Sunday, August 19, 2007

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Wow it's been a busy summer just with the girls' music & dance lessons, camps & celebrity events (not to mention their required reading for the new school year) but I did manage to take a few short trips myself this summer.

Original Idols Live!
In June, a friend and I went up to Pleasanton, CA to see The Original Idols Live! at the Alameda Country Fair. Why would I drive for hours to see this you ask? Well, one of the acts on the Original Idols bill is The Cowsills and I've wanted to see this show since they started doing it and this one just worked out.
Alameda County Fair Entertainment Lineup

Barry Williams is the MC for the show and introduces each act. He starts out the show doing a parody about The Real Greg Brady. It's very funny. During casino shows Barry also does Johnny Bravo stuff but there isn't time during the fair shows.
The Real Greg Brady

The first act on the bill is Bo Donaldson. Bo is very nice but just isn't the "rock star" type at all and he's just in the background on keyboards and doesn't sing at all. The Heywoods aren't any of the original Heywoods and they guy that sings lead is an okay singer but not super impressive. Really they're the "house band" for the other acts more than anything.
Bo Donaldson

The Cowsills are 2nd on the bill and they do a great job - we saw quite a few people giving them a standing ovation at the end and from the emails I've gotten there were some people there to see one of the other acts who now LOVE The Cowsills. The first show was short - it absolutely had to be an hour long and no more - so The Cowsills only did 3 songs: The Rain, The Park & Other Things, Indian Lake & Hair. The 2nd show had 4 Cowsill songs - the 3 from the first show plus We Can Fly.
Cowsills 6pm Show
Cowsills 8pm Show

In the first show after The Cowsills Barry Williams & Susan did a duet on a BeeGee's tune. I really like this and Susan sounded great - she is so cute and she loves to tease Barry! At the end of the number she says "OMG I'm singing with Greg Brady". lol In the 2nd show Barry did a solo number - very musical theater.
Susan Cowsill & Barry Williams

Next up was Leif Garrett. Leif did a decent job though seemed to somewhat lose his place during one song. He definitely had fans there. I really liked his original number and he invites fans up to dance during I Was Made For Dancing. The first show there were way too many people on stage so during the 2nd show they cut off the number of people they let on stage. Susan came out and danced with Leif in the 2nd show. I tried to get a picture but she was right behind a mic stand.
Leif Garrett
I Was Made For Dancing

The Bay City Rollers close the show and they definitely still have fans out there. They were fun and I especially like Saturday Night since The Cowsills come back out and join them. The Cowsills have a lot of fun on this number with Paul dancing across the stage and Bob playing cowbell.
Saturday Night

This was very fun and I'd love to see the casino version someday since it's a longer show. If you'd like to see more photos from this trip, you can see them at Original Idols Live!: Pleasanton, CA - June 22, 2007 6pm & Original Idols Live!: Pleasanton, CA - June 22, 2007 8pm

At the end of July, Paul & I took a weekend trip to Catalina. I had never been and Paul hadn't been to Avalon in more than 20 years. We spent the weekend sight-seeing (don't bother doing a night glass bottom boat tour) and hiking (okay I will admit that I only made it 1/2 way on one of our hikes - note to self get in shape!) and just hanging out in Avalon. It was a very relaxing weekend and we plan to go back sometime and do some things we just saw and didn't have time to do this time around. I didn't take any pictures until just before we got ready to head back to the mainland but here are a few of Avalon Harbor:
Welcome to Avalon
Avalon Casino
Avalon Harbor

Osmonds 50th Anniversary
I have been an Osmond fan since the early 1970s and have made some really good friends as a result. When The Osmonds announced that they were having an event to celebrate their 50th Anniversary in show business I knew I had to be there. Having seen The Cowsills lose two brothers, I realized that this could be the last opportunity to see all of The Osmonds on stage together plus I knew that I would get to spend some time with friends I hadn't seen in person in quite awhile. So, last Sunday, a friend and I headed over to Las Vegas and The Orleans hotel for this event.
Orleans Marquee

The action started on Monday with a Meet & Greet at 1pm. Okay I wouldn't have called this a meet & greet since there wasn't really any meeting & greeting happening. It was, as dubbed by some Osmond fans, more a Sit & Stare. All 9 Omsonds were on stage at the Orleans showroom doing a question & answer session, singing a few songs, doing a few promo bits, etc. My friends and I sat near the back because we refused to join the insanity in trying to get a good seat. The lines were ridiculous; people started lining up as early as 7am and even before the doors opened people were pushing. We sat on the stairs near the showroom and just watched and took a few pictures. The photo below does not do justice to the size of the crowd - there were lines going both directions and they were really long.
Meet & Greet line

