Updated: May 5
A sensational new musical where you will re-live the experiences of one of the world’s biggest ever boybands from Utah. You will 'Love them for a Reason' once again, as Jay Osmond captures the lives and intimate moments of one of the greatest groups ever. The Osmonds.
I've become a great fan of The Osmonds over the past few years, not just because of their music but because of who they are, as human beings. I don't think I was ever really into them in my youth, but as I've got older, I must say I am enjoying an acquaintance with a group who meant so much to the world, who changed lives with their songs and their messages of hope and love, who cared about their fans and to this day, are still spreading words of hope, love and encouragement into peoples lives.
I got to know of The Osmonds more fondly, when I had the pleasure of interviewing Merrill Osmond several times over the past 5 years. Videoed interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkNTxMYA-zY. I've also featured him in one of the issues of my magazine, TurningPoint: Your Lifestyle, Your Well-Being https://issuu.com/estheraustinglobal/docs/turningpoint_your_lifestyle__your_well-being_magaz for which I also had the pleasure of personally giving him his copy when he was over her performing some years ago. And when I looked into his eyes, all I could see and feel was simply pure love and a wonderfully subtle but powerful humility.
I also had the privilege of conducting an audio interview with Jay several years ago as well. One thing that struck me about The Osmonds was their temperament. They carried a wonderful calm, sincere warmth at the base of their essence, so it was a real pleasure and insight to go and see a musical that gave so much more insight into their lives, their experiences and who they became as a result of that. As I watched the show, something else quite profound struck me and that was that for all they went through as a family and individually, (and they certainly went through alot) they stuck to the values instilled by their parents, Faith first, Family then Career. I feel that this was where their strength lay, even when they were sometimes divided, there was always a thread that held them together, along-with the tenets of their stern, disciplined father, who ruled with an iron fist.
The musical started off a little slow, and I felt myself trying to adjust into the world of The Osmonds, to find an aspect that I could connect with and then 20 minutes into it all, I was there, thrown back in time. We got an insight into The Osmonds as children, and evidently their characteristics and traits followed them into adulthood. Their parents were incredibly strong influences on their lives, their mother, Olive played by Nicola Bryan being the one who bought balance and equilibrium to situations. Their father, George played by Charlie Allen was strong-minded, disciplined, unrelenting and an incredible force. Their characters impeccably portrayed the emotional stability and complexities of being head of 9 children whilst also managing them as musicians whilst building and maintaining their careers by making good sound business decisions.
As the show evolved and The Osmonds matured into teenagers, we caught a glimpse of the pressures of being an Osmond even more, and the emotional roller coaster of fitting in, with the obligations and responsibilities of being part of The Osmonds and their unspoken Oath that as long as it's an Osmond, it doesn't matter who takes the lead, or who is out front. However, we saw cracks appear as each individual struggled at times with their own identity, especially Merrill who was played by Ryan Anderson. Merrill's struggles of missing his girlfriend, of feeling trapped, of feeling that no-one listened to him started to play on his mental health and well-being and to this day Merrill openly talks about his struggle with depression, and how he manages it. Then there was Alan, played by Jamie Chatteron, who as a child had it drilled into him that he must lead and look after the family, and the responsibility and guilt he was often plagued with. Alex Lodge who played Jay, the narrator of the show, always felt he had to be the glue and mediator who kept everyone together, pretty much because he had that type of heart. Then there was Donny, played by Tristan Whincup, (Understudy for Joseph Peacock) the wonder boy, who had so much that was expected of him because of his good looks and charm and his energetic performances.
Marie, played by Georgia Lennon, was brilliant as Marie, with her girly softness and beautiful dulcet tones and playful attitude. Then there was Wayne played by Danny Nattrass, who was often in the background, observant. The chemistry between Marie and Donny was a breath of fresh air, excitable, youthful, playful and captivating. They were great both as performers and hosts. The Osmonds had it all - looks and talent. They were all individually trained to play all the instruments they performed with. What a Super Group, they were.
The magic really happened in the musical in between the story, when we were taken on that magical ride into the world of 'Crazy Horses', 'Love me for a Reason',
As each character was revealed, their temperaments, their own personal gifts, the musical evolved into melodic masterpieces of memories. Their outfits bought giggles of 'I remember that style'. The crowd by now were in full flow, swaying to the music, some hands clasped to mouths in awe, with others there was laughter, and the nudging of each other as memories surfaced, everyone now fully immersed in the story of one of the Greatest Groups ever. With each song, there was a thread of love, that umbilical chord that bound The Osmonds together through the bad times and the good times.
This is a must see musical. We get an insight into an incredibly powerful family, who took the world by storm. Who stole the hearts of so many. A family who were connected to some of the greatest legends who ever lived. Elvis Presley, The Jacksons etc, their heads were never really allowed to swell because their father instilled a discipline of the mind and emotions. Hence that essence of love that is clearly felt through them. They were a family who stood together, who held onto their dreams, their passion. At one point they lost everything - USD80 million and it was their father, the visionary, the businessman, the disciplinarian who got them through, of course with love. Their mother a wonderful blanket for them all, a woman of wisdom and compassion, yet strength, who gathered her brood and together they all marched into the sunset to rebuild their careers, to pay of their debt to reclaim the title that they were indeed The One and Only 'The Osmonds.'
A story of success and defeat, of frustration and anger, or tears and laughter but more importantly a story of resilience and love. Their ethos being love. Love for family and importantly a love for their fans which was always uppermost in their performances, their music and their hearts.
And now I leave you with one of their all time favourites: Love me For A Reason https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gw7Nlt9qwZA'One Bad Apple'.
UK Tour ends 10th September
Tickets can be purchased at:
Castings of The Osmonds as Children:
Jack Jones - Young Alan
Alfie Jones - Young Wayne
Alfie Murray - Young Merril
Tom Walsh - Young Jay
Osian Salter - Young Donny
Fraser Fowkes - Jimmy
Directed by Shaun Kerrison and choreographed by Olivier Award winning Bill Deamer