‘Donny & Marie’ show is a nonstop singing fest
In the party-starting medley that opens their long-running, infinitely popular show at Flamingo, Donny and Marie Osmond run through dance-pop hits from several different musical eras, mashing together some songs you’d never expect the superstar siblings to sing. Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston’s classic duet “It Takes Two” is underscored by notes from the 1988 hip-hop smash of the same name by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock. The Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” somehow segues into the Beastie Boys’ “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!),” followed by Lady Gaga’s breakthrough track “Just Dance” and the B-52s’ comeback classic “Love Shack.”
It’s all very over the top and unexpected, but mostly it’s a lot of fun. More significantly, it sets the tone for a night of music that will remind you how long these talented performers have been onstage and in the recording booth, how much entertainment they’ve given their fans, and how many huge, classic stage productions they’ve been involved with.
Since both Donny and Marie began their careers as children, when they reach back to do their nostalgic hits, it makes for memorable musical moments: Marie begins her first solo set with “Paper Roses,” which she covered in 1973 for a No. 1 country hit; Donny opens with the Paul Anka-penned “Puppy Love” that he took to No. 3 in 1972. Such throwbacks magnify the Osmonds’ deep connection with their fans, but both singers have plenty more hits and covers to share that truly resonate. “Music Is Medicine” and especially “Baby You’re Crazy,” two tracks from Marie’s most recent album released last year, really fill the room, and Donny does the same with the swinging “Could She Be Mine” from his 2014 album The Soundtrack of My Life, and his heartfelt rendition of “Moon River,” a tribute to his showbiz mentor Andy Williams.
They show off their still-powerful vocal chops when taking the stage individually to perform songs from stage productions they’ve starred in, Donny from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Marie from The King and I, The Sound of Music and Cabaret. But when they get together to reminisce on the pop hits they’ve recorded as a duo and make jokes at each other’s expense, the laughs and applause are nonstop.
These two are not only stars that have been part of the American pop culture consciousness since the 1960s—they’re versatile performers we know from music, movies and TV, and they’ve been playing Vegas throughout their careers. The Flamingo show has passed the 10-year mark and remains one of the most popular on the Strip.
It doesn’t hurt that they close the show the same way they always did during their Donny & Marie ’70s TV variety show run: “May tomorrow be a perfect day/May you find love and laughter along the way/May God keep you in his tender care/Until he brings us together again…” Some things never go out of style, like true talent and giving the audience what it wants.
Flamingo, 7:30 p.m. Tues.-Sat., $95-$260 plus tax and fee. 702.777.2782