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Concert review: Marie Osmond's Deer Valley show proved the stage is her natural habitat

DEER VALLEY, Summit County — Marie Osmond showed on Saturday night that she has performer's magic coursing through her, as she highlighted her nearly five decades of mesmerizing audiences. Yes, she may be one of Vegas' biggest divas, but back home in the Rocky Mountains while performing with the Utah Symphony, she felt like the girl nex door, home for the weekend from the big city.

Kicking off the Deer Valley Music Festival's opening weekend (the festival officially opened with Chris Botti on Friday night), Osmond entered the stage in a sequined-studded, aquamarine floor-length dress that would have been the envy of any mermaid. Anyone who has followed her career knows the singer is partial to bling and sparkle, and there was an abundance of both at the Deer Valley Amphitheater as she kept up an ever-changing wardrobe.

Marie Osmond sings with David Osmond at the Deer Valley Music Festival on Saturday, June 29, 2019.
Marie Osmond sings with David Osmond at the Deer Valley Music Festival on Saturday, June 29, 2019.
Kathleen Sykes, Utah Symphony

Recounting her birth order as the one and only daughter after eight — yes eight — brothers, Osmond told of her mother Olive Osmond's unfailing belief in her, leading her to sing a nostalgic and emotion-filled rendition of the Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg classic “Somewhere Over the Rainbow." The iconic song gave Osmond a chance to show off her impressive range, and that at 59, her voice is still as strong and resolute as it has been throughout her career. In fact, Osmond's voice only seems to have matured in tone and quality, and she looks fantastic — all those years of Nutrisystem look good on her.

In an industry where people headline one day and are forgotten the next, it is no small task that Osmond has so constantly reinvented herself for each succeeding generation. A performer doesn't stay in Vegas for 11 years without the ability to adapt and hold audiences of all ages captive. And while no one will accuse Osmond of false — or maybe real — humility, no one can deny the singer's talent.

The set on Saturday night was something of a walk through her nearly 50-year career. She performed songs from Broadway shows "The King and I," "The Sound of Music," "Chicago" and "Cabaret," with a quick costume changes for each, and moved effortlessly throughout the evening from country, rhythm and blues, opera, Broadway, jazz, folk and finally to a classic hymn.

The number that perhaps stunned the crowd most was Osmond's rendition of "Turandot's" "Nessun Dorma" by Puccini. The breadth and scope of her vocal ability was astounding as she sang the aria wearing a traditional Japanese kimono. Her pure vocals, versatility and passion moved the audience to their feet.

Daniel Emmet performs at the Deer Valley Music Festival on Saturday, June 29, 2019.
Daniel Emmet performs at the Deer Valley Music Festival on Saturday, June 29, 2019.
Kathleen Sykes, Utah Symphony

Osmond has always been the bubbly girl next door, but age has mellowed her somewhat. Maybe it was playing to her hometown crowd, but she was reflective as she spoke of things dear to her: her family, husband, parents and friends who have stayed by her side through the years. She performed a show that was entertaining, yes, but also uplifting and even inspiring.

As a member of a storied musical family, Osmond brought along a family member and a friend, much to the delight of the crowd. Her nephew David Osmond, son of her brother, Alan Osmond, spoke of his and his father's struggle with Multiple sclerosis. He stated his father often says, “I may have MS but MS doesn’t have me." David Osmond then wowed the audience with one of his uncle Donny's most famous songs, the powerful "Close Every Door" from "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." He then followed with an equally beautiful interpretation of the traditional tune “Danny Boy.”

Following David Osmond, "America’s Got Talent" 2018 finalist Daniel Emmet took the stage. The playbill stated that Emmet "will take you on a spellbinding and mesmerizing emotional journey,” and he did indeed capture the audience with an original song called "Amante," and then Il Divo’s "Passerà."

Both men were handsome, talented and played well to the audience, harmonizing together beautifully on "The Greatest Showman’s" hit song “Never Enough.”

Through and through, it was a lovely evening of humor, passion, music, mountains and memories. Marie Osmond concluded the evening with a nod to her Christian upbringing by singing a transformative version of “How Great Thou Art," leaving her fans and audiences members with a good idea of the woman the girl who was "a little bit country" has become.

Correction: A previous version incorrectly identified the aria Marie Osmond sang. She sang "Nessun Dorma" from "Turandot."