With almost six decades in the entertainment industry behind her, you might expect Marie Osmond to be slowing down a bit. Definitely not the case.

In an interview earlier this week, I found the multi-talented entertainer a juggernaut, going strong at age 63, moving forward, and loving life.

I caught up with Osmond as she was getting ready to head back out on the road on her Christmas tour, which stops at PPAC on December 22 at 7:30PM. Her well-known cheery demeanor certainly came through in our phone conversation.

“Honestly, I’m doing this because I love people,” she said regarding her Christmas-themed show. “I like to always keep things fresh and fun and new. Christmas songs are Christmas songs, so you have to find unique ways to do them. Throughout the show, you’ll see old footage that will bring back happy times for the audience along with some current footage. I’m just really happy with this show.”

Marie first came to prominence in the early 1970s when her debut recording “Paper Roses” made it to the top of the country charts. By 1976, she and her brother Donny had one of the most popular TV variety shows of all time, “Donny and Marie.” She’s been “America’s Sweetheart” ever since.

In recent years, she’s toured the world, had a decade-long residency in Vegas with Donny, and was a host on the daytime TV show “The Talk.”

“I’m super happy with the show and the audience,” she said after playing her first show on the tour in Michigan last week. “They (fans) had a good time. I went to an ice cream store in the area after the show and some of the people there had been at the show. They were like, ‘oh my gosh, it was so nice to have the Christmas spirit, the music, having the full orchestra on stage, it was incredible.’ It was all the things I wanted them to feel, it kind of validated it.”

“To me, the season is about being with people you love, great memories, those are the things I remember. That’s what I want this show to provide, we’ve been locked down for like three years now, it’s time to get out and quit being so isolated and sad and lonely and depressed. It’s great seeing people having fun and laughing. I’m very interactive with the audience. I like to keep it fun,” she said.

Although Marie is headlining, you can expect at least one other Osmond to be on stage. “David Osmond, (Marie’s nephew) is going to be there, you’ll understand why when you see the show,” she said. “He’s phenomenal, he was on American Idol and ended up going to Broadway and doing Joseph for Andrew Lloyd Webber. He now has a show called Wonderama that he has been doing for several years now, it’s a huge kids’ show.”

Osmond acknowledges her role in bringing the winter holidays into so many American homes for so long. “I’ve been associated with Christmas for years and years, we’ve done some of the greatest Christmas shows starting with Andy Williams and Bob Hope, USO, so many more. I think I know the Christmas theme,” she laughed.

In Providence, she’ll be backed up by the Rhode Island Philharmonic, with who she’ll spend the day preparing. “Our (musical) charts are really beautiful. You’ll be astounded,” she said. “At Saturday’s show, a few musicians came up after and said it was a fun show to play. I want this to be magical for them too. It’s challenging, these are serious charts. I’m giving it the Marie Osmond Good Housekeeping stamp of approval. You will walk away with the holiday spirit, I promise.”

Osmond continues to record new music and is not afraid to explore genres beyond her comfort zone. She sings jazz, pop, and opera arias like “Nessun Dorma” on her most recent album Unexpected. It’s quite a stretch from “Paper Roses,” her first hit from 49 years ago.

“My fans have been so supportive of me through the years … I am country, that’s what I am, I love country music, and Donny and Marie was more contemporary pop. I was Rogers and Hammerstein’s girl for a while, and I knew that I couldn’t go in and sing “the hills are alive” with a country accent. I went to work and I studied, legit, I had never trained before that. The woman who trained me, Barabra Smith Davis, said, ‘sweetheart you can sing opera if you want, you’re a full soprano.’”

“Honestly, this album was something I did for me, I recorded songs that had great meaning to me, I didn’t think it would do anything, and then it debuted at #1 on Billboard,” Osmond shared. The success of the album led to her doing some symphonic shows, which were very successful. “My fans have been so incredible, they’ve allowed me to grow and change, I started at age 3, and I have never not worked one year of my life. It’s been an incredible journey, I’m so blessed,” she added.

Although it may seem cliché, Osmond enjoys life to the fullest, performing and spending time with family and friends. “I’m playing more, and I’m really enjoying it. I bought a new motorcycle, I love camping, we’re going on a cruise and I have eight beautiful grandchildren, I work as hard as I play. We just don’t know how long we have on this earth.”

Click here for more information and tickets to the show.


Ken Abrams

Lifestyle Editor Ken Abrams writes about music, the arts and more for What'sUpNewp. He is also a contributor to Providence Monthly, SO RI, Hey Rhody and The Bay magazines. Ken DJ's "The Kingston Coffeehouse,"...