What Donny and Marie’s Feud Could Mean to You

Let’s get this out of the way, up front. “Donny & Marie,” the resident show at Flamingo Las Vegas, is one of the best in Las Vegas. It’s funny as hell and has great production values, music and dancing, and it’s well worth the ticket price, even though it’s one of the most expensive on The Strip.

That said, the pair’s widely-publicized (but rarely talked-about in Las Vegas) feud can have a very real impact on the show-going experience, so we thought it might be useful to pass along the ways in which their spat could affect you.

Well, this is awkward.

Well, this is awkward.

First, you should know Donny and Marie don’t perform together very much onstage during their show, at all. Maybe two songs out of a 90-minute show, plus a brief “good-natured ribbing” segment. It’s jarring, especially if you come in expecting that a show called “Donny & Marie” might feature these beloved singers actually performing together.

Second, and perhaps most surprisingly, when you pay for a VIP meet-and-greet ticket (around $300 with fees), you won’t be getting a photo op with Donny and Marie. You’ll have a photo op with Donny, or you’ll have a photo op with Marie. Sometimes, one with each, but not together.

Guests are put into two lines in the meet-and-greet area (the nearby Diamond Lounge), and Donny works his way down one line, while Marie works the other. If there’s time, they switch lines, but they don’t cross paths or pose together with guests.

Even the Donny and Marie displays in the Flamingo lobby aren't on speaking terms.

Even the Donny and Marie display cases in the Flamingo lobby aren’t on speaking terms.

So, do those things matter? They might. One of the main ways the Donny and Marie feud affected us is we can’t quite see the duo in the same light now, whether it’s onstage or taking jabs at each other on TV talk shows. Because we know their playful barbs aren’t as playful as they once might have been, and we know their work together now is all about paying the bills. It’s a “marriage” of convenience, and that makes us a little sad.

As Donny himself puts it, “To make the business work, we set (our) rivalries aside.”

Note: The occasional lip-syncing during the show is sad, too, but all-too-common in Vegas shows these days. We’re looking at you, Celine.

Hey, you try working with somebody for 50 years.

Hey, you try working with somebody for 50 years and see how that goes.

Why don’t more people talk about this unfortunate sibling rift? Well, for one thing, it’s uncomfortable. Nobody wants to believe America’s sweethearts don’t really talk to each other offstage unless they have to.

Also, many journalists are deferential to “Las Vegas royalty,” preferring to tiptoe around certain subjects rather than run afoul of the casinos and their gatekeepers.

All this, of course, doesn’t do much to change our opinion of this great show. Just know what you’re getting into, especially if you’re going to splurge for the meet-and-greet (which can also be canceled without notice or explanation, by the way).

Enjoy the “Donny & Marie” show while you can, because once their contract is fulfilled, signs are they could be going their separate ways.

2 thoughts on “What Donny and Marie’s Feud Could Mean to You

  1. SJ Bobkins

    The customers should be told before shelling out for tickets that the performers aren’t really singing, they are just mouthing the words. You can get the same deal on iTunes for about $28 without the fakery. Las Vegas with such a tradition of live music, I remember the strike when attempts were make to dump the musician’s who accompanied shows from the pit, with recorded accompaniment. Yet the BIG NAMES charging HUGE ticket prices do it and people stupidly accept it. Look, if they don’t give you a warning before you buy tickets it’s fraud.
    I can deal with Donnie’s fake hair and Marie’s Borox and filler by the IV, her face and brow lifts causing her to be less “Real” than her overpriced tacky dolls, but when you screw with the music, you can count me out.

  2. Carma Black

    Don’t know the cause of the fuss but it is not productive to quarrel with family. They are a GREAT show. We’ve seen them 4 or 5 times. Love them both.
    Please forgive each other and move forward with your shows.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *