The Cher Show is cheer delight! Little did I imagine, while I watched Top of the Pops on a black-and-white television set back in 1965 and saw Sonny & Cher miming I Got You, Babe, that 58 years later I would be reviewing a theatrical event celebrating Cher’s (very) long career.
Her appeal has not waned. The auditorium was packed for the opening night in Wimbledon, and a lot of material was packed into that show. For a start, we got three Chers for the price of one (and three cheers for that)! Shakespeare had Seven Ages of Man, but we had Three Ages of Cher, with a different actress representing the songstress at different stages of her life. But sometimes all three were on the (same) stage together – not a bad trope, as life is not always a linear progression.
All three were well able to tackle the Cher songbook and the Cher wardrobe, which looked a bit weird even in 1965. Yes, the costumes were great, and the backing band were terrific. They made the songs sound just like the original records. Most striking of all, perhaps, was the choreography – which was not surprising, as the choreographer is Oti Mabuse. The Ensemble put on a joyous celebration of pansexuality with their complex moves and daring athleticism.
Cher was not held back by the men in her life, particularly Sony Bono (not that Bono) and Gregg Allman (of the guitarist brothers), and I guess if the show has a message it’s that a woman can make it on her own. But never mind the message. Go see it for the sights and sounds!
- Book by Rick Elice
- Director : Arlene Phillips
- Choreographer : Oti Mabuse
- Photography: Pamela Raith
- The New Wimbledon Theatre, London
- Until: Saturday 4 February 2023
- Running time : 2½ hours (including interval)
Continue the Discussion...