‘The Osmonds’ a new musical – Story by Jay Osmond – Royal & Derngate – Northampton
This sensational new stage production tells the true story of five brothers from Utah who were pushed into the spotlight as children and went on to create smash hits, decade after decade.
From their star residency on ‘The Andy Williams Show’ from 1962 to 1969, to pop stars and ‘Osmondmania’ from 1971 to 1975, to the arrival of ‘The Donny & Marie Show’, the Osmonds lived a remarkable life recording chart-topping albums, selling out vast arena concerts and making record-breaking TV shows – until one bad decision cost them everything!
Be immersed in this journey, told through the eyes of Jay Osmond and be transformed into the 70’s to explore this fascinating story of faith, family and fame!
I had the pleasure of attending the opening show of this fantastic new musical at the Royal & Derngate where I was greeted with a vibrant multicoloured curtain which was framed by a huge wooden TV set. Given that the Osmonds were one of the first families to grow up on TV it seemed a fitting and bold stylistic choice by the set designer, Lucy Osborne. As the curtains came up and the sound of screaming girls filled the auditorium many audience members shared in chanting “We want the Osmonds” and the scene and atmosphere was set!
The opening number ‘One Way Ticket to Anywhere’ consisted of slick choreography and energy in spades as Jay Osmond, played by Alex Lodge began narrating his story – the story of his life growing up as an Osmond, warts and all. The use of storytelling and breaking the fourth wall connected the audience to the action from the off and we became quickly invested in learning more about the brothers as well as eagerly awaiting the big hits that we know and love.
With a series of perfectly placed flashbacks came a hugely confident group of child performers who absolutely stole the stage with their vocal range and ability. The passion and enthusiasm that radiated from little Donny (played by Nicholas Teixeira) in particular was electric. The boys did a stunning job at filling the space with nostalgia which came hand in hand with tears from audience members as they enjoyed reminiscing on songs such as ‘Puppy Love’ and little Jimmy’s rendition of ‘Long Haired Lover from Liverpool’ fabulously performed by Harrison Skinner dressed in the iconic red and white striped t-shirt went down a treat!
All of the group numbers were dazzling and delightful in equal measures and had the audience bopping along, often mimicking the dance moves that were recalled from time gone by. Glitter, sparkles, bright lights and a clever set all work together to recreate the facade.
In contrast, tissues came out as we were drawn to tears following Ryan Anderson’s moving solo’s portraying Merrill’s heartbreak. It certainly was a rollercoaster of emotions as we found ourselves fans, audience members and bystanders in the family’s demise.
During the final scene, the audience became part of the world wide sell out tour of 2007 which felt like being transported back in time. ‘Love Me For a Reason’ had the audience on their feet, singing and dancing along; it was extremely impressive how many remembered the dance moves!
The production was brilliant fun, the storytelling and whole cast numbers were vibrant and filled the theatre with a feel-good atmosphere. Book your tickets now and enjoy singing along to your favourite hits…after-all you loved them for a reason!
‘The Osmonds’ the musical can be seen until Saturday 7th May. 2:30pm Matinee tickets are available on Wednesday and Saturday and evening shows at 7:30pm.
Tickets can be booked by calling the Box Office on 01604 624811 or online at:
Review written by Rachel Carnell: The Travel Locker Press Team
Photography Credit: Pamela Raith