Jay Osmond, Shaun Kerrison
Venue Cymru, Llandudno
November 29-December 3, 2022; 2hrs 30min
Faith, family, career. This is a remarkable family in so many ways. Would I enjoy a show about them? Would my wife faint while Donny sang Puppy Love?
I spent much time avoiding their music when I was younger. They were too squeaky clean; all huge teeth and big smiles. But their story reveals much more than that.
This is a slick, very entertaining production. The Osmonds have a large back-catalogue of hits to keep fans satisfied, and the choreography is authentic, mirroring original routines. The leads, especially Jay, (Alex Lodge) and Donny, played by understudy Tristan Whincup, were convincing and the kids playing the younger Osmonds (Osian Slater, Jack and Alfie Jones, Harrison Skinner, Tom Walsh and Fraser Fowkes) are excellent.
The storyline offers the tale of a family of talented musicians able to handle any instrument and create their own songs; a family that stays together despite the pressures of fame and fortune and the inevitable personal squabbles and rivalry. This in itself is remarkable - sustaining a lifestyle with integrity, despite having so much success and 10,000 screaming youngsters battering down the door.
We have to wait till near the end to see the crunch point, when their self-made empire comes crashing round their ears. Yet despite this crisis, hard work helps the family to remain solvent and thrive again.
The play makes you wonder why this group, with it's clean-cut, Mormon background was so successful.
Undoubtedly hard work, precocious talent and self sacrifice from a very young age made a difference. But there were sociological factors too. The group tapped into a market where young teenagers - particularly young girls, for whom the Osmonds were a prime demographic - had more disposable cash than at any time before, and rode the wave of attendant hysteria that started with the Beatles and probably lasted till the cynical angst of Punk Rock.
The Osmonds were a phenomenon, a product of their time and a distinctive contribution to the history of pop music.
All in all, this is a worthwhile watch and whether you go to recapture your youth or to enjoy the music, it's an engaging, entertaining evening.
Tickets and Information here