News Round-Up: November 18, 2019

Donny and Marie Osmond end their 11-year run at the Flamingo (photo: Denise Truscello)

Some news items you might have missed:

Las Vegas: Donny & Marie Osmond concluded their iconic residency at Flamingo Las Vegas this past Saturday. The siblings’ 11-year residency began as a six-week engagement but was so well received that by popular demand, the residency was extended again and again. I was fortunate to see D&M several times over their amazing run. They were (and are) the picture of showmanship, talent, and professionalism. I never left the showroom anything less than impressed. #ToWhatsNext

Washington Blade: A transgender woman in Zimbabwe who filed a lawsuit over the abuse she suffered after her arrest for using a women’s restroom was awarded $400,000 on November 14 in a landmark ruling.

• Daily Beast: Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace repeatedly confronted House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) over the Republican’s characterization of last week’s impeachment testimony, accusing the congressman of “very badly” misrepresenting the witnesses’ positions.

BBC: Australian rugby player Israel Folau, whose contract was canceled for repeated violations due to homophobic remarks on social media, blamed Australia’s bushfire crisis on the legalization of same-sex marriage.

OUT: A representative from the Salvation Army spoke to Matt Baume about how they are working to correct their anti-LGBTQ+ past. “Unfortunately, as a large organization, there have been isolated incidents that do not represent our values and service to all people who are in need.”

• CBS News: Emails obtained by CBS News show San Diego billionaire Doug Manchester was asked by the RNC to donate half a million dollars as his confirmation in the Senate for ambassador to the Bahamas hung in the balance. You may recall Manchester made hefty donations to the Prop 8 campaign that erased marriage equality in California for a time.

Wise Words: Danny ‘Tree Man’ Jones offers this reminder – “Remember, it’s more about effort than the result :)” Hit the play button for the super-cute video message.


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Remember, it’s more about effort than the result 😝

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Visiting Donny & Marie Osmond with Olivia Newton-John

Before seeing Donny & Marie last night

Well, this was a pretty cool thing that happened last night.

Michael and I took in the Donny & Marie Show here in Las Vegas at the Flamingo Hotel with Olivia Newton-John and her husband John Easterling.

First of all, the show is terrific. Donny and Marie sing like they are 30 y.o., and their years of experience (literally since childhood) shows in every moment. They sing, they dance, they perform together and individually. The audience is treated to their hits from their recording careers as well as songs from their Broadway and theater roles. And, of course, they still have the brother/sister chemistry and banter that made them such a formidable team back in the 1970s when they became the youngest hosts of their own network TV series.

Second, going back stage to see them with Olivia was an amazing thing to watch. It was so clear the respect and warmth these three iconic stars have for each other. The comfort level among them was apparent. And I got to be there.

Sometimes, my life can hand me some uber-cool things. This was one 🙂

Olivia Newton-John and Marie Osmond backstage after the show

Me, Donny Osmond, Olivia Newton-John and Michael after the show at the Flamingo
Old friends Olivia Newton-John and Donny Osmond

John Easterling, Marie Osmond, Olivia Newton-John and Donny Osmond

Marie Osmond, Donny Osmond and Olivia Newton-John catching up backstage at the Donny & Marie Show

The Donny & Marie Show – Las Vegas

Michael, Marie, Donny and I backstage after their show at the Flamingo

Last night Michael and I saw “The Donny & Marie Show” at the Flamingo Showroom in Las Vegas as guests of the new director, Richard Jay-Alexander.

It’s no surprise to anyone in Vegas that the show has been a huge hit since the talented two-some opened their show here. Last night was the first chance Michael and I have had to see the show and it’s really terrific.

The showroom is the best showroom in Las Vegas. Beautiful red velvet walls and leather booths – old school Vegas but not old or rundown. Beautiful.

And the show – well, it completely showcases what Donny and Marie do best. In addition to highlighting the ongoing “sibling rivalry” – now focused on Donny’s win on ‘Dancing With The Stars’ versus Marie’s third place showing – we get to hear these two show business veterans SING. They’ve always had great voices and this show makes it clear that some things, like fine wine, continue to get better with age.

After opening the show with several duets, including one from their new CD – Donny and Marie, each takes a solo turn in the spotlight. Marie ends a Kander & Ebb medley by belting an impressive “World Goes Round,” then switches it up to full on gorgeous soprano with “Somewhere” from West Side Story.

I’ve been a fan of Donny since I was five. He inspired me to become a performer. Donny’s voice is as strong, clear and exciting as ever and he delivers hit upon hit; whether it’s “Go Away Little Girl” and “Puppy Love” or Osmond classic “Crazy Horses” or a full on replication of the athletic Osmond choreography to “Yo-Yo” from the early 70s. Now in his early 50s, Donny doesn’t merely keep up – but he sets the bar for the ensemble dancers on stage with him.

On top of that, both have an natural affinity for interacting with the audience that makes for a show all unto itself.  Only through the years that they’ve put in performing live could result in the ease and charm that they both bring to the stage.

The show is extremely well paced, and the lighting is gorgeous.

There’s a reason why the show was completely packed.  There’s always an audience for talent.  Sorry, make that Talent.

Donny & Marie know exactly what they do well, and it’s onstage at the Flamingo. They sing, they dance, they’re funny.  About the only things they don’t do is perform with fire baton or on toe taps. But you get the sense that if you asked, Donny might just say “give me a minute…”

If you’re in Vegas make sure you go see them. You get your money’s worth and more.