before?
A: Michael Jackson. He and I had it all planned out. We were going to do “I Wish” by Stevie Wonder. Both Michael and Stevie loved the track I recorded for the project but unfortunately, it never happened.

Q: Is there anything else about yourself or your Las Vegas show that you would like to add?
A: I have been performing in Las Vegas since I was about 8 years old. I love this town!

Comments

Trading one desert for another, I moved to Las Vegas from Arizona nearly three years ago. It was something about the sparkling lights and the all-encompassing entertainment factor that persuaded me to swap cacti for casinos and dry heat for well…even drier heat. And while I do love a good show, I will always keep true to my country girl ways seeing that I am an absolute sucker for a good country concert and will always indulge the opportunity to go out country dancing! But in a city that undoubtedly has some of the world’s best cuisine, a wild assortment of endless experiences, and of course phenomenal shows, Vegas certainly has that unparalleled good time vibe that can make a city slicker out of just about anyone… including myself!