Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
The Historic Murray Theater has been transformed into Utah’s hottest new no smoking, no alcohol dance club. Located at 4961 South State Street in Murray, call the concert hotline for ticket information at 801-654-6678. David thinks the ticket price will be around $12 and that the show time is around 8:30, although the website for the theater says 10:00 p.m.
The Ballas Hough Band is made up of Mark Ballas (Lead Vocals and Guitar), Derek Hough (Lead Vocals and Guitar), Emily Grace (Keyboards), Sam Marder (Bass Guitar), and Harry Sullivan (Drums). Derek Hough has been a featured dancer on the Dancing with the Star competition. To find out more about the band, visit http://www.myspace.com/ballashoughband.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
To see the video, click FOX 13
How long would it take you and a group of your friends to raise 5-hundred dollars for charity?
David Osmond says it can happen with just the click of a computer mouse. He is one of the driving forces behind "UPLEJ"-- an online charitable website that combines social networking and non-profit organizations. It's a concept similar to Facebook or Myspace.
You sign up online, pay a little under 5-dollars per month-- and then spread the word to all of your friends and family. One dollar of your donation goes toward your charity, another dollar goes toward the charity of the friend who recruited you, back three degrees.
"The more and more people join, the more money goes to all of these different causes," David said. "Say a thousand of your friends did that-- 4,000 bucks a month. And you spent 4.79. That's it."
Any non-profit charity organization that meets the requirements can become a benefactor on "UPLEJ"-- like "Ascend Alliance," an organization that helps impoverished communities.
When David recruited his friend, well-known entertainer Alex Boye, Alex's contribution goes toward multiple charities.
"This is a great way to give back to people and you don't have to give much of yourself," Alex said.
The list of "UPLEJERS" includes everyone from Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff to pop star Debbie Gibson...
They say all it takes is a little bit from everyone to make a big difference.
"The power in numbers is what we're looking for," said Scott Osmond. "The people that join, the more good that can happen."
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
If you are subscribed to the Osmond Family blog email list, you should have received an audio version as well. Just open the attachment to hear me recite the poem. If you didn't receive yours, or you'd like to subscribe, just send us an email at Osmondstrengtheningfamilies@gmail.com and we'll send one out to you anytime between now and New Year's.
Here's hoping you have a wonderful holiday season!
Come Follow Me and He Went
Camp 332 the captain came through
He was wearing insigneous bright.
“Men” he declared, “You must be prepared
To conquer the enemy’s fight!”
With a towering glare and heart without care he said,
“Men, I’d like you to hear…”
“Soldier,” he said, “Get this into your head
get rid of your cowardly fear!”
So night after night they prepared for the fight
At the feet of the militant man,
Till the soldiers were ready, their spirits were steady
And every man’s thought was I can!
Well, the night finally came and name after name was
Read for the march of the day
It was then that they heard the cowardly word,
“The captain is going to stay.”
Well, they left for the trek and were dressed to the neck
In attire designed for a fight
But the hearts of the legion that marched through the region
Were back in the camp in the night.
You see as they went, they thought of a tent of a
Cowardly captain who stayed
Who didn’t go through what he told them to do
Because he was really afraid.
He easily told the men to be bold
To have courage for strength in a fight,
But he was the man when the battle began
Who hid in the dark of the night.
Then there was one who walked in the son of the
Galilee country of old.
A teacher was He as He walked by the sea
For His words with His actions were bold
“Men” he declared, “We must be prepared to
Conquer the enemy’s fight.”
Then He went in the power of prayer to the hills
And He prayed for the rest of the night.
It was He long ago who taught men to know
That it is far more blessed to give
Then by His example the teaching was ample
To show them how better to live.
“Come follow me” was His conquering plea
“We must not give up the fight.”
“Father, thy will not mine be done,”
and they followed in spirit and might.
You see, the master teacher wasn’t a preacher
Who hid in a camp in a tent,
He was the one who showed how it was done
He said, “Come follow me” and He went.
Longtime friends in and out of the music business, Jay Osmond and nationally-recognized trumpet players the Brunson Brothers have a new Christmas CD and DVD. With the sales of the album, they're raising money to help families with the proceeds.
