And the winner for best singer in the 2012 Best of Las Vegas Awards is — drum roll please — Donny Osmond.
All finished laughing? Good, because it’s no joke. In its 31st year of picking the best of the best in the desert gaming capital, readers of the Las Vegas Review Journal picked Osmond as the best singer on or off the Strip.
And no one was laughing longer and harder than the winner himself.
“Can you believe that?” Osmond says between bursts of laughter. “I personally beat Celine Dion, and I’m rubbing it in her face.”
The accolade wasn’t a fluke, either. In a town where A-list artists like Dion and Elton John dominate the marquees and there’s a massive Cirque du Soleil production on every corner, the Osmond siblings also won the awards for “best show” and “best all around performers” for the big variety show they’ve been performing at the Flamingo Hotel for the past four years.
So it was never a question of whether to bring Donny and Marie to Atlantic City for a summer gig, which will mark the first time they’ve performed together in town in about 25 years. The real question was how much of the show they wanted to schlep across the country for a weeklong stay at Caesars Atlantic City, where they open on Tuesday, July 31.
Donny Osmond subscribes to the “go big or stay home” theory of show business. The production he and his sister created for the Flamingo is a full-blown variety revue complete with an orchestra, dancers and singers, lots of costumes and a big multi-media display.
The Las Vegas show is a radical departure from the bare-bones, audience interactive show Donny Osmond toured with last year with just three musicians and a set list determined by the audience.
So when Don Marrandino, president of Caesars Entertainment’s four Atlantic City properties, asked the Osmonds to bring some of the elements of that show to Atlantic City, Donny was initially hesitant.
“I told [Marrandino] that Marie and I worked hard to create and refine the variety show and make it as entertaining as possible,” Osmond says during a recent chat from Los Angeles, “Anything less than that is not a representation of what the Donny and Marie show is. [It’s] less than I want to give.”
Marrandino, who was working in Las Vegas four years ago when he convinced Donny and Marie to reconnect as a stage duo, didn’t hesitate to go big. He told the Osmonds to bring the entire production to the Circus Maximus Theatre.
One of the longest-running productions in the international cache of shows known as Cirque du Soleil — character-driven shows blending circus styles from around the world into a central theme or storyline — is making its first-ever appearance in Atlantic City through Sept. 2.
The casino and entertainment industries and the millions of visitors expected over the next 12 weeks are each gearing up for a summer entertainment program that seems to be picking up where the packed season-launching weekend left off.
A couple of years ago Atlantic City Weekly started encapsulating key elements of the lives and careers of musicians and entertainers who were coming to town to perform, along with some longtime Atlantic City residents and difference-makers, in a series dubbed 5 Questions With ...
ATLANTIC CITY — As we near the end of another great summer, there are still some cool concerts and musical events left this season. I am looking forward to YouTube/a cappella sensation Straight No Chaser. If the group’s non-holiday catalogue is as fun as the songs that have become Christmas/Chanukah classics on my laptop, then I am sure the concert will be fun. In fact, several readers have already endorsed Straight No Chaser, performing at Harrah’s Concert Venue through Sept. 4. Another big deal for me is Donnie Osmond coming to the Borgata on Saturday, Aug. 27. I would pay twice the admission to hear Osmond discuss candidly the music business and the changes since he and his brothers first took to the stage in the 1970s. As we say in my circle, Donny Osmond “has seen a lot of...
“We have the technology now to be able to call it up immediately. The system we’ve put together for this show is so cool. If someone wants to hear a song and it happens to be in the hundreds and hundreds of assets I’ll have in computer system, then boom — we’ll just go and do it.”
Donny Osmond has set a whirlwind eleven-day North American concert tour to take place during the late August/early September hiatus of the Donny & Marie Show, a long-running headlining engagement at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. The show comes to the Borgata on Saturday, Aug. 27, 8pm. In an interview with Atlantic City Weekly, Osmond explained that his show will be based on audience requests in a Q & A format, so it will be packed with audience favorites.
Since we won't have a parade to attend on Friday evening or a pageant to watch on Saturday night, we can't help but feel a little ... well, empty this week. No Miss America in Atlantic City after 85 years of history in the town that was always synonymous with the annual competition. Enjoy the trip down memory lane as we wax nostalgic over the pageants of yesteryear. 1921 First Miss America competition is held. A group of hoteliers and other businessmen invent a beauty pageant with the intention of attracting visitors in September and extending the summer season to pad their seasonal profits. The winner of the pageant was to be called "The Most Beautiful Bathing Girl in America." The pageant's first winner, Margaret Gorman of Washington, D.C., would soon be the first to be called "Miss America," but not until the end of her reign. 1925 The pageant is broadcast "live" on radio for the first time. 1928 Religious and women's advocacy groups gain ground in their annual protests of the Miss America pageant, which they content is an exploitation of the women involved. The pageant's organizers vote to cancel the pageant. No Miss America is crowned in 1928. 1929 A...