Donny Osmond's 'Basically Yours' Is In
by Denise Bonura
August 26, 2011
|Donny Osmond has waited his whole life to perform a multi-generational show that allows all audience members to interact with him and recall their fondest memories of the entertainer, songwriter and humanitarian.
The Utah native’s solo tour “Basically Yours” is headed to the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center on Shippensburg University’s campus at 8 tonight. Tickets are still available.
“What they want to hear, that’s what they’re going to get,” Osmond said in a phone interview. “Audience members will receive ‘Ask Donny’ cards and they can request anything from ‘Puppy Love’ to ‘Soldier of Love’ to ‘White & Nerdy!’ Not knowing what kind of show it’s going to end up being is very exciting. My whole life I’ve waited to do this kind of show. It evokes every kind of emotion possible.”
Osmond, 53, has been in the limelight since he was 5. The devout Mormon and seventh of nine children of George and Olive Osmond performed with his brothers and was a teen heartthrob in the 1970s.
He has appeared on numerous television shows — from the “Andy Williams Show” to the “Donny & Marie” variety show with his sister and “Dancing With the Stars,” which he won with partner Kym Johnson in 2009.
Osmond has sold more than 80 million records and has received 33 golden records, 18 of them before the age of 13.
He has also generated millions of dollars for various charitable organizations, such as Make-a-Wish Foundation, Best Buddies, The Children’s Miracle Network and The One Heart Foundation.
Osmond opened the tour in Connecticut Wednesday. He explained the beginning and end are rehearsed and structured, but the audience dictates the rest. Multimedia will allow images of anything the audience requests to pop up on the screen behind him — memories from his Broadway days, his teen idol days, performing with his brothers or his Las Vegas stardom.
“This is the ultimate challenge for an artist because there are so many things to draw from,” he said. “Last night, an 8-year-old girl saw me in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and a boy in the audience knew me from ‘Mulan.’ The older crowds know the ‘Donny & Marie’ show. It was the cutest thing last night. A 93-year-old woman remembered the ‘Andy Williams Show.’ This show demonstrates a different demographic. It’s multi-generational. Everyone walks away with something they want.”
In charge of a dream
Osmond has had his share of ups and downs during his 48-year career. He experienced a Broadway flop in 1982 with “Little Johnny Jones,” and struggled with social phobia and his squeaky-clean image in the 1990s. Through the bumps in his road, Osmond has pulled through to become stronger. He credits the late Steven Pimlott for giving him advice that changed his perspective on show business.
“When I was in ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,’ my director told me something that changed my perspective on this business. He said, ‘The theater is where people come to dream in public, and you are in charge of that dream,’” Osmond recalled.
Osmond advises aspiring stars to continue working.
“Nothing beats work,” he added. “I would play every single venue you could possibly imagine. Each one brings experience and you call upon those experiences. It’s quite interesting how potential artists feel a sense of entitlement. They want everything and they want it now. Everything isn’t handed to you on a silver platter.”
Staying ahead of the curve and reinventing himself keeps him motivated and learning to balance his home life with his stardom has helped keep him balanced — a lesson he learned from the King himself, Elvis Presley, when Osmond was just 14.
“Yes, I may be a star, but I’m also a husband, a father and a grandpa,” Osmond said. “At home I wear a different hat that keeps me grounded.
“It’s been a wild roller coaster ride,” he continued of his career. “I’ve been very fortunate to be doing this for 48 years. If you have five years in this business, you’re considered lucky. It’s a difficult business. But, when you get a reaction like I did (Wednesday) night, you realize, ‘This is why I do what I do.’ If last night was any indication of how this show is going to go, I think people are going to like it.”