"I've wanted to do it for a long time. Whenever you hear the song 'Drummer Boy,' in the past, you'll always hear some good singing, but you never hear the drums. I mean, you hear a little rat-tat-tat; so I said, ‘It's time we do this thing right,'" Osmond said.
The project also came out the friendship: the Osmonds and the Brunsons have known each other for decades. "I've been helping out the Osmonds with their, the PBS 50th anniversary, and Jay's been doing some work here in the studio. And Jay, he just really wanted to kick it on 'The Little Drummer Boy,' and so I said, 'Let's do it!'" Gaynor Brunson said.
They also joined forces for a good cause, giving proceeds of their sales of the combined DVD-CD package to Community Action agencies along the Wasatch Front that help families in need.
"If there's a family that's struggling to make their house payments even, they can go to Community Action and be helped with food so they don't have to make, so they don't have to take their food money to pay for their house payment, so they can keep their home," Arlan Brunson explained.
"Tis the Season" combination DVD-CDs are available at Summerhays Music stores in Salt Lake City and Orem.
To see the video, click KSL.
By Robin Leach
Photo: Miss America Organization
There might never be another evening filled with so much talent and glamour! Can you imagine the 52 Miss America contestants on the dance floor with more than 10 former Miss Americas?
Organizers have combined this year’s Miss America breakfast with the “Evening of Dreams” into one spectacular event on Jan. 23. Kirsten Haglund, Miss America 2008, will introduce Marie Osmond. A certain number of tickets for the Planet Hollywood event will be made available to fans and the public at $100 each.
However, if you go for the $250 VIP tickets, you join a private cocktail reception for this year’s Miss America candidates and the former Miss America ladies -- and special seating where you’re guaranteed either a contestant or yesteryear winner will sit at your table!
Leach Blog Photo
Photo: Miss America Organization
We at Osmond Network want to express our Love and Best Wishes to you for this coming year!Yes, you are loved, and we are blessed!
Whether you are a subscriber, a customer, a fan / friend, or just someone who wants to help “Turn this World Around”, and make a difference by getting Noi-Z for good… Our network has tried to publish to you the TRUTH.
Thanks from Osmond.com, 2ndg.com, TheFamily.com, Get Noi-Z.org, OneHeart.org, TheOsmond”Family” Blog, The Family Forum, ON Store@The family.com, deaf.net, donny.com, marieosmond.com, OBWise.com, TheFamily.com/Awards.asp, OsmondMS.com WarmingFamilies.com, Osmondgenetree.com, Cookingforboys.com, Elvisbofm.com, WhyIAmAMormon.com, etc… The Osmonds, LuAnn and staff , all hope you will remember and stay with us in 2009!
Let “Come what may” and Let’s Be Happy!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Northampton Chronicle and Echo
December 18, 2008
If it isn't already, then surely one of the great rites of passage for any parent and child should be their first trip to the panto together.
Derngate's production of Cinderella, which runs until January 11, left neither this reviewer nor his four-year-old Jack wanting on any count: It was truly fabulous from start to finish.
Cinderella is rightly billed as the greatest panto of them all and was actually the last one I saw, circa 1974, when I doubtless missed all the parent-oriented gags that peppered this one and help to make the traditional panto a great standalone entertainment for the adults too.
Jimmy Osmond revealed how this was his first ever stab at panto, but he was a tremendously assured presence on stage throughout. Warm and witty in the part of Buttons, he also had ladies of a certain vintage swooning in the aisles with a rendition of his trademark Long Haired Lover from Liverpool while a series of giant – and we mean giant – balloons were bounced around the auditorium.
The plotline was followed loyally, but there was plenty of contemporary humour along the way, mostly from an excellent pair of ugly sisters (Brian Godfrey was especially good) and a brilliant Baron Hardup, played by Peter Piper, whose repertoire included possibly the only gag doing the panto rounds about a lock-up in Bellinge, an amazing take-off of Basil Fawlty and a very bizarre scene involving a gorilla where the kids were left mesmerised. And a few parents confused too.
