Jimmy Osmond Set To Light Up Stage In Grand Panto
South Wales Evening Post
December 6, 2011
Pop icon Jimmy Osmond arrives in Swansea city centre ahead of his performances in the pantomime Aladin at the Grand Theatre over Christmas
WHAT with Henry Winkler and The Hoff regularly adding a little star wattage to British pantos it seems no US celebrity's CV is complete without a spell as Widow Twankey or Captain Hook.
And Swansea's Grand Theatre has its own American pop superstar to help pull in the crowds, in the perennially chirpy Little Jimmy Osmond.
He may not be so little these days -— he is a tanned and healthy looking dad of four — and he has long since ditched the Elvis-style jumpsuits and the fringe. But his appearance in Aladdin, as Wishee Washee, is still likely to draw a gasp and a scream from the ladies.
He says adulation isn't the only reason he is over here.
"We grew up in that old Hollywood way. It was variety, slapstick — quite Vaudevillian in a way. So I get panto, even though we don't have panto in the US," he said at the panto line-up launch yesterday.
"My kids love it. I have four beautiful kids and a great wife and they will be here in Swansea. They love coming over to see it.
"You know what I love about panto? Looking into the audience and seeing everyone, from little kids to grandma enjoying themselves. They all take something different away from it."
Jimmy said the knockabout laughs of pantomime appealed to his sense of fun. "This is my third one," he added. "I was Buttons the first few times and now I'm Wishee Washee. And I'm just learning what that is all about!"
He said having his own career independently of The Osmonds machine meant he had spent time touring the smaller venues and theatres in Britain, and spending time in the UK had been a pleasure. "I'm like an old penny," he added. "I keep showing up. For the last few years I have spent half of the year here. I love getting to see the place."
Jimmy is joined by Kevin Johns and Zoe George in Aladdin at Swansea's Grand Theatre which runs from Friday, December 16 to Sunday, January 15.