Editor's note: Columnist Philip Potempa is reporting from Las Vegas traveling this week.
Greetings from the desert entertainment oasis that is Las Vegas. Or as my dad likes to call it "Loss Wages."
Thursday temperatures here are to climb to 102 degrees and today is the 60th "Diamond" Wedding Anniversary for my parents Chester and Peggy, which is why I'm here with them to celebrate, along with my older sister Pam who celebrates her 47th birthday today as well!), at Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino.
On Wednesday night, we were at Caesars Palace's sister property, The Flamingo Hilton, just across the famed main strip, to catch Donny and Marie Osmond perform their anchor show in the Flamingo Showroom. Tuesday was Donny's second night returning to the stage following an injury he suffered at the beginning of July, which happened on stage when he tore his gluteus maximus (yep, the butt muscle) from jumping up to sit on the piano during a performance. Older brother Merrill Osmond helped step in for some shows, to fill in for ailing Donny, as did Marie's pal John Schneider, who played Bo Duke on CBS' "Dukes of Hazzard."
Following Marie's popular stint on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" in 2007, the pair teamed up for a limited engagement in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Las Vegas. By September 2008, the duo inked a new contract in Sin City after Donny's equally popular run on "Dancing with the Stars" and the siblings began playing the 750-seat showroom at the Flamingo for their 90-minute show backed by eight dancers and a nine-piece band. They sing together at the beginning and end of the show, and have solo segments in between.
Since both Caesars and Flamingo are now owned by parent company Harrah's, it was not a surprise when our own Horseshoe Casino in Hammond got Donny and Marie to come to Northwest Indiana to play The Venue in August 2010.
The Osmond Brothers have played Las Vegas casinos for decades, beginning with their late mentor Andy Williams introducing them to gaming audiences back in the 1960s, including Donny, at age 7, sharing the spotlight with his brothers appearing onstage at The Sahara with Shirley Bassey. For the record, Donny and Marie first appeared together "as an act" in Las Vegas, here at Caesars Palace in 1973. By the following year, they were performing to sold-out audiences at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino.
The last time we had Donny and Marie together in our readership area, it was for a month of Christmas concerts in December 2011 in Chicago at the Oriental Theatre. Fans are once again getting this holiday wish. Donny and Marie have just announced they are coming back to Chicago for one 8 p.m. Dec. 20h Christmas concert in Rosemont, Ill. at Allstate Arena. Tickets are now on sale and range from $49 to $139 at (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.
Everyone has an Osmond story. While flying from Chicago Wednesday morning, Nancy Finley of Chicago, seated next to me, said she still recalls at age 13 joining her parents Peggy and John driving from Milwaukee to Chicago to see the Osmond Brothers perform with Williams at Arie Crown Theatre in Chicago in November 1963. As for the reason she still recalls the date, it was the weekend following the tragic Friday on Nov. 22, 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.