The Osmonds – Review – Bradford Alhambra
By Sandra Callard, November 2022
Some shows span the generations, but this musical version of The Osmonds’ story seems to cater nostalgically for the generation that best remembers the American singers. Yes, the music of the Osmonds may not have crossed over to the youth of today, but this lovable show, full of colour, life and – yes – great songs, perhaps should have more widespread appeal.
The Osmonds were the pop kings of the seventies, original in approach and with a fresh and wholesome attitude. Their outlook was so different from other youths, as they were clean living Mormons, which enabled parents to allow their daughters to admire them and ultimately go to see them in action. And, of course, it was not something just to make them different; they were indeed true to their faith and hardly had a bad word written about them.
The show at the Alhambra in Bradford may not have had a teenage viewer in sight, but the middle-aged and elderly patrons who remembered their glorious days of singing were out in huge numbers, and sang happily along with the songs they remembered.
The five starring boys were played and sung brilliantly by Ryan Anderson, Jamie Chatterton, Alex Lodge, Danny Natrass and, with Tristan Whincup, who took the role of the youngest Osmond. Their voices were remarkably good, if perhaps a shade under the originals, but their brilliant dancing was a cut above that of the Osmonds, who were good, but not this good.
The stage was permanently filled with the five Osmond boys and their persuasive parents, and the storyline moved on to the mental issues that some of the boys endured at the hands of their incredibly severe father, who insisted on perfection at every turn, with only a gentler mother to help the younger singers along.
The music and the dancing was neatly done, but did become slightly repetitive, even though it was quite true that the original Osmonds did not vary much in their dance moves. To a modern audience, however, who are used to all kinds of elaborate choreography, it could appear boring, and in fact occasionally was.
This show was obviously a piece of theatre that had been looked forward to by the patrons for many days. There was a full house and a pleasant and very happy number of theatre goers enjoying the spectacle. Ultimately, it was good to see so many happy and contented people as they left the theatre – even if the kids, for once, stayed at home.
images: Pamela Raith