New Cher Projects, 2017

ChazSo my summer break was longer than usual. My parents came to stay with us for 5 weeks while waiting to move into a new house in Ohio. I’ve also been taking stock of my writing projects and realized I’m way behind in my self-imposed schedules. I don’t know how this will effect the blog.

But despite the big break, I’ve still accumulated so much good stuff to share. I’ve been working on some new scholarly projects that I’m excited about and will unveil a few (on Cher Scholar and Big Bang Poetry) over the next few weeks.

But as happens every summer, lots of Cher stuff has gone down.

American Horror Story

Chaz Bono has returned to the American Horror Story franchise this year as a one-armed Trump supporter and there are rumors that Cher will be making an appearance this season as well. The rumormongers:

- http://elitedaily.com/entertainment/cher-ahs-cult/2059844/
- http://www.konbini.com/us/entertainment/cher-american-horror-story-cult-cameo/
- https://www.queerty.com/cher-appearing-new-season-american-horror-story-evidence-speaks-20170831

The hate-crime, fascist stuff, not the clown, has scared me right off watching the new show on anything slower than 15x. When entertainment is that close to reality…I’m just a jellyfish I guess. However, I'm going to see Stephen King’s IT movie this Thursday and I’m sure that will be much more pleasant.

You can collect Chaz’s appearance on AHS #6 Roanoke which goes on sale for DVD and Blu-ray October 3.

ClassicClassic Cher

Cher started up her stage shows again. Here are the latest reviews on that:

Her show’s guitarist, Joel Hoekstra, is interviewed here: http://www.sarasotapost.com/great-reading/1362-turn-back-time-with-classic-cher

The Broadway Show

Cher’s new Broadway show had its open call in July and over 500 people showed up:

They predict a Spring 2018 opening: http://www.goldderby.com/article/2017/cher-broadway-musical-tony-awards-news/

Boovs2Two New Songs

Cher made an appearance on a children’s show called Home: Adventures of Tip and Oh and recorded two new songs.

Reviews speak for themselves:

Netflix Got Cher to Record a New Song for a Cartoon Because Netflix Can Do Anything Now

“Cher seems to be particularly picky about what she's recorded in the last decade. There was an album in 2013 (Closer To The Truth), a contribution to the soundtrack of her 2010 film Burlesque ("You Haven't Seen The Last of Me," by the acclaimed Diane Warren), a contribution to the documentary Cries From Syria, a duet with her mother, and a couple of unreleased collaboration (with Lady Gaga and Wu-Tang Clan). She has not been particularly prolific, and this might be considered her first dance floor jam in at least four years.”

Cher's New Trap Track

“To be a fly on the wall where this bonkers song was pitched to Cher... We’re still not sure how this track came to fruition, but we’re not complaining either: somehow the 71-year-old sells this campy trap song.” 

Yes, I had to look it up. Trap is “southern hip hop with ominous lyrics, double or triple time divided hi-hats, heavy kick drums and a Roland TR-808 synthesizer or layered synthesizers.”

Cher’s bizarre new song is the catchiest thing you’ll hear all day

“We love Cher. Not only for her amazing back catalogue, her brave fashion choices or constant trolling of Donald Trump on Twitter, but also because she still has the ability to surprise us with her music” and “gloriously psychedelic video.”

Cher Dropped A Demented Bop Called “Ooga Boo”

“It transcends traditional kiddie fare, however, with the demented electronic production, heavy lashings of auto tune and an annoyingly catchy chorus. It’s the not the comeback we wanted, but it’s probably the comeback we deserve.”

EarstockingsThe Animation Podcast review was hilarious.  (Thanks to cher scholar Tyler for the find).

Animation aficionado ElectricDragon505 had his mind blown by the cartoon, not because of the story or Cher’s appearance on it, but because of of her character’s design. He says it reminds him of a “drill sergeant in Full Metal Jacket” or a mutated marshmallow. “What the fridge am I even looking at!” he cries. He likes the Boov characters and their bright, cold colors with flashes of hot yellows, oranges and reds but says the makeup is “even too much for a drag show.” Too much are the comically huge eyelashes and fishnet leggings because the fishnet leggings are even on Chercophanie's ears. (I would agree with that; WTF.) But ElectricDragon505 will even give the designers a pass on all that. What he absolutely can’t abide is a Boov wearing three bras because this forces questions about Boov anatomy that he just can’t face.

