Toronto certainly has its share of "headliners" this summer. Just this week, Hugh Jackman opened his one-man show at The Princess of Wales Theatre and Donny & Marie opened their two-week stint at the Four Seasons Performing Arts Centre, which is beautiful new venue that houses opera and ballets and has five tiers. Later this summer, Colm Wilkinson will be playing the same venue, in concert.
The Osmond siblings are selling through the roof and audiences are going crazy for the duo, who have their "mother ship" running at the "Forever Fabulous" Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas and have signed a contract renewal into 2012. There are dark weeks in the showroom, which allow Donny & Marie Live! to hit the road and they will be doing the same with a Holiday edition during November and December, playing Detroit and Chicago. Apparently, our sources tell us that those engagements are selling like gangbusters as well.
The touring edition is unique and unlike last year's Broadway Holiday Show, in that the show's current director, Richard Jay-Alexander (who re-vamped the Las Vegas show) has built the latest touring show in two acts, with added material.
We have the current song list:
Opener: IT TAKES TWO
VEGAS LOVE (from their new album)
Something they call DANCE STOMP, which is a medley/dance number with the entire company, consisting of: LET'S GET THIS PARTY STARTED DANCING IN THE STREETS KNOCK ON WOOD HIGHER DANCE TO THE MUSIC
Marie's Segment is now:
PAPER ROSES A "mash-up" with guitar and male dancers -
WALK THIS WAY/THESE BOOTS ARE MADE FOR WALKIN' CRAZY - with someone from the audience BOOGIE WOOGIE BUGLE BOY
Marie's Broadway section:
ALL THAT JAZZ
BUT THE WORLD GOES 'ROUND PIE JESU
SOLDIER OF LOVE
Act I ends with JUMP JIVE - Entire Company
Act II Opens with:
DANCING WITH THE STARS video segment into DANCE CHALLENGE - D&M and dancers
Marie sings a song form her solo album - I CAN DO THIS
Donny and the boys due an Osmond tribute with YO-YO
Any Dream Will DO
CLOSE EVERY DOOR
Original Song written by Donny - WHENEVER YOU'RE IN TROUBLE CRAZY HORSES
D&M THROUGH THE DECADES video
Donny & Marie together:
I'M A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY ...
LEAVIN' IT ALL UP TO YOU
DEEP PURPLE MORNING
SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN
GOOD LIFE - the single from their new album
REMEMBER WHEN GOODNIGHT / MAY TOMORROW
On Opening Night, the show flew by, with each act timing in at about an hour and a 20 minute intermission.
If you're an Osmond fan (and who isn't) this show is something you may not get another chance to see. It's somewhat definitive in both content, treatment and execution. In the venue, the sound is impeccable and the lights (by Peter Morse) were gorgeous, with non-stop variables. Both stars seem to be at the top of their game, which makes sense because they started so young.
On Opening Night, we counted 8 standing ovations and at the end of the show, the ovation lasted several minutes and clearly the brother and sister were quite moved and we saw tears.
The show was more theatrical than a Las Vegas act, which no doubt has something to do with Jay-Alexander helming the show. In addition, both Donny & Marie seem to have a versatility you simply do not see in performers anymore. If you consider all the stars they have worked with during their "formative" years ... this can easily explain how they sing in so many styles .... all of them equally well.
The dancers are fantastic and the band, led by Jerry Williams are amazing. They're actually part of the show, jumping in and out of numbers. The costumes are glamorous and Marie, in particular, sports an extraordinary array of styles of fashion and has the best shoes we've ever seen! Her guitar looks like it's dipped in Swarovski crystals.
Here are some quotes from some of the reviews and photos from the current show. The Toronto Globe & Mail wrote "It would be easy for a cynical turn of mind to make fun of Donny and Marie. But you have to judge a show by what it delivers, and their adoring fans got two hours of flat-out bang for their bucks." and The Canadian Press said that "They've both spoken about how their audiences now seem to span several generations and that range was evident at Wednesday's show. At one point Marie asked two tweens who were sitting up front: "Do you even know who we are?" Despite the humour, the pair seemed genuinely grateful for the Toronto welcome. After receiving a rapturous standing ovation to end the night, they again referenced the fact that they've been making music for almost a half-century. "After all these years of performing..." began Donny, trailing off as the applause swelled. "This never gets old," added a choked-up Marie."
The limited run will play at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts through July 17, 2011. Ticket prices range from $52-$265.00. For more information and to book your Tickets or FLEXI-SUBSCRIPTION call 416.644.3665, toll-free at 1.866.950.7469 or online at DancapTickets.com
BWW Hi-Res Gallery - Original Version