weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Marie Osmond’s flight plan set as Donny & Marie show closes

Before she flies solo, Marie Osmond flies, for real. She owns a private jet befitting a superstar, which on weekdays she has been flying from Las Vegas to Los Angeles and back.

This crisscrossing of the airways has been necessary as as Osmond toggles between “The Talk” daytime TV show and the final weeks of the Donny & Marie show at the Flamingo. The show is closing out its 11-year run Saturday, meaning for the first time since they were little kids Donny & Marie no longer will be an entertainment team. “A little bit country, a little bit rock ‘n’ roll” is to be forever retired.

D&M now are pursuing individual interests, with Donny recording a new album to be followed by a tour, and Marie heading back to TV on “The Talk,” joining regular co-hosts Sharon Osbourne, Sheryl Underwood, Eve and Carrie Ann Inaba (the show’s moderator).

Related: Donny and Marie: A look back at their Las Vegas residency

There has been some overlap in the two projects, as Marie agreed to start her run on the CBS daytime show in September with about three months left in the Flamingo Las Vegas residency. So she’s been the performing the production show with its 7:30 to 9 p.m. run time, then meet-and-greet, then a flight late at night to Van Nuys, California, landing at midnight.

The next day, it’s an afternoon taping of “The Talk,” and another flight back to Las Vegas in time to prep for the next Flamingo show. Osmond has run this race four times a week since the first week of September.

It’s a laborious schedule. But Osmond remains cheerful, chatty, as if hosting a prolonged meet-and-greet during her frequent trips to L.A.

“People ask me when I sleep, and it’s not much,” Osmond says on the walk across the runway at Henderson Executive Airport. “This is fun. I get to take my shoes off, and I am a total night owl.”

She pauses, turning to members of her entourage that includes “The Talk” wardrobe staff. “Let’s order a pizza!”

Not tonight. We arrive at the plane, and at this moment I remove “jet” from the description. This is an Epic single-engine turbo prop that carries six passengers. This is a tight, loud and fast aircraft — imagine flying at 29,000 feet in a Lamborghini, and you have Air Marie.

She immediately pulls on a headset to communicate — you cannot hear conversations from even a few feet away. Without prompting, she says, “It’s not as fancy as Donny’s plane, but it’s a lot less expensive. It will get us there faster than Donny’s plane. It’s really like a jet, but it doesn’t cost as much to fly it.”

Always with the competition. Maybe Donny & Marie can stage a cross-country race in their respective aircrafts. But throughout their residency at Flamingo, the Osmonds have carried on their onstage ribbing outside the showroom. Say to Marie, “I talked to Donny on Saturday,” and she’s quick to fire back, “I’m sorry.”

Over the years and to great effect, Donny has jabbed at his sister’s third-place finish on “Dancing With the Stars” as he famously won the competition. “If it were a fainting contest, you would have won,” referring to her collapse during the competition. She teases him about his torn gluteus maximus from several years ago, saying, “Donny hardly moves, but he still broke his butt.”

Such shtick, such high-performance precision.

That quality is present in this particular episode of “The Talk,” during which Marie and the panel — with Paris Hilton subbing for Osbourne — addresses the news of the day, which is the Mattel company marketing a gender-exclusive Barbie doll.

On set, on national TV, Marie calls out, “Donny used to play with Barbies!” a comment that draws laughter from the studio audience and is certain to cause Donny to wince, wherever he is.

But Donny did make a heartfelt appearance with all of the original Osmond Brothers on “The Talk” for Marie’s 60th birthday on October 14. That event served as the final Osmond Brothers performance, and Saturday ends the Osmonds’ ticketed shows for good.

Marie has routinely referred to Donny & Marie as a commodity, saying, “This is a powerful brand. How many other duos have this strong of a brand?” She also praises the brothers who are not in that brand, as if making sure they are duly recognized. “In the harmonies, those high notes you hear are Merrill.”

The Donny & Marie show is the uncommon show to close on the Strip while it still has strong box-office viability. Donny reportedly was not interested in a one-year extension, or even a four-year deal, to remain at Flamingo. The top-tier, secondary market tickets for the closing show have hovered between $3,000 and $4,000 for weeks.

Marie has reviewed options to continue in Las Vegas, possibly with another stage partner (Suzanne Somers among them) at a different resort (such as MGM Grand and David Copperfield Theater), but as of now she has nothing on the books to headline on the Strip.

