THE LEADING MEN: Donny Osmond Back on Broadway

By Tom Nondorf
14 Dec 2010

Marie Osmond surprises Donny with a cake to celebrate his 53rd birthday, following their first performance
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

I've heard you say that playing The Phantom is a dream role of yours. True?
I was offered the role by Andrew Lloyd Weber himself, he wanted me to play the Phantom, and I know that's such a cliché show and it's been around forever, but he wanted me to do it in the West End. When I was doing Joseph in Toronto, just about a block away was The Phantom, and for the fun of it, I went over there, and I said, "I just want to sing the book." And the conductor took me in the rehearsal hall, and I sang this part where the Phantom really exerts his control over Christine... The conductor stopped me and said, "You know, that's perfect, that's the way Andrew wrote it." The next thing I know, Andrew offers me the role of the Phantom in the West End, and I couldn't; I had a contract for some other things. There's a lot of great roles out there, but to play The Phantom, a twisted man, would be a fun role for me.

What's your favorite song to sing in the current show?
I always love the reaction to "Puppy Love." All these middle-aged women revert to teenage girls out there [laughs]. It's so funny to watch.

And do you have a fave to listen to Marie sing?
No. Nothing. [Laughs] And she would say the same about me!



You just count down the minutes 'til it's time for you to sing again?
Oh yeah, just count them down. "Shut the backstage speaker off! Tell me when she's done." You know, it's funny because the repartee we have on stage…two-and-a-half years ago when we started performing together again, we said, "O.K., we have to get the best writers." We got great writers, but we did our first show and we stuck to the script, and I gotta tell you it was one of the worst things we ever did [laughs]. I went into Marie's dressing room, threw the script in the garbage and said, "Now let's do it the way we want to do it." And the next show was spot-on. You can't over-think it. You can't overwrite it. It's organic. Yeah, we both get on each other's nerves. Brothers and sisters are supposed to do that, but at the end of the day — and we acknowledge it — there's something we have, after working together for so many years, that sometimes drives me crazy, or her crazy, but it works.

(Tom Nondorf can be reached at tnondord@playbill.com.)