The stronger first half culminated in perhaps the best scene of the show with Cinders heading for the ball in a fantastic blaze of colour and a carriage pulled by two Shetland ponies. The second half was a riot of dance, colour and song and some really beautiful costumes – not least Cinderella (the excellent Danielle York) – and sets.
Our performance was only at the very start of a month-long run, but it was faultless and the cast had the audience utterly smitten by the end. And did Jack and his parents have a night to remember? Oh yes they did.
Cinderella runs at Derngate until Sunday, January 11. Call the box office on Northampton 624811 or book online at www.royalandderngate.co.uk
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Saturday, 20 December 2008
The moment that changed me for ever ... puberty, for obvious reasons.
My greatest inspiration ... my mother, Olive.
If I could change one thing about myself ... I'd be more fit than I am now, but it's hard finding time to get down to the gym.
At night I dream of ... happy things. Luckily, I don't have to deal with nightmares.
What I see when I look in the mirror is ... Buttons, as in the character, not the fastening device! For the next month I will be Cinderella's father's servant, so not just plain old Jimmy Osmond this Christmas.
My style icon ... The legendary Gianni Versace. I've been a fan of his cloth es since his first store opened in 1978, and the man himself had impeccable style.
My real-life villain ... I would have to say myself. I don't think it's fair to blame others.
I wish I'd never worn ... flares, which I wore a lot of. But then I was born in the Sixties so I had very little chance of avoiding them.
It's not fashionable but I like ... panto. Ooooh yes I do!
I drive ... a black Porsche Carrera S4.
The shop I can't walk past ... The Apple Store, which can work out to be rather expensive because there is always something new to buy once I'm inside.
The best invention ever ... The telephone. I've always been a great traveller, so I depend on the phone to keep in touch with people back home.
My favourite item of clothing ... I have an old black cagoule, which I bought in the UK years ago. I wear it all the time because it's so comfortable, and it reminds me of happy times.
You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at ... drawing cartoons.
You may not know it but I'm no good at ... playing the piano, but luckily we had Donny to fill that spot when we were young.
All my money goes on ... building my new home in Utah, which is where a lot of my family come from and still live now.
If I have time to myself ... I catch up on a few hours of long overdue sleep.
My house is ... still under construction but it will be really beautiful when it's completed. But I spend a lot of my time travelling, so in reality, home becomes wherever it is that me and my family happen to be at any given moment, which could be a lot of different places. It's quite confusing.
My most valuable possession is ... my wife Michele, and our four precious children: Sophia Michele, Zachary James, Arthur Wyatt and Isabella Olive Renee. I hate being without them for a single moment.
My favourite building ... is the Salt Lake City temple. It's a beautiful place and means a lot to me as it's where I married my bride.
Movie heaven ... James Bond, all of them played one after the other.
A book that changed me ... The Bible, which was read to me at a young age.
My favourite work of art ... 'Sitting Ducks' by Michael Bedard, from the charming children's storybook about an unlikely friendship between a duckling and an alligator.
The last album I bought/downloaded ...The soundtrack to the film version of Chicago, with Catherine Zeta Jones, Richard Gere and Renée Zellweger. It's filled with classics from the original musical, like "Razzle Dazzle".
In 10 years' time, I hope to be ... still working and doing new things. I don't like doing nothin g, I am a do-er in every sense.
The person who really makes me laugh ... My good friend, the born entertainer and full-time Yorkshireman, Billy Pearce, with whom I co-starred in 'Boogie Nights – The Musical' in Blackpool four years ago.
My life in seven words ... Crazy, fun, hard work – and worth it!
A LIFE IN BRIEF
Thursday, December 18, 2008
The idea that some families are programmed to produce son after son, while others will have only daughters, may not be a myth. A man’s tendency to father sons could be influenced by his genes, research suggests.
A study by Corry Gellatly, of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, shows that men who have many brothers are more likely to have sons themselves. One example is Alan Osmond, of the pop-singing brothers, who has eight sons. The research, published in Evolutionary Biology, studied 927 family trees from North America and Europe, which date back to 1600. “The study showed that whether you’re likely to have a boy or a girl is inherited,” Mr Gellatly said.
