Donny Osmond delivers at Harrah’s Vegas show

The pop and rock icon recently extended his Sin City sit-down

Define pop music for yourself. For some, it’s the bubblegum era of Britney Spears. For others, it’s the glam of the 80’s with acts like Madonna and Def Leppard. Still others look to Justin Bieber as a beacon of pop stardom in the new millennium.

But before them all, there was Donny Osmond. Osmond proves nightly why he is the original musical teen idol.

One reason for his six decade longevity he makes immediately clear: Osmond has been reinventing himself for his entire career. And this show in the beautifully intimate Showroom at Harrah’s Las Vegas is a love letter to that expansive catalogue.

With 65 albums, and dozens of TV appearances under his belt, whittling it down to 20 songs and 90 minutes proved a difficult task. Osmond mentions as such at the top, and found a clever way to cover his entire career in about eight minutes.

It’s during this segment that the many lives of Donny Osmond are on full, often blush-enduring display. From cute kid to youthful heartthrob, brotherly band mate and brooding bearded recluse to eventual mainstream rock star, it’s all there. And, with shout outs to Oprah and Weird Al, Osmond nods to his own self-awareness of his image. This sets the stage for the rest of the evening.

He opens in glitzy Vegas style with his rock hit “Soldier of Love.” A segment on his popular-with-millennials hit “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from the Disney film Mulan features some stellar martial arts choreography from his backup dancers.

Each song is a production number with an equal focus on music and image, creating a tight multimedia experience. The Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat hit “Close Every Door” transports the audience back to biblical times. “Puppy Love” recalls a tuxes and big-haired teenaged Donny. And “One Bad Apple” reunites the Osmond brothers is a special way.

Props to Donny Osmond’s five-piece band, who were able to sight-read a fan request section spanning all 65 albums of Osmond’s career both with and without his famous siblings.

For those who caught the Donny and Marie show at Flamingo during its decade-plus run, this show is less in the vein of a variety show than it is a more traditional concert. There’s the spectacle and the storytelling, sure. But the focus remains squarely on the music. And that’s a great thing. Donny had managed to capture the magic of the old-style Las Vegas show: an attack of charm and hits from a magnetic entertainer who never phones it in.

The demand for Donny Osmond’s solo Vegas outing at Harrah’s is not letting up. He recently extended his engagement with the Caesars Entertainment property through the end of 2023.

This is helped, too, by the show being placed in the recently-updated classic Vegas Showroom at Harrah’s. The hotel opened in the 70’s, the same time the Osmond’s were having great chart success. And both this room and it’s resident entertainer have gotten better with age.

Matt Bailey
Matt Bailey

Matt Bailey is podcast producer and writer located in the Northeast. Since 2013, Bailey has produced more than 160 episodes of his own online radio show, Talk For Two. In 2016 alone, he interviewed Kevin Bacon, Crystal Gayle, Bob Barker, and Gilbert Gottfried, among several other stars. As a Correspondent for The Music Universe, his focus is Broadway, country music and concert reviews.