If I could turn back time, I would have been hot on the phone for a ticket to see Cher’s 2019 Here We Go Again tour at Manchester’s AO Arena. Given the level of audience excitement at hearing the opening bars of one of her hits at the start of this new show about her life, I can only imagine what it might be like to experience the real thing.
Cher is one of those rare artists to have earned the title superstar – or megastar as people say as everything in the world gets bigger. Not only does she have an electric presence, but she has such a distinctive voice, whether speaking or singing, she’s instantly recognisable. How are they going to recreate her on stage? Well, to give us the megawatt personality, wall of sound effect, we get not one Cher, but three – and all on stage at the same time.
It sounds a little odd, but this part of the show works well, not just for the vocal power but for the retrospective look at a career that has spanned six decades. The three Chers play the singer at different stages of her life and career, while also watching over the whole action and commenting on events from their own life experience perspective.
Millie O’Connell plays Babe, the goofy daughter of an absent Armenian American truck driver who feels she never fits in, until a Disney tune of all things empowers her to believe, and she follows her dream of fame and falls for Sonny Bono (Lucas Rush) while working as a backing singer at age 16. Danielle Steers as Lady steers us through Cher’s years of motherhood, the Sonny and Cher comedy hour and Vegas residencies. While Debbie Kurup steps it up as Star when Cher’s career goes stratospheric with stints on Broadway and numerous awards including an Academy Award for her role in Moonstruck.
Incredibly all three women capture an aspect of Cher as they dazzle in the singer’s trademark skimpy glittering costumes and take us on the rollercoaster of her dramatic life that highlights the fickleness of fame as well as the steely determination that it takes to stay at the top. It’s like a two-and-a-half hour long, rousing anthem to girl power.
In all 35 of Cher’s top tunes are packed-in including, If I Could Turn Back Time’, ‘I Got You Babe’, ‘Strong Enough’, ‘The Shoop Shoop Song’ and ‘Believe’. It is fair to say that Cher can now add jukebox musical to her long-list of successes. And for those waiting for her next ‘farewell’ tour, The Cher Show could be the next best thing.
The Cher Show opened in Broadway in 2018. It first European Tour arrives at The Opera House Manchester from 17 – 21 May 2022.
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