You may wonder whether Donny Osmond – The Las Vegas Residency is as good as Donny and Marie was at Flamingo Las Vegas. The answer is a resounding “no”. The new show at Harrah’s is actually far better than the siblings’ long-running hit. While that may come as a surprise, this writer had every reason to suspect that Donny’s solo gig would knock it out of the ballpark, and I’ll tell you why.
In April of 2019, when Donny and Marie were winding down from nearly eleven years on the Strip, I attended their show on behalf of a major publication. Marie had become ill earlier in the day, so her brother did a solo performance that evening (refunds were offered as well). Donny told me later that he struggled to bring things together in just one afternoon, but the final product was fantastic (take that, Adele). Being presumptuous, I suggested that he consider doing a solo residency. The iconic singer put a hand on my shoulder, leaned in, and whispered “It’s already in the works”.
An iconic moment…and a secret revealed.
Two and a half years later, Donny Osmond launched a residency in the main showroom of Harrah’s Las Vegas. The ninety-minute showcase might be missing the banter and jokes of his brother/sister rivalry, but the excitement is amplified to the nth degree. At the age of sixty-four, the most popular member of The Osmonds has never sounded better, moved more smoothly, or had more fun on a stage.
Backed by eight dancers and a full band, Donny opens with his 1989 surprise hit “Soldier of Love”. Packed with awesome choreography, spectacular lighting, and dazzling costumes, it sets the tone for one of the most entertaining evenings you can have in Las Vegas. It’s obvious from the get-go that Donny truly loves his audience, and the new production is proof. It spans his entire show business legacy and provides a thrilling love letter to fans.
It’s tough to put into words the amount of emotion you’ll experience at DONNY OSMOND. Even casual fans, and perhaps those who don’t know him at all (if that’s possible) will find themselves enthralled time after time. The singer/dancer/actor/writer/television host/producer has had so many career highs that he came up with a brilliant way to present them all at once – in a rap song.
The clever segment presents the veteran entertainer in front of a video wall, using cleverly-penned lyrics to rap on his entire career. It’s clever, campy, and impressively lengthy, Retrospective images and video clips soar by and the rhythm gets faster, with Donny never missing a beat. Year after year, decade after decade, from The Andy Williams Show to his variety programs, Broadway and movies to game shows and talk-fests, MTV and awards, Dancing With The Stars to The Masked Singer,..it’s all there. This sequence alone is worth the price of admission…and deserving of a standing ovation.
Donny Osmond Harrah’s Las Vegas
Other unforgettable songs are featured along the way, like “Puppy Love” and “I’ll Make A Man Out of You” from MULAN. The latter has Donny and the cast re-enacting the Disney film’s training sequence, with the headliner once more proving that he’s ageless. A special nod should be given to the dancers and live musicians who match the star in their respective craft.
Vegas resident Derrick Boyce, a longtime backup dancer at the Flamingo show, rejoins Osmond in his new residency. He also performs at AN EVENING WITH WHITNEY: The Hologram Concert and MJ: The Evolution at Mosaic Theater. As an actor, Boyce was in the 2020 film THE PROM with Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman. He’s pictured below, upper right, with some of the current cast of DONNY.
Photo: Darrel Rivera
Donny Osmond Song Challenge – Crazy Horses
If there’s any doubt that Donny Osmond is the ultimate entertainer, he puts it to rest in another dazzling sequence. Sitting at the edge of the stage, Osmond speaks with the audience and invites members to name a song…any song…from his sixty-five albums. And yes, he meets the challenge by belting out a few bars. Most people can’t even remember what they had for dinner last night. Donny’s latest album, START AGAIN, was released last September. The show includes performances of new singles, including “Let’s All Dance” and the outstanding “Who”.
Donny Osmond – Who (Official Video)
Donny Osmond “Let’s All Dance” Harrah’s Las Vegas
No matter what your age or what type of music you prefer, DONNY OSMOND – The Las Vegas Residency is the ultimate Sin City production and an early frontrunner for “Best New Show of 2022”. You’ll be on your feet, dancing along, and eager to return again and again.
DONNY OSMOND performs Tuesday through Saturday at 8 pm. Tickets start at $75 (plus taxes/fees) and are available here. Head to TicketKite.com for the latest deals on Donny Osmond and dozens of other Las Vegas shows.
All photos/videos by Sam Novak except where noted