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Donny does PBS

Osmond's hour will air tonight on Ch. 7 and Ch. 11

Donny Osmond on PBS? Absolutely!

The Utah native is finding success with his new album, "This Is the Moment," which features mostly contemporary Broadway tunes.

And this PBS special (tonight at 7 on Ch. 7 and 8:30 on Ch. 11), also titled "This Is the Moment," features Osmond performing many of those tunes. Taped Jan. 18 in New York, it includes music from "Rent," "Saturday Night Fever," "Seussical the Musical," "Sweeney Todd," "Guys and Dolls," "Jekyll & Hyde" and "The Beautiful Game."

"It's . . . my moment," Osmond said. "It's so much fun for me to be able to do."

"Fun" is the operative word. Osmond is a polished performer whose enthusiasm for his work translates into audience enthusiasm as well. And he credits his "Joseph" director, Steven Pimlott, with giving him a different outlook.

"He gave me some advice that changed my whole perspective on entertaining," Osmond said. "When I was a little boy, I was taught it is my job to come up on stage and turn it on and make you happy. That's the job of an entertainer. That was my mentality.

"He said, 'I'm going to de-train you, basically. What you're supposed to do is come up here and have so much fun in your own little world that the audience gets a chance to peek into that world. Because if you're having fun, the audience is going to enjoy themselves as well.' "

It's obvious that Osmond had a lot of fun taping this special — which does indeed make for an entertaining evening. Not that he's completely over his well-publicized stage fright, or, as he terms it, "panic attacks or social phobia disorder, whatever you want to call it.

"You constantly deal with it. That's another thing I learned with 'Joseph' — perfectionism is not being perfect; it's being the best you can be."

And his best in the special is very good.

Donny Osmond


E-MAIL: pierce@desnews.com