Jay Osmond delighted to be bringing musical story of The Osmonds to Blackpool Opera House

For those too young to remember, it’s difficult to do justice to how much the Osmonds dominated the early 70s music scene for a time.

By Tony Durkin
Friday, 25th March 2022, 11:54 am
Updated Friday, 25th March 2022, 1:51 pm

As well as the band enjoying a string of top 10 hits, brothers Donny and Jimmy also topped charts with solo releases, as did sister Marie – and the greeting they received on visits to Britain from their base in Utah, USA was akin to Beatlemania a decade earlier.

The four siblings who initially were the Osmond Brothers act started as child stars, featured from a very young age on the very popular Andy Williams TV show in the States and, with Donny taking the band to five, grew to earn a lasting place in the annals of popular music.

But amid all the musical success, family remained the essential foundation of the Osmonds, raised as Mormons in Salt Lake City, and that bond remains strong to this day.

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A scene from the Osmonds musical

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Cast announced as new Osmonds musical heads for Blackpool

Now, their story is told in a musical, written by the fourth-born of the brothers and the drummer in the band, Jay Osmond – and its world premiere tour of the UK brings it to Blackpool from Tuesday, March 29 to Saturday, April 2.

Packed with the songs which earned them legendary status, such as Love Me For a Reason, Let Me In and Crazy Horses, plus the solo hits such as Puppy Love, Long Haired Lover from Liverpool and Paper Roses, Jay promises it has something for everyone – not just those of a certain age who remember their impact on the music scene, but all generations looking for a fun night out.

“The reaction so far has been brilliant,” he said. “We had three standing ovations on the opening night of this week’s show and the theatre management said that was unprecedented.

The cast of The Osmonds: The Musical as themselves

"It was great to see all ages thoroughly enjoying themselves – and guys as well. Girls formed the majority of our audience back in the day, but I’ve never seen so many men singing along to the likes of Love Me for A Reason.

"As the drummer, I was the guy at the back but that meant I was able to see everything and the story is that of the Osmonds from my points of view. We were a band of musicians but most of all we were a band of brothers.”

Jay, now 67, continued to tour with The Osmonds until a few years ago and his initial plan was to write a book on their experiences from his point of view.

But after talks with theatrical producers, that switched to a musical which has been five years in the making and premiered at The Curve Theatre in Leicester earlier this year. The UK and Ireland tour runs to December.

The Osmonds on stage at the London Palladium in the 70s. Picture: Getty Images.

"It was so exciting to see it open and to see the public reaction,” said Jay.

"It would be good to take it to the West End and hopefully Broadway too. But the UK was always great for us. It is wonderful to take it around here initially and the response so far has been tremendous.”

The five Osmond brothers who made up the band in its chart heyday – Merrill, Alan, Jay, Wayne and Donny – are played in The Osmonds: A New Musical by Ryan Anderson, Jamie Chatterton, Alex Lodge, Danny Nattrass and Joseph Peacock respectively.

The musical covers from their star residency on The Andy Williams Show from 1962 to 1969, ‘Osmondmania’ from 1971 to 1975 and the arrival of The Donny and Marie Show, a popular variety TV show, from 1976 to 1979, as the Osmonds lived a remarkable life recording chart-topping albums, selling out vast arena concerts and making record-breaking TV shows - until one bad decision cost them everything.

Jay Osmond is looking forward to bringing the musical to Blackpool

“I am thrilled that we have found such dynamic and talented performers to play my brothers and me,” said Jay.

"We saw some brilliant actors in the auditions and I was so impressed at the work people put in throughout the process.

"When these five guys walked in, they lit up the room with their smiles and raised the roof with their voices; I knew we’d found our boy band.

"It is an honour to welcome Ryan Anderson, Jamie Chatterton, Alex Lodge, Danny Nattrass and Joseph Peacock to the family. Their style, charm and talent brings our music and story to a whole new generation and you will ‘love them (for a reason)’ as much as we do.”

The Osmonds, who were among a total nine children to parents George and Olive, sold more than 100 million records worldwide and won 59 gold and platinum awards.

Jay has fond memories of playing several concerts in Blackpool as well as featuring with comedy star Billy Pearce in a version of the musical Boogie Nights, during which he stayed in Lytham.

"It’s a lovely part of the world we always enjoy visiting and we are delighted to be bringing The Osmonds: A New Musical to Blackpool,” he said. “I hope everyone has a great time.”

With the story by Jay, The Osmonds: A New Musical has book by Julian Bigg and Shaun Kerrison, and is directed by Shaun Kerrison, with choreography and musical staging by Bill Deamer, set and costume design by Lucy Osborne, lighting design by Ben Cracknell and sound design by Dan Samson.

Details are at TheOsmondsMusical.co.uk and booking details for the Blackpool show are at www.wintergardensblackpool.co.uk