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February 2017

Classic Cher Review (Spoilers)

After the disastrous attempt to see the Classic Cher show live, I came home and watched the show from clips online. Photos below area culled from screenshots.

SPOILERS - SPOILERS - SPOILERS - SPOILERS - SPOILERS

DescentIt’s true the songs in this show are recycled from other hit shows. It’s true most of the outfits are also recycled. But tweaks can be found all throughout and the show is very beautiful nonetheless. I loved the gilded iron lace theme of the small stage.  Although I didn’t see them all, (this is far from a view of a show I was fully immersed in), there seem to be some new and creative interludes. Vegas theater sound is so much better than arena sound but then that’s an aspect compromised by the dryness of the air that stunts the voices of the singers.

The big intro: I’ve only seen small pieces of the video introduction. Is that new stuff I see in there? Cher descents in a similar apparatus she used to fly over the crowd in D2K, repainted. Recycling is good. 

Woman’s World:  Cher dons a large and beautiful afro wig, an amazing new blue dress and fabulous earrings. Her eye makeup looks great. Is this wig a nod or a snicker at her neighbor at The Venetian, Diana Ross. It's interesting that Cher’s last Vegas show at Caesars overlapped with Bette Midler's and that these two are her bffs-turned-sour after Cher's 80s Caesars show with its before-its-time male impersonations of Ross and Midler?

The dancers look very similar to the shield-wearing warriors of D2Ks Take it Like a Man.

Warriersbetter D2k

 

 

 

 

 

Classic Warriors /  D2K Warriors

MonologueCher’s monologue: I enjoyed this much more than previous monologues. Cher talked about wives wanting to see Cher in Vegas because we don’t know how much longer she’s going to be here…she’s 70 after all. She referenced composer John Philip Sousa when talking about her breasts. She called Dr. Pepper the white trash white wine spritzer. She did a Q&A, prefaced with the rules she doesn’t do selfies, hugs or politics. Later she added marriage proposals and diner proposals. Her responses seemed very genuine. She said, “From bottom of my heart I’m so happy you showed up! You never know” and laments that they worked until 3 am and then again in the afternoon so her voice was shot but “my heart is good.”

She gave a sassy, abbreviated version of “Let’s start the show.”

In an alternate version on another night, Cher tells the story of meeting Sonny in this monologue spot. She catalogues her childhood attempts to run away and her jobs with Robinsons May department store docking time cards, a job her step-father secured for her, and the job at See’s Candy Store. In the middle of it, she said, “I have to come down. I get so nervous.” Cher described everything Sonny was wearing when she met him and “his beautiful hands,” how he loved her friend Melissa “but she couldn’t dance.” She described the big girls apartment where she lived and where Sonny moved next door. Cher wasn’t paying rent and was kicked out. She tells the cooking and cleaning story and where Sonny says, “I don’t find you attractive" and comments "Just what you want to hear when you’re 16.” Cher said girls came all hours at a night. She abruptly ends on how Sonny liked girls who had big boobs.

Strong Enough: Similar warrior shield dancing as we saw D2K. You know me: I like synchronized dancing.  Cher loses the body scarf on the blue dress and it reveals one butt cheek. The end is great.

Cher changes into her Sari costume and returns on the big old Farewell elephant singing the Gayatri Mantra. The sari is pink now instead of blue.

All-classic All-farewell 

 

 

 

 

 

 Classic Sari / Farewell Sari (click to enlarge)

The elephant looks glad to be out of storage. This is one of my favorite numbers due to the beautiful colors. Watching one of these bootlegs was the first time I ever saw Cher crawl back into the chair of the elephant.

All or Nothing: Cher exits the elephant’s butt. Great lights behind the iron lace stage and the flowing fabric of Cher, who sparkles. Another fun ending. A similar hip-dance for this song.

Cher changes into a Farewell version of the 60s Outfit with rainbow pants versus original mostly purple outfit and the red mini dress of the last Vegas show. I like this one the best.

