Individualist. Alternative music star. Rebel. -Donny Osmond
Individualist. Alternative music star. Rebel. -Donny Osmond

Donny Rules!

How cool is Donny Osmond? After joking about Rosie O'Donnell's weight on her show, Osmond not only apologized for the gaffe, he sang "Puppy Love" to the Queen of Nice while dressed in a dog suit. Think any supposedly "cool" act like Snoop Dogg would ever have the guts to say he was wrong? Score one for the Mormons.

Long a static target for cheap-shot artists, Osmond has been ridiculed about everything from his bubblegum pop to his nice-guy appearance. One writer declared his birth the darkest day in pop music history, and another suggested Osmond should have been drowned while still an infant. But while rock journalists -- an oxymoron if ever there was one -- tongue-bathe Alanis Morissette, Eminem and Kid Rock, Osmond has proved himself to be the true showbiz rebel by staying married for more than 20 years, being a loving father and continuing to sell albums without once having to sing about fellatio.

When given a chance, people do like him. In 1989, when a radio station started playing his song "Soldier of Love" anonymously (virtually a requirement since Osmond's toothy grin and wholesome '70s image became a liability), it reached No. 2 on the charts. A five-year run in Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat followed, as did a two-year talk-show run with sister Marie.


Jim Brickman with special guest Donny Osmond

Aerial Theater, 520 Texas Avenue

Friday, December 22, at 8 p.m. (713)230-1600

Now Donny is touring with New Age pianist Jim Brickman, with whom he struck up a friendship on his show (Osmond returned the favor by appearing on Brickman's PBS special). While the tour is Brickman's -- and his catchy melodies will woo a crowd -- Osmond has been getting rave reviews for his witty performances, which include a solid Elvis Presley impersonation and an a cappella opening on "Do You Know What I Know." In this holiday show, Osmond's wholesome personality and '70s image are not only welcomed, they're celebrated.

Now that's cool.


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