Regardless of her future onstage, Marie will not miss the wear and tear on her body during the Donny & Marie run. On the flight back to Vegas, she removes a shoe with a grimace, saying, “Don’t look at my feet!”

Marie discloses that she has broken six toes in her 11-year run, the result of dancing in her heavily binged heels.

“Show business is not for the wimpy,” she says.

To reinforce that point, just Thursday night she aggravated a bruised and chipped bone and torn meniscus in her right knee after tripping just before singing (oddly enough) “Walk This Way.”

Marie shouted, “Hey, D! I think you’re on!’ Donny arrived onstage, joking, “I was taking a nap!” but soon realized the severity of his sister’s injury. So Donny, seemingly tireless at 61, soldiered on to close the show on his own. He also flew solo Saturday night. But Marie is performing anyway, limiting her dancing, for the final shows.

Marie will go on to tell the story of the siblings’ finale on “The Talk,” of course, as she has a natural connection to the audience. There is a moment following every taping, after the cameras halt recording, where Marie and the hosts walk to the audience to say hello. This was never in practice before a member of the Osmonds joined the show.

Now it happens after every show, a dash of traditional show business charisma.

“I am really loving it. Everything I have done in my career has led to this,” Marie says on the flight back to Vegas, smiling and shouting into her headset. “All the chapters of my life, all of my experiences, have led me to that chair.”