BeatgoesbetterThe Beat Goes On/ All I Really Want to Do:  She lets Sonny sing his parts while the record-store-promo video plays. It’s cool way she still sings la di da di da very emphatically.

View from farther back:

Beatgoessonny

Another monologue: In the opening show she tells her Sonny story here and how when she met him she was “scattered as a person. Everybody in show biz looked like Doris Day, she said, except Annette Funicello. Sonny saw raw talent and “started to do the clay thing.” She said, “Now is the time I can do this song [IBUB]. I can do it now.”

I Got You Babe: She sings with sonny with a face of love and serenity. Early 1970s film footage, (Sonny with mustache and short bangs), matches Sonny’s singing but the song ends with another singer doing Sonny’s part. This is the same routine as in D2K.  

Cher changes into the gypsy outfit which is similar to the D2K show, a thick bilateral skirt of many layered colors. The headdress is more extravagant with elaborate hair braids and she wears prettiest bra you ever did see.

Gypsies-classic D2k-gypsies

 

 

 

 

 

 

Classic Gypsys / D2K Gypsys

Gypsys, Tramps and Thieves: There’s still the stilts guy and the muscle man with a mustache guy. I miss the Caesar’s show gypsy wagon. Looks like a new leopard girl whom Cher pets. As always, the medleys are very short. 

Dark Lady: Cher sings sitting on a circus podium. You very rarely see Cher sing and sit. It’s nice.

HbCher changes into the Half Breed costume. You can just about only pace the stage in that thing. 

Half-Breed: Video footage above the stage shows a wheel of big feathers wheel twirling.

Cher changes into the burlesque costume.

Welcome to Burlesque: Much like movie and D2K version with the movie's outfit and marquee. Good lighting sequences.

Cher changes into a blue version of Take Me Home outfit.

Take Me Home: The video montage over the stage shows album covers whirling in a wheel. Lots of audience phones record this. I feel like the disco dancing has gotten better but maybe this is the same disco dancing from the other shows.

The movie/tv montage:  I saw part of a movie montage, as expected, before "After All" and if there was a TV montage, it's missing from online snippets of the show.

Cher changes into what I’m calling the angel fit, a variation of the outfit she wore for the encore of D2K where she sang “I Hope You Find It” with the angelic crown and the blonde hair. Same idea anyway with more bling and less braids.

Afterallclassic  D2kangel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Classic Cher After All Fit / D2K Angel Overhead Fit

After All: This scene is similar the Cher-on-gondola cruise over a misty river we saw from the Caesar’s show minus the hanging lights.

Caesars-afterAfter all at Casears

MemphisCher changes into her latest casual-fit, a pink top and jeans. 

Walking in Memphis: A great Memphis street set. I only glimpsed some of the wording on the street signs: “BB King’s Company Store.” This is the step-stool moment and she sounds good.

The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss): New gals plus 60s-style dancing.

Cher changes into her hole-fit with big 80s wig. Doll

I Found Someone: Similar to other shows with the guitarist moves on stage.

If I Could Turn Back Time: She throws off jacket. She seems peppier. She’s enjoying this show. Skips off stage.

The photo at the right cracked me up: one fan holding up a Cher doll for Cher to see.

For a while there are three Chers:  one on stage, on on the big screen, and the little one in the phones.

Phones

Cher changes into her Believe-fit which seems like a mash up of previous Believe-fits.

Believe: Cher either singing above the stage or a hologram. Can’t tell. There’s a crazy-fun interlude of lasers and sounds. Cher enters the stage in a red wig.

GermsAt this moment, Cher starts slapping the hands of front-row fans. Their germs make her sick.  

Promotion before the show:

Access Hollywood (talks about Sonny and asks, when will I cut my hair?)
Entertainment Tonight (Says she's not dying.)

 More Cher concert news:

Cher and Las Vegas have got each other again, babe (Reuters)

Review Journal Review 2

Did Beyoncé Mop Her Grammys Look From Cher?

