It may not have been Las Vegas, Broadway or Branson, but The Venue At Horseshoe Casino in Hammond may very well have been the crossroads of all three musical landmarks when Donny and Marie Osmond came to town. Though Christmas was the theme on a glitzy stage stacked with a staircase, fireplace, decorated trees and presents galore, the nearly two hour night read more like a good old fashioned variety hour that also showcased the newer sides of the world’s most famous brother/sister duo.
Indeed, Donny and Marie have been cultural mainstays longer than most, which is perhaps the reason why this latest showbiz spectacle was sculpted to be a little bit familiar, a little bit fresh, and perhaps most importantly, a whole lot of fun.
In just the first segment alone, the costume-changing co-headliners, a five piece band and four dancers switched between a festive rendition of “We Need A Little Christmas,” their recent non-seasonal chart-topper “A Beautiful Life” and a medley of holiday-themed Motown songs. Outside of collaborating, Marie’s solo time on stage included her unveiling of the upcoming “Music Is The Medicine,” a glorious version of “How Great Thou Art” and a “Blue Christmas” duet with an unsuspecting yet unbelievably good sport fan.
Donny seemed just as friendly as he entered from the back of the showroom during “Christmas In The City,” then incited shrieks from the women (beside moans from the men) throughout “Puppy Love” and eventually crooned Andy Williams’ “Moon River” off his latest (and 60th!) album “The Soundtrack Of My Life.” Given so much material between them and the seasonal nature of this show, it would’ve been impossible to play everything, though relegating some of the majors to short snippets was a bit of a let down (especially in the case of “A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock ‘N Roll”).
Thankfully the pair performed a full version of warmly nostalgic “Remember When,” accompanied by five decades of footage and photos with collaborators from virtually every sector of entertainment. Indeed, Donny and Marie have been cultural mainstays longer than most, which is perhaps the reason why this latest showbiz spectacle was sculpted to be a little bit familiar, a little bit fresh, and perhaps most importantly, a whole lot of fun.
Upcoming concert highlights at The Venue at Horseshoe Casino include Heart (Dec. 6); Styx (Dec. 11); Al Jarreau (Dec. 18); The Whispers and The Stylistics (Jan. 2); Kool & The Gang and Average White Band (Jan. 22) and Aaron Lewis (Feb. 27). For additional details, visit www.thevenuechicago.com and www.ticketmaster.com.