Jimmy Osmond interview: Long-haired lover jets in for taste of the 70s
LESS than a year after The Osmonds bid farewell to the UK, three of them are back in Boogie Nights, the 70s musical co-created by EastEnders star Shane Ritchie.
It will bring Jimmy, Merrell and Jay to the Royal Concert Hall next month, where the trio played to a sell-out crowd last April as part of what was billed their final UK tour.
"We will still perform together but a proper tour like that, that really was it," says Jimmy Osmond, 49, from his home in Utah.
The tour was tinged with sadness for the trio as brother Wayne was unable to perform.
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"We were really concerned about his health and then the worst happened when just before the tour he had a stroke.
"We'd already sold around 100,000 tickets so we went ahead with just the three of us. And the fans were great. It was the best tour we ever did."
Jimmy was already committed to join the likes of Gareth Gates, Chico and EastEnder Louisa Lytton in Boogie Nights before the Osmonds tour had finished.
"My brothers were like 'hey, that was a blast, can we come?' So they kind of invited themselves," he laughs.
"I called the producer and he said 'absolutely, bring them along!'"
Boogie Nights was the West End's original jukebox musical, conceived by Jon Conway and Shane Richie in 1997.
"It was the first musical that I was in over in the UK," says Jimmy, who starred in it during its West End run in 2004.
"I'd been in Joseph and other shows in America but it really kicked off a lot of opportunities for me. After that I was in Chicago and Grease. It was when I was in Chicago that the bug really bit me. It's fun to part of a team.
"So this kind of show is nothing unusual for me, but my brothers have never done anything like this before."
The latest tour is more of a celebration of the music from the original show and features 70 songs.
"The play that was a hit in the West End was written by Shane and Jon about their experiences growing up in the 70s.
"I think that's why it has been successful; because people who come to see it are experiencing how they felt growing up in the 70s.
"And that's always a fun thing to be part of."
As well as doing Osmonds songs, the brothers will be covering hits from the decade by other artists such as Stevie Wonder and the Bee Gees.
Their visit to the UK coincides with Donny and Marie Osmond's arena tour, which comes to the Capital FM Arena on January 27.
"When I committed to Boogie Nights I didn't know that they were going to do their tour at the same time," says Jimmy. "I'm thrilled. My sister hasn't spent a lot of time in the UK.
"I used to business manager her and a bunch of other stuff, so I'm looking forward to taking her around some of the places that I love there.
"I've been in Nottingham quite a bit so I know the town pretty well."
Boogie Nights, featuring The Osmonds, Gareth Gates, Louisa Lytton, Andy Abraham, Chico and Shane Richie Junior, comes to the Royal Concert Hall on Tuesday, February 12. Tickets are £29.50 to £35.50 from the box office, call 0115 989 5555 or go to www.trch.co.uk.