This all seemed like a great deal of news for an appearance on a Netflix children’s show, so I did a search for her last un-released but kinda-released song from January and oddly there were zero news stories or reviews about “Prayers for this World” on two pages of Google results except this short blurb:

“First new material since 2013 From a documentary that debuted recently, she is singing with the Los Angeles Children's choir. Absolutely amazing!”

My parents gifted us with Netflix. So I watched the Chercophanie episode last week.

The show is about an interracial or inter-galaxy friendship between a spunky preteen black girl (Tip) and an alien Boov (Oh). The episode is called “Chercophanie/Oh Man & the Sea” and it contains two 15 minute stories. I spent time bemoaning the short attention span of “young people today” as I was watching it and then realized I spent my own childhood binge watching 8-minute Loony Tunes cartoons.

Tip is playing pretend rock star and her friend Oh is playing pretend obsessed fan. By the way, we never played pretend star/fan back in the 70s. We played teacher, waitress, working single-mother, sordid soap-opera Fisher House community, salacious sex-life Barbie, TV news broadcaster, outdoor Missouri shipwreck, and novelist.

DG1ewsoU0AAGmzYBut anyway, Tip is full of artistic torment for fame and glory. Unfortunately, she feels a lack of desire to actually practice singing or guitar playing. But she wants legions of fans, like, yesterday! And she tries to make a big splash as a street singer. The humans hate her performances but the alien Boovs love it. By the way, all Boovs look like octopuses.

Tip loves to talk about “star power” and she calls her fans Tipsters. Cher descends into the scene as “a true star who knows how to make an entrance.” In fact, the show gives Cher’s Boov character plenty of funny entrances. She’s “a cultural enigma” they say but she’s never given the chance to tell Tip and Oh what her true passion is. Spoiler alert: it involves whale-shaped Ooga Boos…which finally explains Cher’s new song then.

StarpowerBut sadly, the public doesn’t care about Chercophanie’s passion and only wants to hear her “rockin voice.” There’s a very funny bit where Chercophanie cries and her massive mascara runs down her face. A makeup Boov rushes in to fix it.  

Chercophanie calls Tip “Twinkle Pie” and takes Tip and Oh to her studio to hear her latest track, “Ooga Boo,” and my parents left the closed-captioning on Netflix so I was able to decipher that confusing lyric: “Moi a tu.”

Tip is over-confident and when she finally hears herself play the guitar, she’s mortified, even after Chercophanie tries some funny production magic. A few times I laughed out loud at this stuff: Boovs crowd surfing, Boovchella. During performances, Tip likes to yell out “how many of you out there have faces?”

CherwhaleChercophanie tells her not to be worried about the reviews, just be you…because following your heart is “where you find true art.”

Fans of Tip, of course, hate the result of that sort of advise and abandon her new direction. One fan calls out, very disgruntled, “my expectations have been defied!”

Cher fans, you’ve been there.


Cher Slays the BBMAs

BillboardmagIt took me a moment to gather my thoughts this week and this is going to be a long post. Very exciting stuff going on and some of it very important to Cher scholarship.

The 71st Birthday Tributes

Remember last year on Cher’s 70th birthday when we had a plethora of celebratory articles? This year there were far fewer but then people were already talking about Cher’s Billboard award instead. Still there were some:

10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Cher - They even take issue with the fact that she’s not in the Hall of Fame yet.

Cher's Most Iconic & Controversial Fashion Moments of All Time (E! Online)

Our Favorite Quotes (Biography)

Cher: A life in photos

A Star Is Born: Cher turns 71 today (LA Times!)

Midriffs, Wigs, Sparkles & Boots: Cher’s Glam Concert Style Over the Years (Footwear News) - Footwear News??

Cher: See Her Top 10 Most Outrageous Outfits Ever

#BornThisDay: Cher (World of Wonder)  (thanks to Tyler)

Cher at 71: Her most incredible outfits in pictures (thanks to Tyler)

Bonus! Tour Cher's California Homes (Architectural Digest)

Kim Kardashian even had her own subset of birthday tweets and articles resulting from those tweets:

Billboard Sweetness

So, in support of Cher’s Icon award, Billboard Magazine did a series of tributes to her (see more in my opinion post, Cher’s Musical Oeuvre).

