Osmond Siblings Ring In Holiday Season With Spirited Production at Oriental Theatre
Lake Michigan Shore
by Eloise Louise Valadez
December 2, 2011
Donny and Marie Osmond will bring their 'Christmas in Chicago' show to The Oriental Theatre in Chicago Tuesday through Dec. 24.
Through the years, quality entertainment and spreading joy through music have been the Osmond family signature.
Next week, popular siblings Donny and Marie Osmond will bring the harmonious sounds of the season to the Windy City with their "Christmas in Chicago" show opening Tuesday and running through Dec. 24 at The Oriental Theatre. The show is presented by Broadway in Chicago.
For Donny Osmond, the three-week Chicago production offers a rare opportunity to come back to the toddlin' town where he had a multi-year successful run of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" during the 1990s.
"It's going to be so nice to be back there. I've got so many great memories of living there," he said, during a recent telephone interview from Las Vegas, where Donny and Marie's current revue has been playing at The Flamingo Hotel since the fall of 2008.
Osmond, who lived in the northern suburb of Wilmette, Ill., during his Joseph stint, looks forward to the visit.
"I'm going to go to Wilmette and all the places that were my old stomping grounds," he said.
When told about the prediction that Chicago's supposed to have a treacherous winter this year, Osmond said "I was there doing Joseph in '94 which was one of the worst winters on record. So, it'll just take me right back to those good ol' days."
Donny and Marie's "Christmas in Chicago" production will showcase a variety of Christmas tunes along with segments from their current Las Vegas production.
The duo performed a special Christmas revue on Broadway last year but Osmond said this show for Chicago will feature a great deal of new material.
"We're putting together a whole new show. It's probably 75 to 80 percent different from what we did last year on Broadway."
The sibling singers are presenting the new holiday show at Detroit's Fox Theatre through Sunday before bringing it to Chicago. The show began in Detroit on Wednesday.
Osmond said their rehearsal schedule for the Christmas show has been hectic since they were still performing at The Flamingo Hotel up to the time they left for Detroit.
"There's no downtime," he said. "It's a challenge because it's a busy time of year here and you don't want to shut the production down. So we've been rehearsing during the day and doing the Vegas show at night."
The singer said he's always enjoyed Christmas tunes.
"When I hear Christmas music, it takes me back to 'The Andy Williams Show' when I was a kid. 'It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year' is one of my favorite songs."
It was on Williams' show that Osmond and his brothers made their debut. Marie and younger brother Jimmy were later introduced on the show as well.
The Osmond Family also had annual heartfelt Christmas specials which were part of the original Donny and Marie variety series in the 1970s.
Osmond said audiences may be a bit surprised at their latest show.
"When you hear Donny and Marie Christmas Show, people might think 'Oh, I've got to bring an insulin shot with me because it's just going to be so sweet.' But, we're going to try something a little different," he said.
"We're going to open the show with a video of the atrocities going on — the economic problems, the unemployment problems. Then all of a sudden we're going to stop and go into our Christmas show. We're saying 'Yes, this is the world we live in and there are a lot of atrocities and we can't erase it just by saying it's Christmas but for two hours we're going to get away from it. That's the concept of our show," Osmond said.
"We just want to give people an evening to get away from it all and to bring in the Christmas spirit whatever that might be to anybody."
After the holidays, Osmond said they'll have a three-week vacation and then head back to Vegas to do their regular show which is scheduled to run through the end of next year.
"We're contracted to go to the end of 2012. We really don't know at this point how long it will go after that. Marie and I haven't made up our minds. (After Christmas) we're going to try to figure out what we want to do for the next three to five years," he said.