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Fashion From Cher & Elton John’s Las Vegas Concerts (Footwear News)

  


My Stupid Obsession

Marquee2Every Cher fan goes through this at some time or another, the Cher show you have great tickets for (6th row!) gets cancelled. Two weekends ago, I was one of these fans who trekked out to Las Vegas right about when Cher cancelled a weekend of shows due to illness.

As I was crying in the bathrooms of Sam’s Town, (the casino that inspired The Killers album/song),  I counted and this would have been my 13th Cher concert. Poor me. Some fans have yet to see one. I wasn’t literally crying in the bathroom. I was drunk in the bathroom and still managed to count all the Cher shows I've been to. I literally cried three other times: an aggravation cry in the car on the way to Vegas (around Laughlin) when I got the tragic email from TicketBastard, one short ugly cry in the hotel bathroom where Mr. Cher Scholar couldn’t see it, and one long soulful cry after I got home, a cry that was just as much about the collapse of all that is good and holy in this world as it was over missing that Cher show, but nonetheless a cry initiated by watching a bootleg video of the new show's opening Cher descent.

My weekend in Vegas was full of rationalizations:

  1. For me it's more about the stuff, right? (I felt much better after being able to buy tour swag.)
  2. We gotta wean ourselves off Cher sometime, right?
  3. This show's gonna come out on DVD anyway.
  4. How can you blame Cher for touching bohemian hands and catching fevers?
  5. I'm too fat to sit in the 6th row anyway.
  6. Concerts aren’t my thing anyway, right? I dutifully go for the stuff (see #1).
  7. I've pretty much seen this show already.

Then why was I having such a dramatic crisis of the heart?

It’s not like going to Vegas to see Cher is some kind of pilgrimage, right? That's where celebrity obsession needs a body check. There was one woman outside the casino, close to Cher’s looming picture (above), literally sobbing into a friend's shoulder. For like a long time! I was hoping her cat had died or that she’d just experienced a traumatic breakup with a pathetic loser because I didn’t want to think she was crying (1) that hard (and 2) in public over missing a Cher show. But I surmise the greater distance and effort you spend on the trip to Vegas to see a Cher show, the harder the cry. I only drove from Albuquerque.

And there were other repercussions of a cancelled Cher show. We couldn’t get into any other shows, (no Diana Ross, no Beatles Cirque du Soilel, no Absinthe). Shows half full on Friday night booked up quickly by Saturday afternoon. All those damn Cher fans set adrift. I can’t tell you how my party salvaged this weekend, (what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas), but I can tell you it involved a very hot Robin.

I have now been fully initiated as a Cher fan, long suffering. Some very muted highlights of the trip:

I went to the Park Theater anyway to see the Cher stands and promos and dragged Mr. Cher Scholar on a mission to photograph all three "era" posters:

StandupPoster Billboard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Standup near the back door / poster in the lobby / billboard on the south end of the strip (click to enlarge).

CherslotsI was also able to play the Cher slot machine which was set up outside the Cher swag store. Mr. Cher Scholar had to sit through my playing it only twice (I get easily bored gambling). I was very amused at the slot symbols that were made to represent Cherness: leather jackets, tambourines, VIP concert passes.

Thingrepresentingcher
When I would hit anything big, loud Cher music would play for such a length of time that nearby gamblers would move seats for ten minutes until the machine stopped bellowing. Good footage of the drama. You're seat would also vibrate if you won or came close to a win. I hope someday these things are cheap enough for home purchase.

Because there is pop-culture grace left somewhere in the universe, the Monte Carlo Park Theater Cher swag store was still open and I was able to get a program. The swag store does have a few new things but many of the items are hand-me-downs from Dressed to Kill tour.

Cherstore Swagstore2

 

 

 

 

 

Lobbystore

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two sides of the big Cher store / the lobby store.

 

And the weekend wasn't entirely sucky with good food and good friends.

Notsosucky