He suggested that an undiscovered gene could also explain why more boys than usual were born after both world wars. Families with multiple sons would have been more likely to see at least one survive, he said, and those sons would in turn have been more likely to father boys.
Simon Cowell — the mean judge on "American Idol" — has absolutely nothing mean to say about his visit to Utah.
As a matter of fact, given multiple opportunities in a conference call with TV critics, Cowell did nothing but gush about his visit to Salt Lake City for "Idol" auditions in September.
"You know what? I absolutely loved it there," Cowell said. "I loved the city. I loved the air. And, most importantly, I absolutely loved the people."
Yikes. This is the guy who's never been shy about expressing his dislike for anyone or anything. And there have been times when he hasn't exactly showered praise on cities that hosted "Idol" auditions.
But, again, it was nothing but praise for Salt Lake City.
"We literally got all types there. It was exactly what this show is all about," Cowell said. "It was great fun. I was really impressed with some of the people (who) came through.
"And we even had an Osmond — and I liked him!"While "Idol" thrives on secrecy, it's no secret that David Osmond auditioned for the show in Salt Lake City. And, as is obvious from Cowell's comment, it seems he advanced past the first round of auditions to perform for judges Cowell, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson and newcomer Kara DioGuardi.
Reportedly, Osmond, 29, the fourth son of Alan Osmond, advanced from the Utah auditions to the Hollywood round of the competition, although Fox doesn't confirm such information before the show airs.
The eighth season of "American Idol" begins on Jan. 13, at 7 p.m. on Fox/Ch. 13. The episode featuring the Salt Lake auditions has not yet been scheduled.
The show continues through May, and Osmond and his wife, Valerie, are expecting their first child in April.
But it wasn't just the guy with the famous last name who impressed Cowell, although the most famous (or is that infamous?) of the "Idol" judges did sound a bit surprised that he liked it as much as he did.
"I thought it would be a bit more serious, to be honest with you," Cowell said, "because I'd only heard about the place; I'd never been there before.
"But I couldn't have been more wrong. It was really, really good fun. And it was one of my favorite cities."
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Northampton Chronicle & Echo
Published Date: 17 December 2008
Crazy horses couldn't stop panto star Jimmy Osmond from bringing a little festive cheer to Northampton General Hospital's children's ward.
Seventies pop sensation Jimmy, who plays Buttons in this year's production of Cinderella at Derngate, was joined by his leading lady Danielle York.
The pair toured the ward chatting to parents and staff and helping youngsters with their drawing skills.
Visit Northampton Chronicle & Echo for more photos and video.
Donny and Marie Osmond are returning to television to give someone their big break in show biz, and ET has all the inside info about their new show!
The singing siblings will host the ABC show "Rediscovered" that gives aspiring child stars from the 80's, another shot at fame in adulthood.
Donny shares his excitement with ET about giving people another shot at their dreams.
"We're giving these people a second chance to be on camera in front of millions and millions of people, and to get that opportunity for super stardom," Donny says. "What went through those peoples' minds when they got that phone call to be on "Rediscovered" it's like winning the lottery. What are the chances? 20 years later after an audition to get this opportunity, what a concept."
"Rediscovered" airs Tuesday, December 23rd on ABC.
Shaun Barrowes, Due West, Brandon Osmond and Amy Van Wagenen have emerged as the first four semifinalists in MormonTimes.com's "Showcase," the free online music video contest.
They were the top four in the voting that began Nov. 15 and ended at midnight Monday.
Barrowes, of Spanish Fork, made it to the final 48 in the seventh season of "American Idol" and has released a jazz/pop CD titled "Big Bang Theory."
Due West, a country trio, is made up of Matt Lopez of Wyoming, Tim Gates of Utah and Brad Hull of Arizona. They have been part of the Nashville club scene since 2004.
Brandon Osmond, of Orem, is the son of Donny Osmond and has been writing songs since high school, He served an LDS mission to Scotland.
Amy Van Wagenen, of Salt Lake City, is the mother of four children and just recently returned to making music now that her children are older.
Their videos will be on the Showcase Web site through the next rounds of voting.
