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Concert Review: Donny & Marie In Toronto
National Post
by Manori Ravindran
July 7, 2011

A little bit country and a little bit rock ’n’ roll — with a little bit of Broadway for good measure — Donny and Marie Osmond took to the stage Wednesday night for a lively Toronto show that paid homage to almost five decades in showbiz.

While I can’t say I’ve ever been a great fan of the brother-sister duo, who recently released their first album together in 30 years, Donny and Marie — with characteristic wide grins and bickering-sibling act — certainly proved they’re still in sync (and in shape) after a lifetime of performing. Although the show was plagued by sound issues (several songs bore a nasty echo) and featured more chatter than singing, long-time fans didn’t seem to mind in the least.

Kicking off the show with It Takes Two, Marie sang mash-ups of such hits as Walk This Way and These Boots Are Made for Walking before the two curiously parted ways for the majority of the concert. Considering the show was titled Donny & Marie, there wasn’t a great deal of togetherness on stage from the Osmonds. Maybe five decades of performing does take its toll, after all.

Three screens onstage showed archival footage of the pair’s early years, including the Osmond Brothers performing on The Andy Williams Show as well as clips from the popular 1970s Donny & Marie TV show. In what was a highlight for sentimental audience members, each Osmond interacted with early performances projected on screens behind them, with Marie singing Paper Roses as footage of an old concert played in the background, while Donny danced to Yo-Yo with his brothers.

Both Osmonds also incorporated a great deal of stage chit-chat in between songs, often about their families, perhaps telling of the fact that today’s Donny and Marie are personalities as well as performers. While it was touching to hear Marie talk openly about the death of her son last year (the star dedicated the song Pie Jesu to him), the duo’s stories were generally longer than most of the songs they performed.

The pair eventually reconvened to sing parts of hits such as I’m Leaving It All Up to You and Deep Purple, all while continuing to poke fun at one another. After spotting a nine-year-old in the audience, Marie asked, “How old are you? Do you even know who we are?” leaving Donny to quickly add, “I’m Sonny, and she’s Cher.”

That’s the thing about an Osmond performance: You know exactly what you’re going to get. And for fans who grew up listening to Puppy Love, sound issues and lengthy stories certainly can’t get in the way of a nostalgic evening.

Donny & Marie Live runs until July 17. For tickets, call 416-644-3665 or visit



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