Thursday, April 2, 2009 | 2 a.m.
- Donny & Marie honored for helping to raise $4 billion (2-25-2009)
- 25 random things about Donny & Marie (2-24-2009)
- Donny & Marie boost Earth Hour with PSAs (3-17-2009)
- Donny and Marie put on the charm (9-29-2008)
- Osmonds, Osmonds everywhere (5-12-2008)
Beyond the Sun
On certain nights in Las Vegas, when the stars are aligned and the parking lots are full, these hills are alive with the sound of Osmonds.
Last Friday was one of those enchanted evenings: While Donny & Marie were doing their hit act at the Flamingo, three of their brothers, Merrill, Wayne and Jay, began a three-night stand at the Suncoast, turning the valley into a wondrous land called Osmondias.
From the randy squeals and hoots filling the showroom, you might have guessed the mostly female crowd was waiting hungrily for a male strip show.
But when the Osmond Brothers hit the stage with grins, winks, waves and thumbs-up, they were greeted with a similar, but more PG-13-rated, sort of lust.
“How many of you have seen Donny & Marie?” Merrill asked the crowd — most apparently had. “Well, we’re gonna outdo ’em tonight!”
But this crowd wasn’t concerned with the more famous younger siblings — they clearly had eyes only for the original Old Boy band, the Big O’s.
Even before Donny arrived on the scene and on the screen, the OsBros were teenage pinups, and 30 years later they’re no less cuddly. Rounder, grayer and fuzzier, they look like Osmond Muppets. The ladies in the house — several of whom had tickets for all three nights — plainly still considered them love objects. Minds were visibly lost when the boys sang “Love Me for a Reason” and “I Can’t Live a Dream.”
The trio is led by bearded Merrill, 55, who plays the straight man in the act, and with his white hair and beard resembles Kenny Rogers. In the ’60s and ’70s heyday, Jay, 53, was a heartthrob second only to Donny, and he apparently still is in the hearts of a die-hard few. Multi-instrumentalist Wayne, 57, plays the family goofball, doing a string of “I’m so old” jokes with an endearing Don Knotts delivery.
Pressing the flesh with fans is apparently an Osmond thing. While Donny & Marie dispense hearty fist-bumps and glossy lipstick kisses, respectively, their elder brothers walk down (carefully) and wander among the showroom tables to accept hugs and perform little do-si-dos with fans, many of whom the Osmonds seemed to recognize.
Once back up on stage, Merrill scanned the room to make sure his brothers hadn’t been dragged away by cougars.
Another Osmond thing is to turn the house lights up and make every audience member shake hands and say, “How are ya, buddy?”
Over 50 years their act has been honed to crowd-pleasing perfection. It’s a wholesome, homemade American pie filled with corn and cheese, vaudeville banter, sibling joshing, still-tight harmonies and low-impact versions of their famous dance moves.
If there’s a definable characteristic of “the Osmond sound,” it’s the audible effect of singing while smiling. The brotherly voices are still potent but they kept their solos brief — they sounded notably stronger together. Harmonies were supplemented by the surprisingly rockish band, which included a pair of Nelson-esque longhair brothers on guitar and bass.
Every song in the show was an audience singalong, from bubblegum hits like “One Bad Apple” and “Yo-Yo” to a clever and moving medley of brother acts through the years, from the Mills, Everly and Gatlin Brothers to the Doobie and Blues Brothers.
The Osmond Brothers — with 45-year-old little brother Jimmy, who is currently touring England in the musical “Chicago” — return to the Orleans Aug. 28-30.
Located on a 50-acre plot in northwest Las Vegas, Suncoast has something for the whole family — a hotel, a casino, a bowling center, restaurants and a movie theater.
The 64-lane bowling alley, arcade and movie theater cater to guests of all ages. The 500-seat showroom hosts a variety of headliners. Restaurants such as SC Prime Steakhouse and Bar, Cafe Siena and The Oyster Bar give guests a variety of options.
The casino measures in at 80,000 square feet with 2,400 video and slot machines, 37 table games, a 150-seat race and sports book and a 600-seat bingo hall.
Suncoast also includes full salon services at Pure Salon, a pool, fitness center and the resort is only steps away from the some of the best golfing in Las Vegas.