The interview: Cher Sounds Off on Trump's 'Cheating' & Why She's 'Not a Fan' of Her Six Decades of Hits

The article tallies up more famous Cher fans, (so now we have Pink, Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani, and the already-mentioned Tracy Chapman and Chrissie Hynde). Pink calls Cher a smart “sharpshooting rock star.” The article covers facets of her reputation: her blunt opinions, clothes, her swearing, her “fearlessness.” It culls out her award winnings and record breaking chart appearances. This is an old school article that actually sends a reporter to visit Cher in her Cher lair. (Remember those interviews?) The article touches on her androgyny and how she solidified an image on her television shows as “a woman who claimed privileges usually reserved for men, including honesty, independence and confident sexuality.” That’s even understated IMHO. The article also talks about The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour’s technical innovations with chroma key. Author Rob Tannenbaum calls her current live show set a Parisian flophouse (nails it there) and says the show is “dizzying, festive and cheeky.” He calls her image during Geffen era the MILK of hair metal (funny and not totally off the mark).

This seems like a typo though: “There was one problem: no evident lack of talent.” Why would no lack of talent be a problem? There’s also at least one factual error,  stating that since Believe Cher has only released one album on a major label. She’s released two (Living Proof and Closer to the Truth on the same label).

The article states Cher has 3.3 million twitter followers and that Buzzfeed calls her “the world’s most beloved Twitter user.” (Sweet.)

Chad Michaels on Cher's Musical Legacy & What It's Like Impersonating the Pop Icon to Her Face

Michaels credits Cher with pioneering the music video on her 70s TV shows and talks about age-bracketing his shows for content. He calls Cher not only the Goddess of Pop but the Queen of Rock and Roll (yeah, let’s get that one going). He admits “it must be strange for any celebrity to come face to face with an impersonator” and he talks about working on stage parodies of Witches of Eastwick.

RaptureWhy Cher Is More Musically Radical Than You Think

This is an awesome piece by Joe Lynch who  talks about the sexism inherent in rock criticism. He gives only a partial list of Cher’s accolades, (awards, sales, endurance, record breaks), and says “Cher’s impact as a musical force is unfairly disregarded or minimized.” He says music history is “refracted through a male, rock-privileging lens. But it’s also a casualty of music fans’ obsession with authenticity.” I would argue that even under the authenticity rubric, (which is ludicrous in what is essentially a posing industry), the standards are not evenly applied depending upon the rock clique you belong to.

Lynch argues that it’s not even fair to judge artists who don’t have full control over their material because even auteur-film-directors don’t have full control of theirs. I think we can look even closer than film: did The Ronnettes fully control their material? Did any Phil Spector artists have full control? Because many of them are in the Hall of Fame. Lynch gives Cher credit for auto-tune and she should get credit for fighting for it if not coming up with the idea for it on her song “Believe,” (even though I think that is a problematic accolade in rock music, again around issues of authenticity).

We can all agree, like Lynch says, that Cher didn’t pioneer genres or “take lyrics to new poetic heights” but she did “forge an iconoclastic path for vocal and visual androgyny in pop culture that’s frequently overlooked.” (I would argue she also did that with glam rock).

And for the storyteller songs most derided in Cher’s catalog Lynch says, “It’s absurd to argue those songs could have been as effective in the hands of another singer—sure they’re good story-songs, but Cher’s delivery is what makes these admittedly dated pop songs resonate…” Lynch says Cher “teed things up for people like Bowie and Patti Smith, and the world would certainly be different if she hadn’t stayed so irrevocably Cher from the start.”

A Look Back on Her Film & TV Career

GwenHow Cher Transformed Fashion And Became One Of The Most Influential Style Icons In Red Carpet History

This article notes Cher’s influence on Katy Perry, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and Rihanna, saying she has “left a trail of glittering breadcrumbs across the mood boards of designers and musicians.” Author Brooke Mazurek calls her “the original red carpet renegade and provides quotes from Michale Kors, Vogue Editor Andre Leon Talley and the Fashion Institute of Technology’s curator Kevin Jones. Mazurek also draws a line back to Marlene Dietrich and Josephine Baker and has Bob Mackie crediting Cher with bringing ethnicity to 1970s TV. (That is also a big thesis of the book Off-White Hollywood by Diane Negra).

Cher's 'Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves': Why It's One of the 20th Century's Greatest Songs

This is a great piece by Rob Tannenbaum who wrote the lead story. Cher is dismissive about the song and the length of the recording session but Tannenbaum calls the song “one of the most majestic pop hits ever made…a tale recounted at breakneck speed, of sexual hypocrisy…female and class consciousness…voyeuristic like a pulp novel…redeemed by a brash confidence Cher gives the narrator.”

