A year two months going on three months ago, I saw “Donny & Marie: Christmas in Chicago” at the Oriental Theatre. I went with my BFF pal, and we had quite the night!
Christmas music is not my favorite, but luckily they mixed some non-holiday tunes into their repertoire. Out of the Christmas songs, my favorite was their Motown mix, which included “Little Drummer Boy.” In spite of myself, I still love that song (prum prum prumprumprum).
After a few Christmas songs together, Marie took the stage solo. She work a slinky green dress with a removable skirt that boasted a sparkly rose, which was removed after she sang “Paper Rose” (the skirt, not her entire dress!). Marie had wonderful interactions with the audience, but she acknowledged the fact that most of us were there to see Donny. Which, not gonna lie, I was. She finished up her set with a beautiful song that I don’t know the name of, but she dedicated it to the angels in our lives, and was very emotional in talking about her recently deceased son. Her set was lovely, but I was excited for it to be Donny’s turn alone.
Donny was so cute as he accepted our applause, and started with his old hit “Puppy Love.” He did some other older songs I was not familiar with, and then. THEN! he busted a move with four guys who had to be half his age. Brother can cut a rug like it’s no one’s business!
My absolute favorite number, however, was their Broadway medley. Donny seriously worked his magic on me, and left me a shaking, crying mess. It started with songs from The King and I and Beauty and the Beast, which were nice, but I was like, ehh, whatever (what I was really think was, “pleasedoJosephpleasedoJosephpleasedoJoseph…”), then Marie did selections from The Sound of Music, which was most definitely not “ehh, whatever.” Her renditions of the well-known songs were beautiful. One of my grandma’s favorite songs was “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” and when she started it, I thought, “I hope you are hearing this, grandma,” because Marie nailed it.
I was wiping away tears when Donny sauntered out and took a seat on the on-stage stairs as the first solemn chords “Close Every Door” were played. The audience replied to this with a thunderous, approving round of applause; it was quite apparent that we were all there to see him sing Joseph–I think I threw out my wrist from clapping so hard. Then the magic happened. My heart is racing right now just thinking about it! To say it was beautiful and gut-wrenching and one of the defining moments of my life is an understatement (maybe the defining moment of life is not exactly accurate, but at the time, that’s what it felt like!). He performed a truncated version of the song, which was my only complaint, but other than that I could not have asked for more. Except for more Joseph songs, of course. But I was satisfied with my one song, that’s all I had hoped for going into the show, and I got it!
As he finished the song, I was thinking it couldn’t possibly get any better. But I was blown away by what happened next. What should appear on the stage but an image of the familiar Wicked window card?! To which I responded, whilst rocking back and forth in my seat like a maniac, “Noooo, no way, no no no, they’re not really going to–are they? OMG NO WAY!” This is when they busted into “For Good,” which, if it’s not the best song in Wicked, it’s definitely the most emotional, and Donny was doing the part of my girl Elphaba! Too good to be true, but it was real. I even pinched myself to make sure. I was near about sobbing by the time they finished, and as the show went into intermission, I was officially smitten with the pair.
The second act was nothing to write home about, in my opinion, because nothing could have topped that Broadway bit. They played “Donny and Marie Show,” which was cute, but I’m wholly unfamiliar with the original show, so this didn’t capture my attention like the other things.
Overall, I was very happy with the show they put on, and I’d definitely see them again if I had the chance. Marie was as cute as can be, and I was so proud of her for getting up there and putting on a brave face in light of what recently happened with her son. If she can fake having Christmas spirit, I have no excuses! Never mind that she gets paid thousands of dollars to do so, but, because of her, I was inspired to be a little more cheerful. Donny, oh Donny, what can I say? He was simply adorable. You can tell he’s a genuinely clean-cut guy, whereas Marie seems to hint at having a bit of a wild side, you can tell he’s entirely wholesome, which I found delightfully endearing. His audience interaction was on par with Marie’s, venturing out into the aisles a few times, once coming within five or so feet of us! I swear he made eye contact and waved at us, and whether that’s true or not, it’s what I believe. It is apparent that the Osmonds are highly trained professionals who take their job of entertaining the crowd seriously. The entire performance was polished, well-planned, and expertly executed. Check them out if you get the chance!
(I have no idea why I didn’t publish this sooner, I had it all written except for the last paragraph, oops)