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Donny & Marie get Key to the Strip with final Las Vegas show looming

As is his wont, Donny Osmond seized the key, the mic and the moment Friday to make another of his big announcements.

“Now that Marie and I have the key to the city we should extend our residence!” the onetime Peacock-costumed performer shouted. The dozens of fans craning for a look at the siblings outside the Flamingo entrance facing Linq Promenade went bonkers.

“I’m kidding! I’m kidding!” Osmond shouted, knowing he was capable of touching off more confusion for an act that spent several months clearing it up. Donny’s own premature announcement last October that the duo were closing their long-running show at Flamingo touched off a lengthy period of speculation surrounding the act.

But Donny & Marie are leaving, effective November, after 11 years and more than 1,600 performances. As a parting gift, Clark County Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick and Caesars Entertainment Chief Executive Officer Tony Rodio presented the duo a Key to the Strip (not the Key to the City; there is a difference and yes it matters).

Donny & Marie are also being honored on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars on Oct. 4. It seems they would have already been honored by these institutions over an 11-year run. Not so. But possibly the greatest public commendation is that giant building wrap facing the Strip, updated four times during their run (Donny, especially, loves that vast visage).

As for 2020 and beyond, Marie mentioned she has lived in Las Vegas during the residency; Donny has commuted in from Utah.

“I can’t really say what’s next, but right now I can’t really think past December,” Marie said after the ceremony. “I just love it here, my home is here and I want to stay.”

Marie is already announced as the newest member of the daily CBS talker, fittingly titled “The Talk,” on Sept. 9. That deal would continue at least through next year, and she would toggle her time between tapings in L.A. and a show in Vegas.

Donny, meantime, has no interest continuing a residency show on the Strip as he works to complete his next album, his 62nd, a compilation of cover songs including The Beatles’ “The Long And Winding Road” and the Jackson 5’s “Ben.”

“I don’t want to pin myself in with a timeline, but I want it done by the end of the year,” Donny said. “I am really looking forward to everyone hearing it.”

Broadcast TV is also likely to factor into Donny’s future. He has said he wants to be a judge on “The Masked Singer,” the Fox contest show in which Donny dressed as a Peacock and nearly won the dang thing. He finished as runner-up to the rapper T-Pain, dressed as a one-eyed monster.

But for next season, all eyes will be on the former Peacock as he puts the D&M show in his rear-view mirror.

Magic & Marriage

The odds would seem infinitesimal that two magicians who won “Americas Got Talent” who also headline on the Strip would be coincidentally married (not to each other) less than a week apart. But Season 9 “AGT” champ Mat Franco of The Linq Hotel and Season 13 and “Champions” titlist Shin-Lim of the Mirage were indeed wed this week.

Franco was married to Tianna Scartabello on Thursday at The Montage in Laguna Beach, Calif. “I wake up every day and I find out a new reason [why] she’s the one,” Franco told People magazine.

Shin-Lim was married to Casey Thomas at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa. “Today was absolutely amazing,” Shin-Lim posted on his Instagram account, which features several breathtaking shots of the couple in Maui. Magical times, for all involved.


In “Rock of Ages,” Troy Burgess’ Dennis Dupree character carried Lonny (Mark Shunock) around Bourbon Room. But 30 years ago, he boosted to Cher’s “Heart of Stone” world tour. Burgess, who plays King Arthur and Merlin the Master in “Tournament of Kings” at Excalibur, has organized a 30th-reunion party for those who performed on the tour, and the crew is filing into Cher’s show at Park Theater on Saturday night.

A few of the backing dancers hired by director Kenny Ortega are joining the reunion, including “The Voice” music director Paul Mirkovich and Michelle Rudy, who met on the tour and are now married.

“It’s the craziest thing that this all happened 30 years ago, when I was only 23 years old,” Burgess said Friday afternoon. “It was like being on the the road with a blood relative. I saw Cher a few months ago, and we hugged a really long time. It was amazing.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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