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Donny Osmond – Capitol Theater – Wheeling (A Concert Review)

Donny Osmond – Capitol Theater – Wheeling, WV – June 18, 2024

A Night to Remember: Donny Osmond’s Direct From Vegas Tour

The historic Capitol Theater in Wheeling, WV had fans lining up in 98-degree heat, on June 18, 2024, an hour before the doors even opened. Only a legendary entertainer like Donny Osmond could draw such a devoted legion of fans. Being one of the first stops in the Direct From Vegas tour schedule, fans were sharing the anticipation of what they were about to see, and shared stories of their favorite memories, from Osmond’s early days as a teen idol to his Broadway stints, and his different Las Vegas residencies.

The stage setup was impressive, with a large backdrop displaying “Donny” in vibrant, glitzy letters. As the house lights dimmed, Osmond entered to deafening applause. “Soldier Of Love” was Osmond’s comeback song in 1988, which lead into Osmond following it up with the song he is probably the most known for called “Puppy Love.”

Pictures and video clips lit up the screen as the crowd sang along to the classic, and then Osmond switched gears again, doing a song from his most recent CD called Who. Displaying the confidence and charm that have made him a beloved figure for decades, the audience settling in for a wild ride through 60 years of memories.

For those that wanted the career retrospective approach, Osmond comprised the highlights of his career in the song he called “Auto-rap-ography” which literally has Osmond rapping about highlights in his career, as they come to life on the screen. The frequent pauses to let the audio drop in of the video on the screen, and then back to the live performance was slick. The song is probably close to 10 minutes long, and something to behold. (There may be some clips of it on YouTube.)

The show moved into a bit of a Broadway segment highlighting Donny’s time in Joseph and The Amazing Techniocolor Dreamcoat, followed by a run-through of “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You” from Mulan, complete with costumes and choreography. The audience's reaction was one of sheer joy, particularly from younger fans who grew up with the animated classic.

The second part of the show was offering the audience a chance to request any song from his 60+ albums and he would do a piece of it on the spot. Surprisingly, having done this part for years, there were a few songs requested that were never asked for before in a show.

More than that though, this part of the show in Wheeling at least, should serve as a masterclass in showmanship. An older lady wandered down the center aisle with cell phone in hand to take a picture. He kept beckoning her closer, until she was literally a foot away, as he took the phone and did a selfie of the two of them. She ran back to her seat like she was 16 again.

A young lady prefaced her request of “Any Dream Will Do,” by telling Osmond she was 16 and had seen him twice. He invited her on stage to sing the song as a duet, and she held her own with him. The topper was the lady who asked for “The Twelfth Of Never.” Osmond started the song and offered his hand to her to join him, singing it looking into her eyes, and then wrapping his arms around her from behind. The absolute look of this woman’s lifelong dream coming true was met with roaring applause and demonstrated Osmond's genuine appreciation for his supporters.

That in a nutshell is why he is still touring and selling out month-long engagements in Las Vegas. His voice, remarkably well-preserved, whether belting out high-energy anthems or crooning tender ballads, his vocal control and range were impressive. His stage presence is as good as it gets, but it’s with the fans in the audience that creates the intimate connection.

Throughout the show, he shared stories providing a personal touch that resonated with the fans. The audience can probably remember what was going on in their lives when these things were happening in his.

Touching on the time spent with his brothers as the Osmonds, he had his backup singers and dancers come out in outfits that made you think it was the mid 1970’s again. A medley of Vegas standards saw Osmond dance and sing with his dancers, to the point you forget how old he is.

The tribute to Andy Williams was paying homage to the influence Williams had on his career. Osmond paid tribute to his mentor and friend with a soulful rendition of “Moon River” with Andy joining the duet on the screen.

The tribute to his sister Marie, along with highlights from the Donnie and Marie Show on the screen, I am sure had more than me in the audience remembering begging to stay up to watch their TV show.

Donny Osmond’s concert at the Capitol Theater was a triumphant celebration of his enduring legacy. It was a night filled with music, memories, and moments of genuine connection between the artist and his fans. For almost two hours the audience in Wheeling got to revisit times and places that they probably had not seen for a time. They got to visit those places with a friend that has always been with them, albeit on that LP cover, or teen magazine, or television show that made them feel so good. Osmond proved that his appeal transcends generations, and his ability to captivate an audience remains as strong as ever.

Donny Osmond Setlist: Act One: Soldier of Love / Puppy Love / Who / Auto-rap-ography / Close Every Door / I’ll Make a Man Out Of You / Don’t Stop Act Two: By Request (Short Versions of Audience Requests): Who Can I Turn To / The Twelfth Of Never / Catch Me Baby / Sweet and Innocent / Go, Go, Go Joseph / Go Away Little Girl /    The Way You Are / Crazy Horses / Any Dream Will Do / Love Me For A Reason / It Takes Two / Laughter In The Rain / Julie / Ben Act 3: One Bad Apple / Having a Party / Start Again / Donny’s Back In Town/Viva Las Vegas/Luck Be A Lady (medley) / Moon River / In My Life / On & On / Let’s All Dance

Dave Parsons

Copyright ©2024 All rights reserved. Posted: June 19, 2024.

Photos by Dave Parsons © 2024. All rights reserved.


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