The second round of voting, which began Tuesday, will run through Jan. 15, and the third round will run from Jan. 16 through Feb. 15. The four semifinalists from those rounds will join Barrowes, Due West, Osmond and Van Wagenen for the final voting, which will run Feb. 16 through March 1.
Musicians who have the top six videos at the end of final voting will be featured at a live concert in March 19 at 7:30 at the Covey Center for the Arts in Provo. The top vote-getter, who will win a $5,000 first prize, will be announced at the concert. Second prize will be $2,000 and third prize will be $1,000.
Wood said musicians can enter the contest at any time and that the interpretation of a music video is lenient. It can be a full-fledged video or photos and music, he said.
Videos may be of any musical genre -- not limited to spiritual -- but must be five minutes or fewer and conform to standards of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in both lyrics and appearance.
There is no cost to enter, and musicians who don't want to compete in "Showcase" may upload their music as well.
Voters must register as users on the site, Wood said, but it's an easy process. Once registered, people can vote once a day.
For more information on entering or voting, visit MormonTimes.com and click on "Showcase."
Date: 17 December 2008
Seventies pop star Jimmy Osmond (pictured) has reduced by a fortnight his scheduled new year run in Grease (See News, 4 Feb 2008). The American makes his West End debut in the production at the Piccadilly Theatre on 19 January 2009 and had been due to continue for two months until 14 March. He will now finish on 28 February.
The youngest sibling from the family group of singers The Osmonds, Jimmy Osmond is best remembered for his 1972 hit, “Long Haired Lover from Liverpool”, which was released when he was just nine years old. He remains the youngest performer to have a No 1 single in the UK charts. In Grease, he’ll play Teen Angel, who sings “Beauty School Dropout”.
The current cast is led by Danny Bayne, winner of last year’s Grease Is the Word competition on ITV, as Danny Zuko and Nicola Brazil as Sandy. Grease is directed by David Gilmore, choreographed by Arlene Phillips, and produced by Grease Is the Word judge David Ian and Paul Nicholas, by arrangement with Robert Stigwood.
Grease has book, music and lyrics by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. It’s now-famous songs include “Summer Nights”, “Look at Me I’m Sandra Dee”, “We Go Together”, “Hopelessly Devoted to You”, “Beauty School Dropout”, “You’re the One That I Want”, “Greased Lightnin’” and “Grease Is the Word”.
The 1972 Broadway musical was immortalised by the 1979 film version, in which John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John played Danny and Sandy. The musical originally ran for six years in the West End, first at the Dominion and then at the Cambridge Theatre, returning to London for a short run back at the Dominion in 2001 and at the Victoria Palace in 2002/3. In between, it has toured the UK extensively, produced since 1993 by Ian.
This production celebrates its 15th anniversary in the West End this year, having originally opened at the Dominion on 15 July 1993, with a cast led by Craig McLachlan as Danny, Debbie Gibson as Sandy and Shane Ritchie as Kenickie. Following Grease Is the Word, the musical returned last summer, opening on 8 August 2007 (previews from 25 July) at the Piccadilly, where it’s been seen by more than 250,000 people.- by Terri Paddock
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
"I'd like to say it was memorable, but I actually blacked out about two-thirds of the way down the track," Osmond said.
The 29-year-old son of singer Donny Osmond was accompanying his friend and now teammate Jeremy Holm in a two-man sled at Olympic Park in Park City, Utah, when the speed, pressure and sharp turns began to affect him. The experience was particularly disconcerting for Holm, who was driving at the front of the sled, because Osmond was manning the brakes.
"Jeremy was tapping me on the helmet with his elbow and I wasn't coming to until finally he jarred me a good one," Osmond said.
He awoke shortly after crossing the finish line and pulled hard on the brakes, stopping the sled before it reached the end of the track. The experience was more exhilarating than intimidating for Osmond. He is now a member of Team Holm Racing in both two-man -- where he's a "braker" -- and four-man -- where he's a "pusher."
Osmond said his family may not be known for its athletic ability, but when Holm, who has been bobsledding for about 12 years according to the Team Holm Web site, asked whether he wanted to give the sport a shot, he couldn't say no.
