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Donny and Marie Osmond bring Christmas magic to Salt Lake

Published: Saturday, Dec. 8 2012 2:00 p.m. MST

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square and Bells on Temple Square perform in 2011.

Osmond Entertainment

LOS ANGELES — It's an offer too good to refuse, so Donny and Marie aren't even going to try.

Instead, they're re-upping the contract with Caesar's Entertainment to perform for Las Vegas crowds at the Flamingo for two more years even though for Marie Osmond, that will mean being in Los Angeles to tape her talk show in the mornings and flying back to Vegas to do the show in Nevada each night.

"It'll be crazy," Marie said in a recent phone interview. "It's a busy time right now."

But then, the iconic singer/entertainer/show business personality is used to busy. She's been working in the industry since childhood, along with her talented and equally famous brothers.

"It's hard to turn this down after being voted 'Best Show in Vegas,'" Donny Osmond said in early November. "We like Vegas. I've just added a huge song to the tune of $60,000 for video, arrangements, costumes and choreography."

The song is a redo of Donny's hit "Soldier of Love" with video newly shot in Goshen.

The new song will be part of the lineup for the Christmas show coming to Salt Lake City, along with traditional Christmas favorites — from Motown to light opera, according to Marie — and a tribute to singer Andy Williams, who died this year at 84 in Branson, Mo.

"It's a completely different show from the Vegas show. I play musical identities from rock to country to salon opera," she added.

One of her songs includes the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing backup for her. Another is the operatic classic "Nessun Dorma."

Most of the songs, however, resonate with the sights and sounds of the season, she said.

"So many people grew up watching our Christmas specials. There was a lot of excitement and they come to revisit that," she said.

Donny Osmond said he's excited to be working on his fifth, no, maybe his eighth or ninth, career if one counts talk-show host, Broadway star, "Dancing With The Stars" winner and game emcee along with his singing and television career.

"At this stage of my life, my manager is saying I can pick my shots. I still have mountains to climb, but right now, I'm having fun.

"That's why we're still doing the Vegas show, 'cause it's fun," he said.

Marie is happy to be asked back to Vegas, even though Hallmark just ordered 130 more segments of "Marie." (Her talk show, which debuted in October, airs at 10 a.m. weekdays on the Hallmark Channel.)

"We were done!" she said. "This was not in the plan. But it'll work. The Hallmark people are willing to work with me, and sometimes we can tape two shows a day so I won't be doing both every day."

Marie has no problem with working hard or going on tour during the holidays because she's grown up entertaining and that's what entertainers do, she said. Her husband, Steve Craig, is really good about keeping the home together in her absence, she said.

Marie still has four children at home between the ages of 10 and 16.

"My husband is very hands-on," she said. "There's no way I could do this without him."

Marie said it can be tough to start a tour during the holiday season, but "it's all about entertainment and we're entertainers. It's kind of in your job description.

"We did the first Christmas tour the year my son died," she said. "I told Donny I didn't want to be home that Christmas and it just sort of evolved from there."

The first tour started off in New York. This one includes Salt Lake and will likely be the last one in the area.

"We'll be trying out different markets in the future," Marie said.

Following the Christmas tour in the United States, the Osmonds head to the United Kingdom for an O2 Arena Tour, one they're already rehearsing.

Email: haddoc@desnews.com

If you go . . .

What: Donny & Marie Christmas show 2012

Where: Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City

When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 26, 27; 8 p.m. Dec. 28; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Dec. 29

Cost: $35-$135, tickets available at ArtTix, 801-355-ARTS

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