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Sensational Osmonds show tells a captivating tale

The Osmonds were one of the most successful music acts of the 1970s – the ultimate clean-cut boy band before the term ‘boy band’ was popularised.

Last night (Tuesday 4 October) a sensational new musical opened at Cardiff’s New Theatre, telling the story of this amazing family group from someone who was part of it – Jay Osmond himself.

The Osmonds: A New Musical tells how the brothers (and at times their sister) from Utah were pushed into the spotlight as children – forced to get up in the early hours to practise every day.

It’s an emotional, sometimes funny, always captivating tale of individuals as well as the family overall. Merrill’s troubled childhood, overcoming a stammer is particularly moving.

We see their big break as regulars on The Andy Williams Show, the rise of brother-and-sister act of Donny and Marie, the chart-topping records, and the sell-out arena concerts, before all was lost – only to be built up again.

Due to illness and injury, there were some changes to the cast for opening night. Special mention must go to Matthew Ives, an on-stage swing who stepped up brilliantly into the role of Andy Williams and many other parts.

The other main roles were played excellently by Ryan Anderson (Merrill), Jamie Chatterton (Alan), Alex Lodge (Jay), Henry Firth (Wayne), Tristan Whincup (Donny), and Georgia Lennon (Marie).

Charlie Allen and Nicola Bryan were also superb as parents George and Nicola, as were the young Osmonds – Nicolas Teixeira (Donny), Oliver Forde (Alan), Jack Sherran (Merrill), Louis Stow (Wayne), Lyle Wren (Jimmy), and Lonan Johnson (Jay).

Directed by Shaun Kerrison and choreographed by Olivier Award-winning Bill Deamer, the show will have you singing along, tapping your feet and up dancing by the end, thanks to a long list of hits including Love Me For A Reason, Crazy Horses, Let Me In, Puppy Love, One Bad Apple, Long Haired Lover From Liverpool, and Paper Roses.

The Osmonds: A New Musical plays at the New Theatre until Saturday (8 October). Tickets are available from the box office or online here.

Review by Ruth Simons

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