"I don't think many Osmonds participate in sports," he said. "I think most of us are musically inclined. So I thought, 'I'm going to try this.' "
Osmond took up cycling about 16 years ago and said his background with that sport has helped him in training for bobsledding.
Don Osmond, left, and Jeremy Holm compete in the two- and four-man bobsled for Team Holm Racing. (Photo: Vaudene Crosley)
Osmond is registered with the United States Bobsledding and Skeleton Federation and is eligible to compete in USBSF competitions.
He said the team will compete this season in club and national races, and though none of them have experience at the Olympic level, competing in the 2010 Games in Vancouver is fun to think about.
"Of course it's a goal. It's a dream. It's a wish."
"It really is just a roller-coaster to the extreme. ... You're going nearly 80 miles an hour, sometimes a little faster, and pushing anywhere from three to five Gs on some of the turns.
"I like to go fast. That's why I took up cycling. That's why I took up mountain biking. That's why I have a motorcycle. That's why I have a few speeding tickets," he said, laughing.
Because there are only two tracks in the United States and four in all of North America, Osmond said Utah residents should take advantage of the track in Park City to experience the thrill themselves. Even if they aren't interested in competing, they can go for a trial run at the nearby Utah Olympic Park.
He said his family has been very supportive of his participation in the sport, especially his dad.
"My dad loves it; my mother fears for my life."
Though the sport is considered dangerous, so far he has acquired only scrapes and bruises that come from piling into a narrow bobsled with three other men, all of whom wear spiked shoes.
"Those spikes on the tip of your shoe are pretty sharp," Osmond said. "They're about the same as a thumbtack, and you've got about 200 to 300 of them on the bottom of your foot. So when the guy behind you jumps in, if he doesn't do it right, he can actually claw at your calf muscles."
The only lasting injury Osmond has acquired came from that first run he took last December, and it is more of a bruise on his ego than on his body.
"I've been nicknamed 'Blackout at the Track.' "
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Donny Osmond celebrates 51st birthday, and sister Marie prepares for her first Christmas in the desert
Congratulations are in order tonight as Donny Osmond steps onto the stage at the Flamingo and receives “Happy Birthday” wishes from a theater filled with his fans! Yes, Donny is 51 today, and we send our greetings, too! Sister Marie tells me she has a couple of tricks up her sleeve tonight while they are performing to mark the happy occasion.
“I’ll get him a gift, but I will for sure poke fun at him,” she said. However, they will officially celebrate it on Saturday night with an end-of-the-week birthday cake party and an unexpected surprise that I’ve had just a little something to do with!
I’ll be chatting with Donny tomorrow about his birthday weekend and upcoming Christmas plans, but, in the meantime, I sat down with Marie to talk about her first Christmas in Las Vegas. Trying to keep Marie serious is a tough task because she’s always cracking jokes, zinging out one-liners and laughing with life. You never quite know what to expect from “Marie Mouth,” as I’ve affectionately nicknamed her, and she didn’t disappoint this time around, either:
Robin Leach: This is your first Christmas holiday in Vegas.
Marie Osmond: It’ll be my first Christmas since last year. Oh, OK, Robin, yes, my first Christmas in the desert. Back in Provo, there’s already snow on the ground, and I can drive 20 minutes and go to cabins and go skiing. However, I know Vegas has Mount Charleston nearby, but I’ve also been checking out what we can do here now that I live here full time.
Photo: Kim Goodwin
RL: How will you actually spend Christmas Day?
MO: I will spend it lying on the floor dead. I am so tired. This has all been a whirlwind year for me. Last year at this time, I just finished Dancing With the Stars and an album right before that. I went right into my own Christmas show, then the DWTS tour, then from that to the anniversary Osmond family tour and launching that all over the world. I came back from that and three days later started rehearsing for this show with Donny at the Flamingo. This Christmas I will be able to enjoy life and take it easy.
The younger kids will go visit their father, and the older ones will hang out here in Vegas with me. We won’t go back to Utah, and we won’t spend it with Donny and his wife because I see enough of him on stage. (Marie laughs loudly!) We love Christmas. We put up the tree and do lots of Christmas things. We’ve even decorated our Flamingo theater. I am now aligned with a wholesale design company as a partner, so not only is the theater decorated, but my home is completely covered in amazing decorations. (Laughing again.) More amazing is that it’s at wholesale prices -- you have to come see it.”
