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Donny Osmond to Starin BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Donny Osmond to Starin BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Donny Osmond brings his 7 piece band for the rescheduled concerts in Auckland and Wellington later this month.    The concerts were postponed in May due to a terminal illness in the Osmond family.  Father of five and grandfather of one Donny said, “I’m really looking forward to performing in New Zealand – my last visit was in 1981.”  Donny and his band will perform the entire show (no support act). The popular artist will also be the special guest at a luncheon at Intercontinental in Wellington on July 31 and Sky City on August 1 – only 150 tickets available for each event - bookings through Ticketek.  Concert tickets are also available through Ticketek.  

In September 2006 will be making his return to Broadway as Gaston in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.  He will begin performances on Tuesday, September 19th at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre (205 West 46th Street) for a limited 9-week engagement.

Donny’s role as Gaston in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST will be his first return to Broadway since making his debut in 1982 in Little Johnny Jones.  "I opened and closed that show in one night, and I remember thinking 'One of these days, I'm going to do it right,’ ” said Donny.  “Now almost 25 years later I have the chance-- I couldn’t do it any more right than joining such an iconic show as ‘Beauty.’ I can’t wait to get started!"

In fact, Donny has a long history with the Disney family --- it was while performing on the “Disney After Dark” television series in 1961 that Andy Williams spotted his brothers and hired them as regulars on “The Andy Williams Show”, launching their, and subsequently Donny’s, careers. Donny also was the singing voice of Captain Shang in Disney’s hit animated feature, Mulan.

By the time he was a teenager Donny had become one of the most popular and successful stars in pop music. In 1971, between his own and the Osmond Brothers recordings, he was awarded six gold records; the following year, he took home eight, and another four in 1973. With his brothers, he enjoyed a No. 1 hit with "One Bad Apple" and such blockbusters as "Yo-Yo" and "Down By the Lazy River." On his own, Donny hit No. 1 with "Go Away Little Girl," and made the top 10 with "Hey Girl" and memorable covers of Paul Anka's "Puppy Love," Roy Orbison's "Sweet and Innocent" and Johnny Mathis' "The Twelfth of Never." With his sister Marie, Donny produced yet a third wave of hit records.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the debut of the seminal primetime variety series “The Donny & Marie Show”, which ran for four years on ABC, featuring a Who’s Who of guest stars including Lucille Ball, Bob Hope, John Wayne, Milton Berle, and George Burns, as well as virtually every musical superstar of the 70s. This summer Donny is releasing the first of series of 3-disc DVD box sets containing his favorite skits and performances.


During the 80s Donny worked, as a performer and producer, with the likes of Jeff Beck, Boy George and Chicago. In 1987, Peter Gabriel invited him to record at his studio in Bath, England. The resulting demos recharged Donny's recording career, catching fire with the release in 1989 of "Soldier of Love," which hit the top of the Billboard Charts in the U.S -- some 13 years after his previous Top 40 chart-maker!


In 1992 Donny next took on the starring role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the North American touring company of Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber and Sir Tim Rice's hit musical. Over the next six years, he appeared in more than 2,000 performances.  In 1999, the film version of the musical, starring Donny, premiered to stellar ratings on PBS's Great Performances series.

Donny returned to national TV in 1998 with Marie, co-hosting the daytime talk show “Donny and Marie” for the next two years. He then hosted the classic TV game show “Pyramid” for another two years. In 2003 he returned to the recording studio and has been making records and touring worldwide for the past three years.

Donny and his wife Debbie are the proud parents of five boys, and, stunningly, even prouder grandparents!

“I have known Donny for almost a decade and had a great time working with him,” producer Thomas Schumacher said.  “He's a brilliant performer and a great guy.  We are all thrilled he's joining our production.”

In 2006, Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST will mark several major milestones.  On April 18th, the musical celebrated its 12th anniversary on Broadway.  The production will play its 5,000th performance on Tuesday, June 20th.

Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is currently the sixth longest running musical in Broadway history.  More than twenty million people have seen the show in over twenty productions worldwide.  The original cast recording is currently available on Disney Records.

Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST currently features Steve Blanchard as the Beast, Ashley Brown as Belle, Grant Norman as Gaston, Jacob Young as Lumiere, Jeanne Lehman as Mrs. Potts, Christopher Duva as Cogsworth, Jamie Ross as Maurice, Meredith Inglesby as Babette, Gina Ferrall as Madame de la Grande Bouche and Aldrin Gonzalez as Lefou.  Trevor Braun and Alexander Scheitinger alternate the role of Chip. 

Beginning May 29th, the performance schedule for Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre (205 West 46th Street) is as follows: Tuesday – Saturday at 8pm, Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm and Sunday at 3pm. 


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