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Donny and Marie's Christmas show is impressive

Published: Thursday, Dec. 27 2012 1:25 p.m. MST

Donny and Marie entertain during a set from their 2012 Christmas tour in Utah for the first time in the tour's history.

Osmond Entertainment

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DONNY AND MARIE; Abravanel Hall, Salt Lake City; 7:30 p.m. through Dec. 29; tickets available through Ticketmaster; running time 2 hours 30 minutes with one intermission

SALT LAKE CITY — Donny and Marie proved themselves to a fan-filled audience Wednesday who offered unconditional standing ovations throughout.

In Utah for five shows and four nights as part of their annual Christmas tour (just prior to leaving for the European leg of the tour), the famous brother-sister Osmonds worked it.

They sang a range of songs from Broadway hits to high-energy jazz to a gorgeous rendition of the operatic classic "Nessun Dorma" by Marie, and Donny's newest addition to their Las Vegas show, "Soldier of Love."

They joked, getting plenty of mileage from Donny's first-place "Dancing With The Stars" win and ribbing each other in between spectacular numbers in the style they've perfected over the years.

They danced, with Marie usually in dangerously high heels and Donny in a suit and tie.

Both earned all kinds of points with the packed house.

They boldly worked through the hall several times, hugging fans and even reaching over a couple of rows at a time to make contact. Marie kissed a number of fans on the forehead, and Donny got so busy greeting people that he missed an entrance.

They brought a hapless fan on stage. Donny gave an interactive rose to a overwhelmed woman in tears.

They tossed candy canes into the audience.

Both performers confirmed that they deserve their place as beloved entertainers who've sold millions of records and tickets to concerts for 50 years.

Footage that played behind nearly every song showed the two as youngsters, teenagers and adults who worked with show business giants like Bob Hope, Andy Williams, Johnny Carson, Michael Jackson, Lucille Ball, Frank Sinatra, Jack Benny, Elvis ... this list goes on.

The duo sang Christmas songs at high speed and usually with a rock beat that refreshed a traditional tune into something totally unique.

Both revisited the past and the Broadway shows in which they had major roles: "Sound of Music," "The King and I," "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" and "Beauty and the Beast."

Favorites and classics were included along with new songs like "It's a Beautiful Life" from Donny and Marie's recent CD release.

Marie's costumes were spectacular, with sequins and fringe and bugle beads throughout.

Donny's "Motown Christmas" medley was a rush.

Overall, it was more than two hours of high energy, solid talent, disarming, fresh humor and plenty of movement and color. But it seemed like only minutes.

These guys are good.

Sensitivity rating: a couple of the accompanying dancers' costumes are revealing.

Sharon Haddock is a professional writer with 35 years experience, 17 at the Deseret News. Her personal blog is at sharonhaddock.blogspot.com.

Email: haddoc@desnews.com

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