We did the theater, but we didn’t decorate the stage because the stage is very black, white and chrome. As far as the stage, the only red thing on stage is Donny when he dances. (Laughing louder.) After our dance-off, I introduce him as the Bellagio fountain because the sweat is just pouring off him.
RL: What does Christmas personally mean to you?
MO: Christmas has always been synonymous with cheer and family, and we try to bring the spirit of Christ into it. One of the things I do: We always like to find a shelter somewhere and feed the homeless. We do those things that are not about gifts. My kids do get their gifts; they are probably spoiled, but not ridiculously. It is about serving others and remembering what it is. That is why I like to serve the homeless.
If Christmas falls on a Sunday, we will all go to church. But if not, then we go the Sunday before. My mass is the amount of children I have -- I’m joking! I do the turkey and trimmings for Thanksgiving, and I make a mean bird! It sounds funny, but for Christmas I make pj’s for everybody. This year it is going to be flamingo-themed pajamas. We stay in our pajamas all day. Usually, we hang out in our pj’s the entire day because it is my time with my children. We’ll have an easy Christmas Day dinner, maybe just a ham. We don’t do anything fancy because that would be too much work, and it is my vacation, too.
The Christmas tree goes up, but because we go down to the shelter to feed the homeless, we always have that big meal two days before. (Laughing again.) I make the kids eat the popcorn chains, and I tell them that’s all you get. Christmas Day we really do breakfast foods because I don’t want dishes. I don’t want any hassle, so we really keep it simple.
We open the surprise pj’s on Christmas Eve, and then on Christmas morning we start as early as the youngest children want to start -- and that’s even if it’s too early for us older ones. My youngest is 6 years old, and all my children still believe in Santa -- otherwise, they’d get nothing! I’ve actually done my Christmas shopping. I love the fact about Vegas I could go out at 4 in the morning and get it all done!
RL: What have you added to the Flamingo shows for the holidays?
MO: It is really hard to do an all-Christmas show because we have such a well-timed, well-orchestrated, wide-ranging show from pop to country to opera. We changed some of the songs for the season, like “It Takes Two” is now “It Takes 2 AA Batteries.” I’m kidding. I am not well. I’m “Leaving It All Up to You” is now “Leaving It All to the Last Minute.” Seriously, though, we do a Christmas song together to start and then Donny does one. If we gave the audiences all Christmas and left out our hits and favorites, I think they would be disappointed. You have to be very careful how you integrate holidays into a Vegas show. The dancers wear some fun holiday stuff, but you’re not catching me in a Santa suit.
RL: Have you settled happily now into Vegas?
MO: I am enjoying it. For me, as a single mom to have a place where I can settle down, is just the greatest. I had to make sure that in taking the additional two-year extension for the show, my other lined-up projects such as my talk show can still be done from right here. I am enjoying it, and where I am it doesn’t feel like Vegas. We are so close to the Grand Canyon. We’re always doing a small trip or go cart racing or something fun on a Monday when I’m off. My new book launches on Mother’s Day. That is the big push. Then it all goes to the talk show we’re going to do right here in Vegas five days a week starting in the summer.
I’m so happy we got another two-year run and an option for two more after that. With the economy the way it is, it is nice to know someone wants you around for a while. Our Flamingo President Don Marrandino is just a doll. He was so sweet the other night. He told us that our show is the one doing well right now; still selling out and still having people fly here from all over the world not once but two and three times! Yesterday even my manicurists told me they knew we are doing well because there were no comp tickets.
Photo: Jamie Nielsen-Langdon
As you can see from the at-home photos of Marie’s holiday decorations, they are something special. She summed up for me: “The company is called Taipan. We have five large stores so far, and everything is like Anthropologie quality. They are incredible stores with incredible products, and you can find us online. But it is the pricing that is unbelievable! Even I love a bargain --and all of these are priced that way! It’s unbelievable!”
Once again, Happy Birthday, Donny! And an early Merry Christmas to Marie, too, from everybody at Vegas DeLuxe!