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

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Entertainment Videos
Shirley Chung is “coming home” for Paired dinner
Celebrity chef Shirley Chung is back in Las Vegas to co-host a sold out collaborative dinner Saturday night at Red Plate in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dandelion Chocolate opening at The Venetian
San Francisco’s Dandelion Chocolate will open its first Las Vegas café and retail store in The Venetian on Saturday. To celebrate, they’ll be offering guests free hot chocolate. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lbertine Social’s Pastrami Feast
Libertine Social's massive, house-made short-rib pastrami for $175 latter consists of three bones of short rib brined for seven days, smoked for six hours and cooked sous vide for two days before it’s finished in the restaurant’s pizza oven to give it a bark. It’s then carved and presented tableside with an assortment of sides and lettuce for making wraps. What’s “leftover” is then returned to the kitchen and prepared as Reuben sandwiches.
Ellis Island unveils The Front Yard
Ellis Island’s marketing director Christina Ellis talks about the new addition of the Front Yard. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trump dropped from Terry Fator’s show on Las Vegas Strip - VIDEO
Fator has edited out one prominent figure: President Donald Trump, a focal point of Fator’s regular stage show and also Christmas show over the past 3½ years. The Trump puppet, with his pop-up hairpiece, has been sidelined from both shows until further notice. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Double Down Saloon
The iconic Vegas dive bar turns 27 this weekend. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making Elvis French Toast at Toasted Gastrobrunch in Las Vegas - VIDEO
Alfie Szeprethy, executive chef at Toasted Gastrobrunch in Las Vegas, makes Elvis French Toast by layering banana, peanut butter and bacon between brioche and grilling it in French toast batter. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cosmopolitan Tree Lighting Starts the Las Vegas Holiday Season - VIDEO
With a flip of an actual switch the Cosmopolitan lit their tree to signal the start of the Las Vegas holiday season. Golden Knights favorites Marc-Andre Fleury and Max Pacioretty were on hand to help with the event and skate around the rink with fans. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Views of the first Las Vegas Pizza Festival - VIDEO
The inaugural Las Vegas Pizza Festival, held Nov. 16 at the Industrial Event Space, drew 1,500 pizza lovers to sample the wares of 20 local pizza makers. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights documentary premiere brings out emotions - VIDEO
A couple of thousand ticket-holders braved marathon traffic and road closures to arrive at T-Mobile Arena three hours before game time to watch the long-in-the-works documentary. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rock ’n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon attracts 35,000-plus runners - VIDEO
More than 35,000 are registered to run in this year’s marathon or half-marathon. They’ll start their journey at 4:30 p.m. and conclude it under the neon lights on the Strip. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Heather Bray, as Elvis, wins women’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon - VIDEO
Heather Bray completed the 26.2-mile course Sunday in 3 hours, 13 minutes for her first marathon victory. She had run in two others, posting faster times in both. But the costume was heavier than her usual workout garb. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bobby Flay Celebrates 15 Years Of Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace
Bobby Flay talks about his Mesa Grill restaurant at Caesars Palace celebrating e its 15th anniversary. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Smoked Sazerac at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse in Las Vegas
Chase Jefferies, a bartender at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse in Las Vegas, makes a Smoked Sazerac by shaking Hennessy, Bulleit Rye, Pernod Absinthe, maple syrup and Peychaud’s Bitters with ice, then filling a snifter with applewood smoke and pouring the drink over an oversized ice cube. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Red Rock Canyon free to all Monday for Veterans Day - VIDEO
In honor of Veterans Day, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is free to all visitors on Monday. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Artist dedicates heart sculpture on Las Vegas Strip - VIDEO
Artist Katy Boynton dedicated her sculpture depicting a giant steel heart to the Las Vegas community Saturday night outside Fashion Show mall. (James Schaeffer /Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Warm Salt-Roasted Beets at La Cave Wine & Food Hideaway in Las Vegas
Chris Yamauchi, sous chef at La Cave Wine & Food Hideaway at Wynn Las Vegas, roasts fresh beets for three hours, peels, cubes and chills them, then sautés them with butter, sherry vinegar and black pepper and tops with goat cheese and pistachios. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
O.J. Simpson files lawsuit against The Cosmopolitan over TMZ story - VIDEO
A lawsuit filed Thursday alleges that The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas defamed O.J. Simpson when hotel employees told TMZ he was kicked out of the casino “for belligerence” in November 2017. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Smith Center will now be charging $5 fee to park - VIDEO
Patrons now have to pay to park to attend events at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in downtown, continuing a recent trend in the Las Vegas Valley. (James Schaeffer / Review-Journal)
Prove you're a local: Try to pronounce these Nevada cities - VIDEO
Try your hand at pronouncing these Nevada cities and watch as other locals from Downtown Summerlin attempt to get the names right along with you. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making Cochinita Pibil Tacos at Santos Guisados Tacos & Beer in Las Vegas
Lola Vasquez, a cook at Santos Guisados Tacos & Beer in Las Vegas, makes Cochinita Pibil Tacos by rubbing a pork shoulder with signature seasoning, marinating it in a mixture of achiote, peppercorns, clove, cumin, salt and fresh lime and orange juices and roasting overnight. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal )
Joey D'Ambrosio talks about playing on "Rock Around the Clock" - VIDEO
Saxophonist Joey D'Ambrosio, who lives in Henderson, was a member of Bill Haley & His Comets. “People were looking for something new,” D’Ambrosio said. "When they heard ‘Rock Around the Clock,’ there was something about that record that turned them on.” (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nation’s Largest Student Farmers Market
600 students participate in massive farmers market, Oct. 23,2019. (Elizabeth Page Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Giant Student Farmers Market in Las Vegas
The largest student-run farmers market in the country involved 600 kids from more than 50 schools in the Las Vegas area selling fruits and vegetables grown at their schools. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ryan Reaves beer special in the Las Vegas Arts District - VIDEO
James Manos of Able Baker Brewing talks about offering a Golden Knights game-day promotion to celebrate partner Ryan Reaves at its Main Street tasting room. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas native Ethan William Childress of "Mixed-ish" - VIDEO
Interview with Las Vegas native Ethan William Childress, a young star of the new ABC comedy "Mixed-ish." (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review -Journal) @bizutesfaye
Sourdough Cafe at Arizona Charlie’s in Las Vegas makes horseradish potato chips - VIDEO
Sean Gassaway, room chef at the Sourdough Cafe at Arizona Charlie’s Decatur in Las Vegas, makes horseradish potato chips by heating prepared horseradish to remove some of the moisture, mixing it with kosher salt and further dehydrating it, tossing it with house-made chips and serving it as a monthly special with a bratwurst on a roll, sauerkraut, spicy mustard and a cup of cheese dip. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Central Perk coffee shop opens for business
As part of Saturday’s “Friends” Fan Experience at New York-New York hotel-casino, the artist Nathan Sawaya debuts his life-size, 700-square-foot re-creation of the show’s Central Perk coffee shop that’s constructed entirely out of Lego bricks. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Binion's debuts a spinning bar overlooking Fremont Street Experience - VIDEO
Binion's debuted its spinning bar inside the Whiskey Licker Up Saloon. The Rotating bar only goes at one full rotation per 15 minutes overlooking the Fremont Street Experience. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Green Eggs and Ham at Carson Kitchen in Las Vegas
Scott Simon, executive chef at Carson Kitchen in Las Vegas, makes a Green Eggs and Ham Flatbread with pistou, smoked mozzarella, tasso ham and eggs. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal