The Osmonds – A New Musical ★★★★ New Wimbledon Theatre | August 23 - 27, 2022

The Osmonds were an American phenomenon. In various combinations the six brothers plus sister, Marie, dominated the American music scene. They were all over American television; they had their own cartoon show and they sold over one hundred million records. The foundation of their success was a devotion to "faith, family and career" instilled by an authoritarian father and nurtured by a supportive mother. The squeaky clean image of the Mormon wunderkinds was marketed in distinct contrast to so much of what was happening in the music industry, and they came to resonate with a worldwide audience. This production tells the story of their careers, but it avoids the trap of being just another tribute show reproducing all the greatest hits. It takes us behind the scenes and shows the tensions, conflicts and egos that existed within the family whose motto was "It doesn't really matter who is out front as long as it's an Osmond." However, it also manages to avoid the pitfall of being just another story about child phenoms being exploited by overbearing, stage-struck parents. The family dynamics are complicated and this production does a fine job of individuating the siblings. Alex Lodge was excellent as the engaging, peacemaker and narrator, Jay Osmond while Jamie Chatterton hit just the right note as the controlling elder brother, Alan. Ryan Anderson was touching as lovestruck lead singer, Merrill, and Danny Nattrass got it just right as the rebellious, somewhat sulky, Wayne. Joseph Peacock as Donny and Georgia Lennon, as the ever winsome Marie, did a fine job of recreating the iconic moments of the famous duo. Throughout the singing was excellent and the choreography took us right back to the '70s. Even if you don't remember the Osmonds, this is a show you are bound to enjoy. Both the terrific music and the thoughtful storytelling give it a universal appeal.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Pamela Raith.

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