TAMPA — A little bit of Vegas, and a whole lot of Christmas, came to the Forum on Friday, courtesy of Donny and Marie’s Christmas in Tampa Bay.
With videos flashing in the background from their early career on the Donny and Marie show, the pair took the stage and didn’t waste any time interacting with fans, including sitting on laps.
Marie took the stage solo for early hits like “Paper Roses” and holiday tunes like “Jingle Bell Rock” while strumming a blinged-out guitar. Marie also brought a fan on stage to sing “Blue Christmas” and poked fun at herself, introducing herself to an 11-year-old as Cher.
Donny strolled back to the stage through the audience to the squeals of female baby boomers who hit a fever pitch when he sang “Puppy Love,” “One Bad Apple” and “Soldier of Love.’’
The singing siblings, who are celebrating five decades in show business, paid tribute to military families, their late parents and Broadway performing tunes, singing tunes from “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Sound of Music” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamboat,” in which Donny starred in a national tour. A very fit Donny sang and danced his way through Motown hits like “Celebrate” while barely breaking a sweat.
The second half of the show brought more holiday cheer - and a lot more costume changes for Marie - with the duet “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and Donny paying tribute to Andy Williams with a rendition of Williams’ “Moon River.”
Marie showed off her vocals with a stunning performance of the aria “Nessun Dorma’’ that brought the audience to its feet.
By the end, the show biz veterans gave the audience a high-energy show that showcased their early careers and proved they’re still a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll - and a whole lot more.