Tannenbaum goes on to explicate the complicated story line, the implications of which most people blithely ignore as they sing along. This is real professional scholarship here! This could be a undergrad lit paper! Tannenbaum even deconstructs the song musically:

“The song feels urgent partially because of the breakneck pace: the band plays at 171 beats per minute. (For comparison, the Ramones’ “Beat On the Brat” is 157 BPM, and Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll” is 164.) When she reaches the chorus, Cher suddenly sings way in front of the beat, an expression of anxiety. The lavish arrangement feels vaguely “ethnic” or “exotic,” thanks to mandolin and calliope, and also threatening, due to the irregular meters and some shreds of dissonance. It has the grandeur of a Phil Spector production, but with B-movie horror mixed in to it.”

He points out that Cher is never sexually “apologetic or sorrowful…but savoring freedom and rebellion… delivers the line [“Papa would have shot him if he knew what he’d done”] with chilling delight…[making] it one of the most lurid and sexy lines in pop music, merely through implication.”

The song, written by Bob Stone, has “plot, detail and emotional complexity, and Cher belts it with a punkish defiance. As a song about prejudice, poverty, and the consequences of pregnancy for working-class women, 'Gypsys' has aged beautifully.” Yes, indeed.

Cher's 10 Best Trump Tweets

I love Billboard Magazine’s implicit affection for Cher’s anti-Trump tweets here. It’s their own condemnation of Trump and such a reflection of the mainstream, they let it go without any qualification or judgement. The article credits Cher as an advocate of LGBT and women’s rights, her political activism. Lauren Tom calls her a “a pioneer of female autonomy during a male-driven era.”

Older related links

Bob Mackie's Archives Unveiled: Iconic Designer for Cher & Diana Ross Gives Billboard a Peek Behind the Curtains (Oct 2016)

See Bob Mackie's Sketches for Classic Madonna, Cher & Tina Turner Gowns

Press Before the Show

SpeechThe internet was also full of stories rehashing the Billboard interview and reacting to Cher’s admission, (not nearly a new one), that she hates her own music. Every time she says that, people respond in such surprise.

After the BBMAs Coverage

My two cents: award shows seem now to be just excuses for launching elaborate musical performances from big arenas. I'm bored with it already, especially the Byzantine performances of Nicki Minaj (and ten variations of her throughout the night). I did enjoy the Chainsmokers (although it sounds like nobody else did), Julia (I like that funny "Issues" song), and Lorde's very inventive performance pretending to be at a karaoke club. I thought Celine was understated but great per usual (that crazy dress!). She had a lovely chandelier to sing under.

Gwen Stefani introduced Cher who then sang "Believe" and then we watched a career reel while Cher changed into the hole-fit and sang "Turn Back Time" and then accepted her award. I liked her speech which threw some props to Phil Spector, the Wrecking Crew, her mom, Sonny, David Geffen, Diane Warren and luck. Watch Celine Dion sing along to Cher.

GIF of Cher saying she can do a five minute plank.

Spend an afternoon with Cher GIFs!


Cher News: Billboard Awards, Classic Cher, Armenians, Birthdays, Right Wing Media

Cher-billboardBillboard Awards

The big news is that Cher will be on the Billboard Awards May 21, (a day after her 71st birthday), at 5 pm Pacific, (check your local times and stations), to receive the Icon award and to sing "Believe." News announcing the award:

- http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Cher-to-sing-Believe-at-Billboard-Music-Awards-11120512.php

- http://www.eonline.com/news/848448/cher-to-perform-live-at-an-award-show-for-the-first-time-in-15-years-you-better-believe-it

I heard this and wondered, doesn’t Cher already have a Billboard award from the 2000s. I checked Wikipedia's Cherwards page and found she's won the Artist Achievement award in 2002 (see pic to the left with her son Elijah, who considerately matched his hair color to her dress).

What’s the difference between these awards you may want to know. Cursive research shows nothing. This is the Billboard list of award categories and who has won the big categories like Artist Achievement and ICON. The Icon Award gets a dedicated Wikpedia page for some reason but with no explanation worth the effort: " to recognize music singers and contribution."

Here is Steven Tyler announcing Cher's Achievement award in 2002. It seems like a "lifetime achievement" from how Tyler frames it - the definition of longevity - and Tyler gives no mention of what the award recognizes or represents officially. These awards seem willfully vague and I'm starting to dub them Empty Hat Awards. Not that it's every boring to watch Cher win awards. Or satisfying for Cher scholarship.

