Touring – reviewed at New Victoria Theatre
It has been over 50 years since the wholesome, handsome brothers from Utah, The Osmonds, began their career. They started as a barbershop quartet, performing for locals whilst fundraising and eventually became one of the biggest bands ever, dominating the charts for weeks on end and earning the hearts of girls all over the world. In 2022 their story has been brought to stage in a production written by Jay Osmond himself.
The autobiographical tale begins with the boys-Donny (Joseph Peacock), Jay (Alex Lodge), Merrill (Ryan Anderson), Alan (Jamie Chatterton) and Wayne (Danny Nattrass) – growing up and starting their professional career on the Andy Williams (performed excellently by Alex Cardall) show right until their world domination and consequent fiftieth-anniversary reunion. The musical looks at some of the mental challenges the group faced throughout their lives but is mostly a celebration of the music and the fans who loved (and still love) it.
Throughout the show, the audience are introduced to a fan from Manchester called Wendy through the letters that she writes to Jay. This cleverly captures how much celebrities can mean to people, specifically the impact and support The Osmond family unit provided to many. It also acknowledges how the fans and those who showed up for the band helped them get to, and stay at the top of the charts.
The whole cast give excellent performances, with the main Osmonds giving solid vocal and acting portrayals which shine on stage. Georgia Lennon is especially brilliant as Marie Osmond and Charlie Allen and Nicola Bryan give strong performances as the Osmond parents. The young cast portray the boys’ desperation to obey and please their father extremely well and are incredibly talented.
As you would expect, it’s the music that carries this show, with the big hits Puppy Love, Crazy Horses and Love Me For a Reason providing highlights. The megamix at the end also proved an audience favourite and had pretty much all of the New Victoria Theatre on their feet.
The music and story are clearly very important to a lot of people and obviously seemed to resonate with many of the audience members who are long time fans. However, for anyone new visiting the show, it doesn’t quite draw you in and if you don’t have the nostalgia for the songs, it is somewhat lacking. If the full house is anything to go by though, there’s nothing wrong with that. It seems the musical doesn’t need to welcome a new audience of fans but compared to other jukebox musicals, it doesn’t do as strong a job of appealing to a wider audience.
That being said, it’s certainly a nostalgia fest and a must see for OG Osmond’s fans who will enjoy every musical minute.
The Osmonds, A New Musical is at the New Victoria Theatre until 5th March and then continues its tour.
photo credit: Pamela Raith
‘The megamix at the end proves an audience favourite’: @RewriteThisWeb on @OsmondsMusical, now on a UK-wide tour. ★★★ #TheOsmonds #OsmondsMusical #touring