I’ve been reading the latest fan posts on Chergroups and the tiny bit of the Cher.com user forum in search of posts of good times at last week’s Cher convention (which I did find, btw.) Things they loved were seeing the new costumes of the impersonators and catching up with everyone.
However, a few fans who attended the actual Vegas Cher shows last week expressed their disappointment with the show. One fan posted this version of Steve Friess’ review from May, a much more passionately negative review than the one I had read and quoted from in my Vegas show synopsis. It was interesting to read another version of it.
I do agree with Steve on this point (among others), the Cher Vegas show will most likely not change for our opinions and fantasies. Just like the Farewell Tour didn’t change in so many years, except by getting shorter. As I see it, what sells goes – the circus provides endless huckstering income. As has been said once so eloquently before, “You got to have the one and only...genuine, super-fine, Sunshine Sonny’s Elixir!"
“How much does it cost, this stuff?
Lady, what’s in your purse is good enough.”
I myself exuded a chortle of disgust at this post - all the alleged retooling apparently resulting in...(gasp!) one new outfit. Well, one new costume is not a press release and is hardly worth another pilgrimage to Mecca.
Then there was the 2008 Cher Convention. There was a squabble on Cher.com when everyone got their neck fur in a ruff about the other Cher fan-fete, The Cher Expo. Someone associated with the Expo was accused of slyly hatin' on CherCon. A few years ago CherCon was accused of shutting out volunteer help from the Expo peeps.
The Expo is basically new and started running on odd years out on the east coast whereas the CherCon’s runs on even years and has been mostly westcoast/southwest. CherCon has put on five conventions total, three in Las Vegas, one in Los Angeles and the inaugural in Chicago.
As a former CherCon worker-bee, I have tried hard to stay out of the fray. I love the idea of conventions and I generally feel the more the better, right? But my own particular fantasies of a convention always involve an interview with Snuff Garrett and a gay-pride parade hosted by Ru Paul. So far, the Expo and CherCon have failed to be that off da hook. Which is not to say they don’t work hard for their events. Truly, Cher-fetes are life-consuming events. And they are great peoples. I love the CherCon peeps and have had many good times at the Convention. But I had more fun attending than volunteering. Why? There’s entirely too much chaos surrounding those three convention days for my obsessively organized brain. And then there’s always been trouble getting the word out about the event (as again reported this year when Caesars' own concierge and workers in the Cher store didn’t even know about the Cher Convention occurring under their own roof. The problem is publicity and for for a by-your-bootstraps kind of an event like this, it takes a type of aggression, a terrier doggedness of a publicist beyond the skills and pay-grades of the available and willing pool of helpers.
I’ve never been to the CherExpo, but I would go if I had the funds to do so. Because variety is the spice of life and you can always learn about different ways of celebrating Cher, even though it would seem she’s not too enthused about being celebrated by a bunch of Cher nerds in this way.
Bottom line is throwing conventions is hard work and no one should be disrespected for hosting one. Both fan gatherings have their pros and cons. Save your ire for the Cher show set list, which seems to have been chiseled in stone by Moses himself and will soon be made into a movie entitled The Neverchanging Setlist, staring The Edgar Winter Dog (pictured above) as the dragon who flies fans to the Cher show in a doomed land called Fantasia.