Donnie and Marie at the O2, Dublin, Thursday 31st January 2013
Donny and Marie, two members of everyone’s favourite musical Mormon family, came to town for one night only bringing their Vegas show to the O2. With a crowd consisting mainly of what could be described as “women of a certain age”, this reviewer felt a bit nervous about what was in for her. Surely a brother and sister act that has been performing for five decades should be terrible and cringe worthy, right? Wrong.
Let us get this straight right from the start, yes the show was cheesy, but it was also one of the most entertaining pop shows you could ever hope to see. From the instant the duo appeared on stage on their illuminated staircase belting out It Takes Two, you knew this show was going to be a lot of fun.
Performing unexpected mashups mixing P!nk’s I’m Coming Out with Dancing In The Street and I Feel Good along with several other hits, ladies dashed to the stage hoping to touch the dashing Donny to which he willingly obliged. For such a large venue, the show felt incredibly intimate because of the constant interaction. During a solo segment Marie gifted Twitter fans with backstage passes. Another fan, John Joe, was taken up on stage before the poor man was blackmailed into singing Crazy with the promise his wife could go backstage. (John Joe, you were sensational.) Showing her incredible vocal range, Marie took this segment to treat the audience to a stunning rendition of Pie Jesu; dedicated to her deceased son Michael; there was barely a dry eye in the house by the end.
One of the wilder moments came when dancers, looking like doubles from the Britney Stronger video, cavorted on chairs while smoke filled the stage. Oh yes, it was Crazy Horses time. Of course when Donny took to the stage it was always wild, with a fan storming the stage and being chased by security at one point. Taking his life into his own hands, Mr Osmond even ventured out into the crowd to perform returning to stage covered in lipstick. Unpredictable mash-up time again saw Celebrate, Start Me Up, Dynamite and Gangnam Style. Yes, Donny Osmond was singing Taio Cruz. Take a moment to think about that. No matter how good the thought is, the reality was infinitely better.
Both seasoned Broadway performers, it was fitting to lead into an interval with a selection of musical hits including Beauty And The Beast and The Sound Of Music. Returning to the stage, the final segments of the show were mainly duets between the pair while reminiscing about their careers. Closing the show with Remember When, set to a slide show of many stars the pair have worked with including Michael Jackson, Elvis, Dolly Parton and well… Snoop Dogg…
One thing that really sets Donny and Marie apart from many other veteran performers is they know exactly how to please an audience. Take note Madonna; they play the hits. They know their fans want to hear Puppy Love and Paper Roses so that is what they give them. They clearly love what they are doing and their joy is just infectious. Once open minded no matter what style of music you are a fan of it really would be hard to see this show and not have a good time.
The only criticism of the night is it seems every other female in The O2 got to touch Donny at some point. Donny, if you’re reading this can we sort this out the next time you’re in Dublin?