A New Musical Review
Review by John Murray.
"The strength of this production is the timeless songs and authentic choreography"
My memories of The Osmonds go way back further than the hit singles days and Donnymania. I was raised on the coast-to-coast Andy Williams Show on national monochrome TV. It was here off the back of his US hit Moon River that his series of guests, a grizzly bear and songs from himself became the entertainment of the day. His regular guests were a young vocal group from Utah, all dressed the same and with impeccable harmonies. With matching suits and slick back hair, the original Osmonds were the answer to Motown’s Jacksons. By the time of their US smash hit One Bad Apple, they were ready to conquer Europe. All these years later their story comes to the stage.
The Osmonds: A New Musical as told by Jay Osmond is his living autobiography. As they grew up, in came siblings Donny played by Joseph Peacock and Marie (Georgia Lennon) who would take the group to superstardom with colossal hits like Puppy Love and Paper Roses respectively. Adopting a trend to choreograph their new songs their stage shows, and TV appearances became very successful while still giving the image of good clean living family members. One Bad Apple was followed by Crazy Horses and Love Me For A Reason to name just three hits from a catalogue that sold a hundred million records. Let us pause on that – a hundred million records. The stage show is narrated by Alex lodge as the Jay Osmond character and introduces the youngest member, Little Jimmy who would have his own career following his Long Haired Lover From Liverpool solo hit when he was just nine years old. Five weeks at No 1 over Christmas was an unexpected hit and in the show, they completely got this one note for note right down to the hair in his eyes.
This brand-new musical based on Jay Osmond’s own story was conceived for the stage by Julian Bigg and Shaun Kerrison and was set to premiere just a year ago but was postponed due to the pandemic. The strengthof this production is the timeless songs and authentic choreography devised by Bill Deamer. It never calms and the family values they held are questioned and challenged as decisions are made. How they became bankrupt plays a big part. Opening in Leicester in February this year the tour took in Glasgow Kings theatre just two weeks later. This huge national tour will see them return to Scotland to Aberdeen His Majesty’s Theatre on November 1st. Fans I spoke to are returning night after nightand such is the power of the Osmonds and kept alive by this dazzling production.