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Jimmy is the youngest recording artist to receive a gold record, achieving the accolade in Japan in 1970 at the age of seven. He achieved worldwide fame two years later with his classic ‘Long Haired Lover From Liverpool’, which stayed at the number 1 spot for five weeks in the UK, eventually selling two short of a million copies.
A newcomer to musical theatre, Jimmy is now following in the footsteps of brother Donny and sister Marie. Having already made names for themselves in music, their hugely successful variety television show also displayed their acting skills. Marie later attracted some rave reviews in the lead roles in Broadway’s The King and I and The Sound of Music in the early 1990’s, while Donny played the lead in Broadway’s Little Johnny Jones, which opened and closed on the same night in 1982. Donny did go on to find some theatre success as Gaston in The Beauty and the Beast and touring North America in the title role of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.
Jimmy’s prestigious acting credits have included small roles in US television series Love Boat, Fame and The Great Brain, and along with his sister Marie, Jimmy provided the singing voice for peculiar Hungarian children’s film Hugo the Hippo.
Jimmy will be playing Teen Angel (the role immortalised by Frankie Avalon in the iconic 1978 movie) and will appear for a limited run from 19 January to 14 March 2008
His first performance as Buttons in the pantomime, at Royal & Derngate in Guildhall Road, will be on Friday, his first panto role.
He said: "I'm still learning the lines. It's a little bit goofy but it's great for the kids. There is an energy about this production and with the economy the way it is I think everyone wants to forget their troubles, and this is a great way to do that.
"The whole style of pantomime is great. I want my kids to experience the fun that we don't experience in America.
"Americans just don't understand what pantomimes are, they just haven't seen it. It's very British, that's what I love about it."
He added: "Northampton is really great, I'm just finding my way around. I found the local McDonald's, and everyone has been so kind."
Acquiring star status as a boy with the family group, The Osmonds, Jimmy also became the youngest ever solo chart topper with his Number One hit, Long-haired Lover From Liverpool, recorded when he was nine in 1972.
He appeared on I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2005.
The cast of the pantomime also includes comedian Peter Piper as Baron Hardup, Danielle York as Cinderella, Ryan Dawson as Prince Charming, and Brian Godfrey and Darren Southworth as the Ugly Sisters.
And, to get into the true British spirit, Jimmy said he has even bought a Christmas tree.
He said: "I have only been here a day, but I feel like a proper British person. I have been out to get a Christmas tree for my four kids and my beautiful wife.
"I love the diversity and the whole culture and experience of being here."
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Only ET is invited inside Donny & Marie's Christmas show! ET was backstage with the Osmond pair as they rehearsed for their big holiday spectacular in Vegas -- and even at Christmas, sibling rivalry takes center stage!
"An ET exclusive: Watch Marie kill Donny!" jokes Marie for our cameras.
You can catch Donny and Marie's 90-minute Christmas show -- featuring all your favorite Donny & Marie hits, plus several new holiday-themed songs -- in a multi-media spectacle with a cast of electrifying dancers, now at the Flamingo hotel in Las Vegas. The special show runs through December 20.
The pair also shared their Christmas plans with ET:
"I'm going to Disneyland!" says Donny. "I seriously am. Let somebody else decorate. And they decorate it right. We're going to have Christmas at Home -- which is the name of my album on Donny.com -- and have a good time, watch the fireworks."
"Are you?" says Marie. "I'm going to Mexico. My younger kids are going with their dad, and that week I'm going to take the older kids to Mexico."
"Are you sending me the bill?" asks Donny. "She usually does."
"Yes!" replies an excited Marie. "Merry Christmas! Thank you Donny!"
"You heard it!" says Marie. "Can I get a copy of that tape? I'd like to play that for him when I send him the bill."
Watch ET for more fun with Donny & Marie!
Friday, December 05, 2008
Monday, December 01, 2008
The Branson Variety Theater is located at 2701 West Hwy 76, right in the heart of the famed Country Music Boulevard. Performances: December 2nd - 13th. Check the show schedule for available dates and times, or purchase tickets by calling 1-888-462-7267.
Photo courtesy of Susan and Laura H.