Donny Osmond brings multimedia show to ClevelandWritten by John Benson | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Bieber-fever zeitgeist looks very familiar to singer-actor-entertainer Donny Osmond, who exactly 40 years ago was the pinup pop star of the ’70s.
“It’s amazing when you put our two pictures together when we were both 14 years old and it’s like we’re brothers,” Osmond said, calling from his Utah home. “He even stole my color purple and my haircut. It’s like, ‘Come on buddy, get original.’”
Getting original with what he believes is a first-of-its-kind show is exactly what Osmond is doing with the inaugural run of his “Donny’s Basically Yours Tour,” which comes to Cleveland on Sept. 2 at the House of Blues. The multimedia stage show is a living, breathing “Behind the Music”-style event documenting the 53-year-old’s entire career through music and video.
Conceived years ago, it was only recently that Osmond decided the technology existed to bring the concept to fruition. If it’s a success, the singer said he hopes to tour it in theaters.
“This is a show I never did before,” Osmond said. “It’s not totally improv, there’s a structure to it, but there will be Q-and-A in the show and whatever they want to hear, I’ll do. In fact, I have hundreds of songs ready to go. It all depends on what the audience wants. Obviously they’re going to call out ‘Puppy Love’ and ‘One Bad Apple’ and things like that. Then like for ‘Bad Apple,’ I’ll show the cartoons that we used to have.
“For instance, if someone asks about the ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic video I did, ‘White & Nerdy,’ boom, it’s on the screen behind me almost instantaneously. Or if somebody mentions ‘The Donny & Marie Show’ when Lucille Ball was a guest, boom, there it is on the screen. I have this braniac guy with me who is so fast on the keyboard. Whatever they want to hear or see, it’s right there.”
In looking back at his four-decade long career, Osmond has enjoyed the rollercoaster of fame. His numerous comebacks (1989 hit song “Soldier of Love,” early ’90s lead in the stage production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and 2009’s “Dancing with the Stars” winner) have kept him in the public eye, but he’s never stopped working.
Not only are Osmond and sister Marie headlining a Las Vegas show, but the popular singing duo released a self-titled new album of material earlier this year that, not surprisingly, was a little bit country and a little bit rock ’n’ roll.
The album features material written by Richie Sambora, Carole King, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, David Foster, Richard Marx and more.
Excited to be once again on the road, Osmond thinks back to one of his first shows in Northeast Ohio when, as a bored teenager stuck in a hotel, he decided to have fun at the expense of his screaming fans many stories below.
“We were on the 12th floor, and we had three or four full pizzas we didn’t eat so I threw them like a Frisbee out of the window,” Osmond said. “The funny thing about it is they loved it and wanted more. So I found some balloons and filled up some water balloons. They thought, ‘He’s throwing us a ball’ and when it was coming down they realized it’s not a ball and tried to scatter but it was too late.”
Naturally, the question to ask is, should fans expect to be pelted with pizzas and water balloons at his upcoming show?
“No, I don’t think so,” Osmond laughed. “I really don’t know where this show is going to take me but I’m ready to go on the journey.”
Osmond will play at 7 p.m. Sept. 2 at the House of Blues, 308 Euclid Ave., Cleveland. Tickets are $49.50 to $136. For information, call (216) 241-5555 in Cleveland or www.ticketmaster.com.