Even though we were in the 2nd to last row and a little off to the side we could see fine since there are only 20 rows in the showroom. I did take photos during the Meet & Greet and here are a few. You can see all of my Meet & Greet photos at Osmonds 50th Anniversary: M&G.
Meet & Greet
Meet & Greet
Meet & Greet

On Monday night was the first of three concerts. It was amazing to see all of The Osmonds on stage together again. I really enjoyed the show but felt Marie's section could have been shortened or maybe just changed up a bit for each show. I was happy to see that Alan was playing the piano and even performing without his cane some of the time. Here's the set list from that show - thanks to an Osmond fan who wrote it down and posted it:
  • Down By The Lazy River
  • Havin' A Party
    (Andy Williams came out after this to wish the Osmonds his best)
  • The Proud One
  • At the Rainbow's End
  • I Can't Live a Dream
  • Rainin'
  • Rock & Roll Music (with a Jay drum solo)
  • I'm Still Gonna Need You
  • Going Home
  • Marie:
    • My Favorite Things
    • Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
    • Paper Roses
    • Medley of:
      • You're Still New To Me
      • Read My Lips
      • Meet Me In Montana
      • No Stopping Your Heart
    • King & I Medley
    • Sound of Music Medley
  • Donny
    • Soldier of Love
    • Breeze On By
    • Will It Go Round In Circles
    • Puppy Love
  • Donny & Marie Medley
    • Morning Side of the Mountain
    • Make The World Go Away
    • I'm Leaving It Up To You
    • Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing
    • Deep Purple
    • It Takes Two
    • I'm a Little Bit Country/Rock and Roll
  • Through The Years (All 7 Osmonds with Alan on piano)
  • Medley
    • One Bad Apple
    • Double Lovin'
    • Yo-Yo
    • Let Me In
    • Love Me For A Reason
  • Crazy Horses
  • He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother
  • Are You Up There/I Believe
After the show on Monday night was another free for all aka the after show party/reception. Other than Osmond kids the only Osmonds that came to this were Merrill, Jay & Jimmy and they were literally mobbed the minute they stepped into the room. I didn't even try to get close to them or to the area at the front where they were cutting the cake. The cake was good though.

Tuesday brought Jay's Film Fest or as it was dubbed by Jimmy Jay's Snooze Fest. We wandered up but really didn't watch much of this. It was hosted by Jay's wife, Kandilyn, and it was fun to see her since I hadn't seen her for years.

Tuesday night there were two shows but we only went to the last one. At the show on Monday night most everyone stayed in their seats - standing once in awhile to applaud, etc. but not rushing the stage or anything. We had heard that there was a stage rush during the first show on Tuesday night so it was no great surprise when it happened again at the show we went to. We were in the 5th row on the side and could still see as long as the people right in front of us didn't stand but I felt sorry for those who had gotten the front few rows of seats in the middle sections because they couldn't see unless they stood for the entire show. I had one friend who can't stand for that long and she ended up getting her money back since there was no way she could have seen anything. The good part of this for her was the Orleans people then found her another seat right in the midst of the Osmond families - so she got to see the rest of the show and she got to hang out with the Osmond family. The set list for the last show was similar to the first show with the following exceptions:
  • Marie's son, Stephen Craig, sang 100 Days/100 Nights with Merrill, Wayne, Jay & Jimmy
  • Donny didn't sing Puppy Love
  • Jimmy did a medley of some of his old songs
    • Knock On Your Door
    • Tweedle Dee
    • Long Haired Lover From Liverpool
  • The Osmond Brothers medley was mostly covers of 70s tunes rather than their own:
    • Yesterday
    • September
    • Take a Chance On Me
    • Crocodile Rock
    • That's The Way (I Like It)
    • Superstition
    • Too Much Heaven
    • Tragedy
    • ABC
    • I Want You Back
    • One Bad Apple
  • The finale did not include Are You Up There/I Believe
By the third show the Orleans staff was no longer attempting to keep people from taking pictures so I pulled my camera out during this show. Here are a few of the photos I got:
Jay, Merrill, Wayne and Jimmy Osmond
Jay, Merrill, Wayne & Jimmy Osmond
Stephen Craig
Marie's son, Stephen Craig
King and I Medley
Marie doing King & I Medley
Donny Osmond
Through The Years
Singing Through The Years
Show Finale
He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

You can see all of my 3rd show photos at Osmonds 50th Anniversary: 3rd Show.

And, oh yeah, I did say how I spent my summer vacation - that's because not only are the girls going back to school soon so am I! I'm going to be teaching computers at Hannah's school this year.

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