Cher-vegas-coverClassic Cher Show

More press for the Classic Cher show from a Cher cover story in Vegas Magazine.

https://lasvegasmagazine.com/entertainment/2017/apr/28/cher-las-vegas-park-theater-monte-carlo/

https://vegasmagazine.com/cher-on-sonny-bono-oscars-and-vegas-residency

This led me to find other covers of Cher’s millennial Vegas shows:
 

Vegas2000s Dfb6d5c3ee1f9256ca4cc377948ba425

 

 

 

  

Promise2The Armenians

PromiseCher recently attended the premiere of the Armenian Genocide movie The Promise and has been promoting it. From Armenian Radio.

You can also see who else is promoting the movie. And see a story about what Cher wore to the premiere. More from Extra TV.

Cher was photographed on red carpet with Armenians Kourtney and Kim Kardashian. Story on Daily Mail saying they could be sisters.

Paparazzi also caused a scene chasing Cher while she was going out to eat.

After news of the Met Gala this year, Cher said she might attend next year. Time Magazine covered this story.

Politics

Last week was yet another example of seeing the lowdown right wing media lies in action. Various conservative news sources, led by Breitbart News and FOX News, gleefully ridiculed Cher's dismayed tweets about the health care bill passing in the U.S. House. Slate correctly reported that Cher's comments had been misconstrued. (No shit?)

For years they've tried to label her a has-been, (she's winning a Billboard ICON award this month), and yet right-wing media never stops trying to ridicule her tweets. The effort never quite goes mainstream for them. In the infamous words of Trump: So sad.

Birthday!

Cher celebrates her 71st birthday this month. See other famous 1946 birthdays.


Movie and Concert News

ConcertThere's been so much Cher news over the last month and a half, I feel like I can’t keep up sometimes. So I have great sympathy for Daniel of Cher News when he announced recently that he is going to stop posting again. Such a good news source, especially for overseas stories.

There was plenty of Flint water crisis movie news this week, (all the way to Belfast!), especially when last week news broke that Cher was dropping out due to a family crisis, which allegedly involves her ailing mother, Georgia. Our thoughts and prayers to Georgia and her many loved ones.

Here are the news stories about it:

- ET Online
- TV Line
- PageSix
- Ace Showbiz  

The documentary Cries from Syria also came out on HBO along with versions of Cher's new song "Prayers for the World." I’ve recorded the movie but I've been afraid to watch it. The violence and suffering warning has scared me from it. I need to grow some stones and do it already. Here's a review of the movie, Cher's song with film footage, Cher's song without film footage.

Cher also tweeted about an Armenian genocide movie she found moving called The Promise. Thank you to Cher scholar Tyler for that link and for also locating this news footage about Cher’s visit to Armenia.

Classic Cher is now in Washington D.C. for a spell and apparently has a new “Lie to Me” interlude.

Some local reviews of the show:

Other interviews & promotion for the tour:

The Washington Post did an interview with Cher that's annoyingly showing up verbatim everywhere else: "Cher on EGOT-ing, politicking and touring once more (Watertown Daily Times) and "Cher still rocking in new shows" (Journal Gazette) are two examples.

ViewCher was also on The Talk for a full hour. It was fun to see the hosts dressed up as Cher, (Sharon Osbourne is tiny!), and you can really see the influence of Graham Norton and Andy Cohen on talk shows now which are mostly a sequence of Cher games. How else do you come up with original questions to ask someone who has been interviewed over and over again for over 50 years? It was nice to see Bob Mackie brought into the interview mix for some variety.

Reviews of the show:

Cher also did new Entertainment Tonight appearances. Some clips:


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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Cher on the Stage

Holefit2017Classic Cher

So the new Cher show live began last Wednesday and I’ve updated the Cher Scholar site with a few early pics and reviews:

Cher Scholar Live & In Concert

Cher's Concert Reviews

There have been two reviews or sort of reviews. Is a Vegas review ever really critical?

Cher Is a Classic Diva (The Las Vegas Review Journal)

Cher Returns to the Concert Stage with Glitz and Hits (Billboard)

 Promotional Material & Peripherals

The 7 Faces of Cher

Cher, Diana Ross and Jennifer Lopez collide in Las Vegas in the Diva Super-Fabulous Bowl

The Bob Mackie Archives

The Musical

Thanks to Cher scholar Tyler for sending me this one: What Does Cher Think of the Musical About Her Life  (New York Post)
Includes information about the actors playing the roles:

Jillian Mueller (young Cher)

Lesli Margherita (mature Cher)

Lena Hall (middle-age Cher)

Jarrod Spector (Sonny)

  


Movies, Music, TV - It's All Happening

Chermakeuptips2016Current Events

Wow. So much is happening right now. It's overwhelming.

