It’s A Little Bit Vegas…

Sibling superstars bring four decades of variety to the Flamingo

Tired of all the T & A the typical Las Vegas show seems to offer? Then get ready for some D & M… Donny and Marie, that is!

The original Disney darlings (the family was discovered by no less than Walt Disney himself), the two siblings have together had a nearly 45 year career in show business, spanning their teen-idol days in the 70s to recent projects on Broadway and in Hollywood. Undisputedly talented in a variety of ways, some might still think Las Vegas is an odd choice for the duo.

“I don’t think it’s out of character at all,” Donny told What’s On. “We’ve played almost every hotel there during our career, even some that aren’t there anymore. In a way it’s like coming home.”

The city has certainly changed in the 29 years since Donny and Marie had an extended residency engagement here, but Danny Gans, part of the team that brought the duo to town, has pointed out that “what Las Vegas has been missing is a true variety show that conveys the real essence of America and the country’s love of homegrown talent. We felt Donny and Marie provided…something no one else was making available.”

With their careers straddling the line between nostalgia and present-day relevance, what can audiences expect from the show? “Marie and I both sat down almost a year ago and said, ‘well, what kind of show do we want to put on?’ Then we got (director and choreographer) Barry Lather involved. You've got to do the old hits, so there's the hits medley, but these huge dance production numbers are all new,” Donny explained. “It's more singing, dancing and music than anything else.”

Marie’s recent stint on the popular Dancing With The Stars (in which she placed third) prompted a bit of sibling rivalry, and a “dance-off” was also added to the show. “We rib each other back and forth, because I'm a better dancer than she is,” Donny said. “We definitely bring that competition into the show.”

When asked if skits or comedy would make an appearance, a la 1976’s Donny and Marie Show, Donny laughed, “No, that's not what would work onstage, this is a Vegas show! It's an exciting show, Marie and I have put forth so much work into this thing. We've spent the money on this show because we wanted traditional Vegas.”

Nothing says “traditional Vegas” more than the Flamingo Hotel and Casino. “We love the room at the Flamingo because it really reminds us of the old Vegas, with the booths and tables rather than concert seating,” Donny said. “We’re excited for everyone to come out and see us.”

Published September 2008
What's On, The Las Vegas Guide Magazine

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