If spending an evening with the Osmonds sounds like a child's wish come true and a relatively painless exercise for her parents, then you have a good idea of what occured at the Kennedy Center last night.
The Osmonds have made the shift from TV studio to concert stage without losing any of their sugarcoated appeal. Strobe lights and smoke-making machinery may have replaced television's high-gloss production numbers, but none of that seems to matter to their young fans.
It's Donny, Marie and Jimmy who matter, and a closet full of costume changes wouldn't alter that fact. Individually, all three Osmonds seemed to spend as much time in the aisles last night as they did on the stage. They worked their audience hard, pressing flesh like politicians on the run, while reworking a slew of their hits and a good number of soul tunes as well.
Of course, the Osmonds are to Motown what Ray Charles is to the polka, but again, it doesn't matter. Not if you're a wild-eyed 10-year-old who just saw her TV come alive.
Johnny Dark, who opened the show, should swear off his diet of stale one-liners and spend more time developing his fine ear for impressions.