Las Vegas is in the Chicago area! Thanks to the wonderful people at The Horseshoe Casino Resort , just 20 minutes south of the loop, we have been getting Vegas type shows with all the glitz and glamour at very affordable prices. The Venue, thier beautiful auditorium/theater has great sound, comfortable seating and all the luxury one could ask for in a theater. After watching Tony Bennett and Paul Anka do their thing, I started to think that perhaps the casino only wants to draw an older crowd, thus bringing in The Donny and Marie Show”, but imagine my surprise to see a lot of younger people in the audience. I guess the power of Television’s “Dancing with The Stars” has paid off BIG for the Osmonds- yes, Donny and Marie, who competed on that show ( separate years) have won the hearts of a whole new audience, and guess what? They deserve it!
Many of us go back with them as they became the youngest TV hosts in 1976 ( yes, that is 34 years ago). What they bring to The Horseshoe is their glitzy fine tuned revue with a solid orchestra and 8 very talented dancers. They start the show together and then Donnie takes leave so that Marie can do her thing, starting with some wonderful Broadway songs ( “Gypsy”,”Cabaret”, “Funny Girl”, “Phantom of The Opera” and more) . Her voice is wonderful and seems even more powerful than her teen voice. She even tries her hand at doing some opera and despite some major “mike” problems during one of her many costume changes, no one in the audience cared. These are troupers and know how to play to an audience Everyone loves( Donny and ) Marie. She even did a number using an audience member who proved to be pretty good on stage, despite his lack of a singing voice. Danny, the used car salesman probably had the time of his life and the audience gave him a well deserved standing ovation.
Then came Donny’s turn, where he took us on a journey, a history lesson with Donny from “Puppy Love” and “Deep Purple” to his love for Stevie Wonder and through the entire show we were taken back via video to that little girl that Andy Williams spoke with and the Osmond Brothers on his variety show. Donny and Marie spent a lot of time ribbing each other over their appearance on “Dancing With The Stars” ( he won, she finished third) which led them to a wonderful dance contest to some great music ( West Side Story- The High School Dance” music being the main theme). This sequence alone was worth the ticket, but we also got to see a little of Donny as Joseph in “Joseph and The Amazing Colored Dreamcoat”, a show that he starred in for about five years at The Chicago Theatre, making our city his second home during that time.
I guess the only drawback to this show is that it was only a one night special where Donny and Marie left thier show in Vegas to bring it here, so if you want to see a little history, hear some great songs done by two very talented singers, I guess you will have to make the trip to las Vegas where they are set to play for some time. Of course, if enough people contacted The Venue and asked when they might be returning to the area, who knows? Perhaps money will talk and they will find another opportunity to come back. Meanwhile do not miss the other great acts and shows that The Venue will offer- check out The Venue ( where Entertainment knows no bounds) at www.thevenue-chicago.com
photo at The Venue by Barry Segal