Friday November 20, 2020 | 4 a.m.
When Donny Osmond says his return to headlining the Las Vegas Strip feels like coming home, he means it.
Officially announced today, the artist will reunite with Caesars Entertainment for a solo residency at Harrahs Las Vegas, opening August 31, 2021. A year ago now, Osmond and his sister Marie have put the finishing touches on an 11-year run. at Flamingo. Las Vegas.
It’s quite interesting because when I was about 6 or 7 years old, I was the first act, along with my brothers, to open Harrahs in Tahoe. We were opening for Phyllis Diller, he said. Here I am all those years later in Harrahs, so really, I’m home.
Throughout his career as a solo artist or singer with his sister or brothers not to mention an actor on stage and on screen, a talk show and variety host and a bestselling author Osmond has collected 33 records gold and sold over 100 million albums. . In recent years he has written and recorded for a breathtaking 63rd album, work that eventually inspired the idea for his new show in Vegas.
Tickets go on sale Tuesday, November 24 for her first series of shows at Harrahs Showroom, August 31 through November 20. If the record sales of the Donny & Marie residency are any indication, another blockbuster show is on the way.
Donny Osmond has achieved a lifetime of remarkable milestones as an artist, including countless memories with us, said Caesars Entertainment Regional President Gary Selesner. We were delighted to welcome her to Harrahs’ stage next summer for a brand new show, and we look forward to sharing many more unforgettable moments with our guests and one of music’s most beloved stars.
Here is the rest of my conversation with Osmond on Thursday when he arrived at Harrah’s Las Vegas:
Was this new residency in progress since the end of the Flamingo show?
Right at the very end [director] Raj Kapoor came to see the show. He’s the go-to guy if you really want an amazing show. He did all the awards, he did the Backstreet Boys show. Then he was backstage with me and my manager Jim Morey and I played him part of my new album, which I’ve been working on for several years now and it’s almost ready. I played stuff and he said, Donny, it’s more than an album, it’s a show. I said, what do you mean? He’s been considering doing a show for my whole life and presenting this new music. And right after the first of the year, we approached Caesars and said to him: what do you think? because Vegas is pretty much my home and I know them like family. And over the past three months, negotiations have gotten very serious, and we signed the deal on Saturday. They said they wanted to advertise the show now and they were very excited about it, and I said, I’ll be on a plane, let’s go.
Even though this show won’t open for nine months, there’s something exciting about making the announcement now as the holiday season approaches.
I live in an optimistic world. With all of these restrictions right now, I honestly believe Vegas is going to explode with excitement. [next year]. Everyone is so sick and tired of being locked up. This has been the hardest thing in Vegas and you watch Vegas is going to bounce back more than ever. And I’m very honored to be a part of this wave, one of the first to be announced in a big way right now and to help bring this city back to life. It’s almost become a cliché when people say Vegas Strong, but it’s real.
Is there something about the music on the album that inspired the career retrospective approach you’re taking with the new show?
It’s not a chronological type album that goes back to my career. It’s all new material, but the people I’ve worked with with writers who’ve worked with Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran, catching people all over the world and doing sessions, it’s the best of the best. I wrote maybe 40 or 50 songs for this album and I will use the top 10 or 12 songs. I wish I could get it out now. It was the music Raj listened to that interested him in my six decades of show business and what we can do on stage with all this new music and all the hits of the past.
No one else has had a career like yours. You have rebounded between playing alone and with your family all your life. So what’s it like to create a show that looks back this way?
What Marie and I did with the Flamingo, I think a lot of that magic between the two of us has to do with being brothers and sisters. This show is not a repeat of that, it’s something completely different. It encompasses the entire six decades. Actually, there’s something that I’ve been working on since we closed this series, something that I felt I had to do somehow, but I think I got it. The challenge is that I have children and young people who know me through The Masked Singer or Mulan or Dancing With the Stars. It’s amazing how many young people know who I am. So how can I satisfy this demographic and puppy lovers? [older fans]. So I came up with this concept where at some point during the show we shut it down, the band and I get to the edge of the stage and it’s almost like a Q&A. And there’s this huge screen on the stage with all 63 albums on it, and someone [in the audience] said, I remember that song right there, and I do the song no matter what they choose. We’ve got it ready to go with all of them, and maybe we’re only doing 20 or 30 seconds of it, but that way we get through that great part of the music.
It is a huge challenge. That’s a lot of songs!
It does, and many different types of music. But I think I got it because my goal is for me to want every audience member to leave the show saying, I heard what I wanted to hear, and I saw what I came to see.
In my opinion, this approach is what separates the truly successful Las Vegas residences from the rest. The shows that really resonate are the ones where the artist is concerned with satisfying the audience, they know how to do it and they do it.
It sounds so simple, that philosophy you just said, but a lot of people don’t. Sometimes you go on stage and you’re in your own little world, and I appreciate that because I do too. When I made Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the late Steven Pimlott was the director, a great Shakespearean director. He said something to me the first day of rehearsals that changed my whole approach to show business: the theater is a place where people come to dream in public, and you are in charge of that dream. It’s a huge responsibility, but of course it’s so obvious. He also said: You’ve been trained your whole life to go on stage and light it up. And I said, it’s my job, people buy a ticket for entertainment and it’s my job. He said no. You have it upside down. Your job is to get up there and have a good time and let them take a peek into your world. If you have fun, they will have fun. But there is a balance there. Yes, you are in your own little world, but you have invited these people and you have to have a reciprocal relationship.