The Osmonds Musical is making its way across the country – telling the epic story of one of the world’s biggest ever boy bands.
I spoke to Alex Cardall, who has starred in productions all around the country since graduating drama school, but is embarking on his first UK tour. Alex is bringing this show back to his hometown to play the role of Andy Williams. “I have never done a show in the Midlands since I did BBS Showbiz when I was at school,” Alex said.
“It’s such a big thing, I am back in my roots which is amazing.”
The Osmonds Musical tells the official true story of the five brothers from Utah who were pushed into the spotlight as children and went on to create smash hits decade after decade.
“The show is the rise, fall and then rise again of the Osmond brothers,” said Alex. “Growing up their father figure George was very strict about faith, family career – faith always came first.”
George made the Osmond brothers work hard, drilling into them their lyrics and harmony lines. On a trip to Disneyland, Walt Disney heard the Osmond brothers sing and as kids they ended up on the Andy Williams show. After signing a 5 year contract with NBC, the world watched the Osmond brothers grow up on TV.
“The story follows how they got into rock and roll, the influence of Elvis on their music and how they became stars,” said Alex.
“It’s literally a biopic of their life story. What we try and get across in the show, is that it was amazing what they did, and yes, it was all smiles, big white teeth and massive hair. But, behind that there was a lot of pressure from young age to perform. So as well as a fun night out at the theatre, you also get the realistic drama.”
Jay Osmond co-wrote the show and has been hugely involved in the creation of this musical. “Yes it has been dramatised for the stage, but it is led by Jay in a big way,” Alex explained. “The show has been workshopped for 4 or 5 years and they had a clear image of how they wanted it to work.”
Alex is playing Andy Williams, which is a special role for him, as he grew up listening to his music. “I grew up listening to Andy Williams, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby because my dad was such a big fan,” Alex said. “It is such a blessing to be able to be him every night.”
Alex explained that Andy Williams actually grew up in a similar way to the Osmond brothers. “He went through some hardship with his parents too” Alex said.
“I’ve never played a role before that actually existed as a real human being,” Alex explained. “YouTube was a great resource in learning certain traits and I think the main thing was making sure I wasn’t doing an exact replica and bringing some of myself into it too.
“It was a big challenge, but I am trying to honour his quiet presence. It’s interesting because he is really outgoing but speaks a lot quieter than you’d expect. But I absolutely love the role and he has such a good song in the show – Music To Watch Girls By.”
The audience reaction to the show so far has been epic, with fans of the Osmonds delighted to relive their youth experiencing this show. “We have this fantastic character in the show called Wendy, who plays the number one fan,” Alex said. “I think the audience can see themselves in her and that’s really great.
“The music has been orchestrated by Rich Morris for the stage and you realise that The Osmonds’ songs are such bangers. I’ve had so many mates come and see the show and say ‘why have I never heard these songs before?’
“With The Osmonds, you forget how eclectic they are. They came from a barber shop quartet style into rock and roll. They all played instruments as well and so when you are watching it you realise that these guys really were top tier.
“There aren’t any bands like that anymore, that dance, sing, and play instruments and the cast really do testament to their talents. It does cater for people that know The Osmonds and people that don’t. They will come and have a great night out and with everything that is going on in the world, that is what we all need.”
Bursting with his songs such as Love Me For A Reason, Crazy Horses, Let Me In, Puppy Love and so many more, it’s a real whirlwind through their epic career. But there is also so much to learn about them in this musical.
“I guess if people knew The Osmonds they knew them when they were in their prime around the mid to late 70s,” Alex said. “You wouldn’t have realised why they were so talented and so driven.
“What they went through when they were younger and why they are like how they are when they are older. It is so interesting as nowadays with a more open conversation around mental health, you can look at where your patterns come from as a human being. This is what you learn in the show, you see their backstory.”
With a sensational audience reaction, The Osmonds Musical has delighted audiences across the country since it opened earlier this year.
“I want people to come and feel like they’re being nostalgic. Like they’re 18 and going to see a concert again,” Alex said. “I want them to forget about their worries and their troubles. I just want them to come and have a great night, and feel like they’ve watched The Osmonds all over again.”
The Osmonds Musical opens at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre on Tuesday 15th of March, before continuing on tour across the UK.
Photo credit // Pamela Raith