New Haven’s Shubert Theatre


Rolling Stone Magazine once wrote that the worst day in the history of rock and roll was the day Donny Osmond was born. I got to thinking about that statement and in light of what each has become over the years, I find it to be dripping with irony. Rolling Stone may have been a hip publication many years ago but they are certainly no longer that today. Granted, they’re not the only music magazine that reeks of commercialism, it’s just that now they’re a mainstream pop music rag that focuses only on the flavor of the month. A short time ago they had N Sync on their cover along with five special covers released simultaneously featuring each member of the band.

(Like wow man, I’ll trade my JC for your Lance!) Last month Britney was on the cover and if you saw it I’ll bet you can come up with two big reasons why she was picked. Do you see my point here? How can a publication that so thoroughly dissed Donny Osmond now shrill for such acts as N Sync, Britney Spears, Destiny’s Child, and Christina Aguilera? It’s called selling out baby.

At the age of 44, Donny Osmond is a couple of decades removed from his teen idol days. After all, he’s been married for over twenty years now and he has five sons. His new disc called “This Is The Moment” is doing fabulously well and his career is soaring. He’s gone from racing cars on the Grand Prix circuit to starring on Broadway to fronting his own band on a worldwide tour. When you see him on shows like Donny and Marie or Fear Factor, or on stage bantering with his audience, he clearly comes across as a genuinely likable guy. Who is cooler, Donny Osmond or Rolling Stone Magazine? It’s not even close.

The show at the Shubert Theatre was billed as a romantic holiday with Jim Brickman. Donny, along with vocalist Anne Cochran and violinist Tracy Scott Silverman were Jim’ guests. Brickman is a renowned concert pianist who it touring in support of his newest CD and book of the same name called “Simple Things.” Although the musical theme of “Simple Things” is the need for a more relaxed, less feverish lifestyle, there is still a flair to his music. I was asked if Jim Brickman was like George Winston. The answer is at times yes. After all, they’re both considered new age artists and they both seem to flourish during the holiday season. However he also has a bit of Liberace in him as well. He really can be quite the showman.

Brickman was able to sprinkle in some of his own new original music along with an array of Christmas classics. From the “Simple Things” disc he did the title cut along with wonderful renditions of “Night Rain” and “The Promise.” Anne Cochran sang her heart wrenching tearjerker called “Ordinary Miracles.” And Donny sang the title song from his “This Is The Moment” disc.

The evening was as fun as it was romantic. Anne and Donny sang a playful duet of “Winter Wonderland” and “Let It Snow.” Donny also put on a pair of shades with fake sideburns and did an imitation of Elvis singing “Blue Christmas.” There was also a brief respite where all four musicians sat and answered questions from the audience.

Jim Brickman will be back in Connecticut on March 9th and 10th filming a PBS special at the new Bushnell in Hartford. Anne and Tracy will be with him along with some surprise guests who have yet to be announced. Oh and by the way, Donny Osmond was born on December 9th, 1957. The number one song in the country on that day was “You Send Me” by Sam Cooke. I don’t know about you, but that sure does sound like a pretty good day in rock and roll history to me.

- Bill Harriman