Donny Osmond Talks Broadway, 'DWTS', and Marie's Infamous Laugh Attack
March 20, 2012
||It’s a dream come true for Donny Osmond fans: A “sing-along” version of the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, starring the former teen idol, will be broadcast to select theaters on March 26 and April 4.
“The name ‘Donny Osmond’ in movie theaters isn’t something you’d equate together,” Osmond told Parade.com. “It’s going to be exciting.”
The 54-year-old entertainer talked to Parade.com about his legendary role in the Broadway hit, his Dancing With the Stars predictions, and why he and little sis Marie will be playing Vegas “till they die.” And speaking of Marie, Osmond also opened up about his sister’s now-infamous “accident” during a recent performance.
On what he remembers most about his Joseph days.
“The loincloth! That stupid loincloth. As a matter of fact, last summer I did a short little tour and I took the loincloth out on the road with me. I didn’t wear it, I just held it up. It’s so funny the screams that little loincloth gets. And I still have the coat as well.”
Any other fashion mishaps you’d like to own up to?
“How about my entire life [Laughing]? When you last as long as my career has — and I’m celebrating 50 years this year — all that stuff just keeps coming back. You gotta put up the old pictures with the flares, the bellbottoms, the hairstyles, the purple socks, and all that kind of stuff. It never goes away. It’s part of your life.”
On his drive to entertain.
“That goes back to the age of 5 — even before then because I watched my brothers perform on The Andy Williams Show. I wanted to be part of it, and in order to be a part of it, I had to work on my voice. I know it sounds ridiculous, but at three, four years old, I was rehearsing and wanting to be a part of the band. But it worked. I got my opportunity at five when I went on The Andy Williams Show. The work ethic was instilled at such an early age that it followed me throughout my life.”
On Marie’s little “accident” during the farewell night of the “Donny & Marie Crusin’ With Friends” tour.
“Wasn’t that the funniest thing you’ve ever seen in your whole life? On the final night, there was a video that they put together of the entire cruise and it was the worst thing I have ever seen in my life! At the very end of it, Marie and I looked at each other like ‘What are we gonna say? So we were trying to be very polite, saying that it was sweet, and I said, ‘I wonder who put that together?’ And Marie said, ‘Well, whoever did is not going to do it next year!’ And that just started the process. She lost it, and then I lost it, and finally she just peed her pants! She tried to cover it up, but there’s no way to cover it up. It just got worse and worse and funnier and funnier. She was so embarrassed about it, but I kind of consoled her. The other night, she said, ‘How do I redeem myself from this?’ I said, ‘Marie, you are now extremely normal. So many people can relate to you,’ and she embraced it. It’s so important to just be yourself.”
You’re an avid tweeter and blogger. Are you better at social networking than your kids?
“Probably not. They’re pretty savvy. As a matter of fact, my older son Don is pretty much the one who runs my website, and he taught me everything I know. But I use it quite a bit. I got married at such a young age and started having children right away. I had my first child when I was 21, and with five boys, I was kind of growing up along with them. Every once in awhile, my wife will turn to me and say, ‘Will you please grow up and act your age?’ because I’ll still act like one of the kids.”
On his lifelong fans.
“Isn’t that an honor to be able to say I’ve had fans who have been with me for 50 years? Not a lot of artists can say that and I appreciate that. I’ve been through ups and downs in my career. I look back to the ’80s when I had no career and I had to reinvent myself, so when I do get tweets from 70-year-old women and then the next one is from a 15-year-old in Australia, it’s pretty amazing.”
On his little-known hobby.
“I have a secret desire to be a pilot. I have a plane, and I have a pilot who flies me back and forth between Vegas and my home in Utah, but I pretty much fly the plane the whole time. I’m a pilot without a pilot’s license.”
Will you ever go for your license?
“I don’t know. I want to be very careful of that. I don’t want to be a casual pilot because those people kill themselves and other people. But I might. I certainly have enough hours to go for it if I want to make it official.”
On his stint in Vegas with Marie.
“We’ve got Vegas till we die! They just came back to us a couple weeks ago and said, ‘Can we sign you until at least 2014?’ What’s amazing about it is Marie and I signed a six-month deal back in 2008 and I remember having this conversation with Marie back then about how we were going to fill seats for six months and here we are going on our fourth year.”
On his love of Vegas.
“The audience is different every night. The demographics are amazing. After I won Dancing With the Stars, it just opened up a whole new audience to who I was. I remember there was this 10-year-old kid who came to the show right after I won Dancing With the Stars and he — with his family right in the front row — and he wouldn’t take his eyes off me. He was just enthralled. So after the show at the meet-and-greet, I saw him in line and he started jumping up and down and he finally gets up to me and he shakes my hand and says, ‘Mr. Osmond, I didn’t know you could sing too!’ It’s a whole new generation just discovering me now.”
Speaking of DWTS, whom are you rooting for this season?
“Jack Wagner made an interesting statement the other day. He said, ‘I’m willing to do anything: thong, pumps, you name it, I’ll go naked!’ He’s a politician, baby! He’s working it! Jack and I have known each other for many years. I wrote the last song that charted for him back in 1983, a song called ‘Too Young.’ I’d love to see what Gladys Knight is going to do, too.”
On the highlights of his career.
“Joseph is one of the highlights. Obviously, ‘Puppy Love,’ The Andy Williams Show, the Donny & Marie show were highlights. ‘Soldier of Love’ was definitely a peek because until that time, I was a teenybopper — I still am in a lot of people’s minds. I didn’t have a career in the ’80s, so I was just working as hard as I could to get back on the charts and then ‘Soldier of Love’ hit and went all the way to the top of the charts, but still people thought, ‘What a novelty! Donny Osmond’s back on the charts.’ It wasn’t until I did Joseph that it solidified that I’m not a teenybopper anymore because you cannot go on a Broadway stage and fake it. It’s do or die on stage.”
On his teenybopper image.
“Oh, I embrace it. I totally get it. I look back at some of the stuff I did when I was 14 years old: ‘Puppy Love’ and ‘Sweet and Innocent,’ ‘Go Away Little Girl’ and all those songs, and it was fine for the time, but it was definitely kinda cheesy for somebody who is into Black Sabbath or Jimi Hendrix or something like that!”