Q&A: Marie Osmond
Donny and Marie Osmond have been performing at the Flamingo for nearly a decade now but I didn’t make it to their soaring musical spectacular for the first time until Oct. 4, 2017. It was my first night on the Strip after the tragic Route 91 music festival shooting, and I wasn’t sure if I was ready to be entertained. Any apprehension or uncertainty began to dissipate as soon as these accomplished siblings took the stage, their warmth and talent embracing every member of the audience. “That’s what good shows should do, they should bring joy to people and help them forget their problems for an hour and a half,” Marie says as I recount my experiences that night. “You set aside your politics and beliefs or whatever and just say, ‘Entertain me,’ and that’s what we’re supposed to do.”
Few headliners do it better. Here’s the rest of my recent conversation with the singer, actress, spokeswoman and memorable member of a legendary showbiz family.
You and Donny originally signed on at the Flamingo for a six-week run, which has turned into ten great years and more to come. How did that happen?
Yeah, you try working with your sibling for 10 years! (Laughs.) Back then we said we can tolerate each other for six weeks. But I have to tell you, the crazy thing has been all these people from all over the world coming to see us because of our original (TV) show. It was dubbed into 17 different languages. People have come in and told us their parents snuck us underground in Russia to watch the show, or watched us in China when I didn’t know we were on in China. People from Australia, Holland, Japan, you name it. It’s just incredible. And it makes going onstage so fun every night.
Your audience spans all ages, too, not just people who watched you on TV in the 1970s.
We had a 20-year-old bring her mother for a birthday and the daughter told us she was our biggest fan now. It transcends generations. I was just visiting with a 7-year-old who loves my new album “Music Is Medicine,” who I got to spend time with through the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. So that’s four generations now and we’re in our fifth decade of performing. People have found us along the way.
You’ve both recorded so many albums and performed so many memorable roles on Broadway and other stage productions. How do you choose which songs you need for your Vegas show with all that history to pull from?
It is so difficult and that’s why we’re always changing it up and adding to the opening medley. I’m putting “Meet Me in Montana” in and Donny is going to sing the Dan Seals part. We got the CMA award for Duo of the Year for that song so I gotta put that one in. There’s a lot but we shake ‘em up so you’re always hearing something different.
You’re keeping busy but you spend a lot of time being mom and grandma, too.
I have eight children and my fourth grandchild is on the way. But I’m a different mom with my first than my last because you learn things. It’s so funny because my mom would always tell me, “Don’t stress it,” and now I’m telling my daughter the same thing. You just look at things differently. Every generation has their own way of doing things. But I love it and being a grandma, oh my gosh, there is nothing better. You don’t have to discipline them, you can just love them.
And you balance family time with so many other endeavors.
I’m kind of CEO of four things now: The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, the Flamingo show, my own skincare line and something really cool called Body Gym. Those are the things I’m focused on not but I’m working on a new album and some other possible (music) projects. The other thing that takes up time is Nutrisystem but that’s so much fun. I’ve had so many people come up to me in [post-show] meet-and-greets and share some amazing (weight loss) stories. And I like doing things that make people feel better.