Told from the perspective of the youngest member of the original Osmond Brothers quartet, this jukebox musical is sure to give fans of The Osmonds something to scream about!
The Osmonds: A New Musical tells the story of the rise and rise of one family that sold over one hundred million records. The clean-cut Mormon vocal group broke records that even The Beatles couldn’t – and the stratospheric rise to stardom saw them rub shoulders with everyone from the Queen to the King himself – Elvis Presley.
The Osmonds tells the highs – and lows – of the band through the eyes of Jay Osmond, the youngest in the original Barbershop-style quartet. Alex Lodge is charming as the storyteller, who just so happened to be sat in the Wednesday matinee audience in Glasgow.
It’s hard to distill such a staggeringly successful career into 2 hours and 45 minutes, including an interval. The Osmonds does its best but can get a bit distracted by the detail rather than the music.
Record producers, TV executives and press folks all get a mention, but the already mammoth length of the show could be better spent slimming down on the facts and beefing up the music that made the band so famous.
It’s impossible not to be charmed by the brothers’ humble beginnings. The foundations of the band were to raise $50 to buy their two deaf brothers hearing aids. Nobody could have imagined how far this family band would go – far least The Osmonds themselves.
At the heart of the story are the Osmond family themselves, of course. Head of the household George Osmond (Charlie Allen) rules with an iron fist. His military background leaves little room for compassion and Allen plays the stern head with impressive command.
As doe-faced audience favourite Donny (Joseph Peacock) joined the vocal group, tensions began to rise over who hogged the spotlight. The insight into the democratic nature of family decision making is one of the many insights into life off stage for this history-making group – definitely a highlight of the show being penned by one who was there.
Under the musical direction of Will Joy, the five piece band fill the King’s Theatre with the unforgettable music that is greeted with shrieks of excitement. Across three separate mid-show ovations, you’d be forgiven for thinking those Utah brothers were on stage by the reception they received.
Arguably the most enjoyable part of this charming show is the children cast to play the up and coming Osmonds. Charlie Tumbridge shines as the young Jay. He’s barely half the height of the older Jay, but he packs every line with brilliant joy.
It’s neither the most polished nor the most pacy of productions. It’s occasionally without focus but you’re guaranteed to be on your feet at it’s close, and you’ll be singing the hits – from ‘Love Me For A Reason’ to ‘Having A Party’ to a rocking version of head banger ‘Crazy Horses’.
The Osmonds: A New Musical at King’s Theatre, Glasgow until 19th February 2022, then touring