Dancap Nabs Donny & Marie For Summer Lineup
by Martin Knelman
March 6, 2011
Donny and Marie Osmond, that sister-brother duo from Utah, are coming to Toronto in August. They’ll present their Las Vegas show for two weeks at the Four Seasons Centre under the Dancap banner.
High-rolling impresario Aubrey Dan will announce Monday that the Osmond siblings will fill out Dancap’s season of summer musicals at the opera house, following the run of Next to Normal and preceding the run of Come Fly Away.
By making a splash with the Osmond announcement, Dan could be sending a message that he is not going to be stymied by the failure of South Pacific, which he has decided to close on March 20, three weeks earlier than scheduled, to cut his losses.
Donny and Marie represent a particular kind of nostalgia. At age 3, Donny joined his four older brothers in a singing group featured on TV’s Andy Williams Show. Marie began appearing on the show a couple of years later.
Now Donny, 53, and Marie, 51, are back in the limelight following stints on Dancing With the Stars and a successful Broadway run as a duo last fall.
The acclaimed Lincoln Center revival of South Pacific caused excitement when it played the Four Seasons Centre last summer. But in mid-February when Dancap brought it back for an eight-week run at Toronto Center for the Arts, ticket-buyers failed to turn up — despite cheers from the critics.
In its first week, the show took in only about $430,000, less than 30% of its maximum box-office. The second week was even worse, with just over $350,000. Balconies were closed to mask the fact that two-thirds of the 1,800-seat house (where Dancap kept Jersey Boys running for two years) was unoccupied.
This marks the end of South Pacific’s North American tour but in August, the Barbican Center is bringing South Pacific to London.
By then it will be up to Donny and Marie to give Dancap some enchanted evenings.
As a Mormon showbiz family, the Osmonds seemed to define clean-cut middle America. In the 1970s, the older siblings stepped back as Donny and Marie emerged as a star duo with their own weekly network TV show and a successful recording career.
When the TV show was cancelled their careers faded for a while. But in the 1990s Donny and Marie worked separately in big stage musicals. Donny gave over 2000 performances in the title role of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
They are currently playing at the Flamingo in Las Vegas. And it was essentially their Vegas show with some added festive material that they took to New York as a Christmas special. Donny and Marie were a hit on Broadway — and Dancap is betting they will be in Toronto as well.