Here's the lowdown:

- Cher's involved in a TV movie about the Flint, Michigan, water crisis.
- The documentary In This Climate should be coming out soon.
- Cher talking to the Washington Post.
- Cher's new song "Prayers for this World" will come out in the documentary Cries From Syria directed by Evgeny Afineevsky. HBO will air it.
- Cher is being sued over the typeface art of Closer to the Truth. (The rags TMZ and Daily Mail reporting this.)
- Jack in the Box tacos have been in the news.
- The Broadway Cher show continues to percolate. The New York Times article an all the diva Broadway shows and Playbill's article on the January reading.
- Cher tweets about the heartbreaking passing of all the celebrities over Christmas:

"This is tragic. I loved Debbie, she was tough, funny, told the best old 40's-50's showbiz stories and lived through Hollywood bullsh*t. A huge testament to her".

"This is beyond heartbreaking. Debbie was an idol... I have seen Singing In The Rain a million times. Loved all her films... Words are inadequate."

So sad about Carrie and George, I have no words. I keep forgetting and then suddenly remember. Such great artists dying, and many are too young. Am heartsick."

"Talked to her on the phone: ironic, sarcastic and hysterical at the same time. Went to a few wacky Penny [Marshall]/Carrie Birthday parties".

"One time I was talking to George at a disco. I got up, danced six songs, came back, leaned over him, and didn't realize that I was sweating drops all over his shirt. We laughed."

- More media love for Cher tweets: "Cher’s Twitter is the only pure thing left in this world" and "Find a Tiny Bit of Solace in This Cher-ified Chick Emoji."

Cher News is Back

And I'm happy to report that Cher News is back! Actually, it's been up since last March! So much I missed. Go here for all your up-to-date Cher news.

Daniel Wheway, the site's mastermind, has some eBooks out now too:

Cher Bible Vol. 1 and Cher Bible Vol 2. I've downloaded them but haven't read them yet.

Speaking of eBooks, I've also downloaded the eBook Cher Toons by Scott Clarke which was very fun and also just purchased Scott's physical coloring book version.

But over the past year almost, Cher News is packed with awesome stuff (if you haven't checked it out already). There's info about the Syrian documentary, and Cher's song on it, "I Got You Babe" made it into the Grammy Hall of Fame and you can watch clips of Cher on ET (October 6) and Extra.

Daniel also did plenty of scholarship last year, posting Cher rankings for Billboard's Roundups including 100 Greatest Acts of All Time (Cher ranks #43 and Daniel notes she is the 16th highest female solo singer), Vogue's list of 22 Fashion Icons from the Music World (Daniel's recap), Marie Claire's reporting on plastic surgery requests and Cher's jawline (truly odd but interesting), Daniel also recaps a few Oscar Roundups from Vanity Fair, The Independent and The New York Times, and About.com ranks Cher songs (Daniel's recap).

He also reports that Get TV only purchased 30 Cher shows. Has anyone else heard about this?

And two big bombshells:

1. I missed the AXS Cher Biography from last year. Does anybody have a copy of this?? Looks like it has some good talking head Cher scholarship! Watch the trailer.

2. Cher posted a video of makeup tips! How awesome! 

So don't miss your Cher News!!

Old Stuff

Recently I came across Paul Mauriat's musak version of "Mama." And we watched the Johnny Cash Christmas special on GetTV over the holidays. I learned that "Someday" is a Gene Autrey song! The Johnny Cash Christmas special was amazing. Watch the Sun City Studios reunion of artists, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison sing "This Train."  (Wow…that’s some great TV right there). And the whole cast does an amazing "Children, Go Where I Send Thee."

Whew! And that's just the first two weeks of January!

 


Where We Are Now (with Great Cher News)

BuddhaBefore we start, I'd like to share this zen parable I learned many years ago. This story has helped me in both good times and in bad:

There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically. “Maybe,” the farmer replied. The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed. “Maybe,” replied the old man.

The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. Now he would not be able to help on the farm. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. “Maybe,” answered the farmer. The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. “Maybe,” said the farmer.

Where I Am Now

So...I haven't been posting for the past three or so weeks. First it was the week before the U.S. election and work was very busy at CNM. Then the week of the election happened and many of us, (I would argue the majority of us) , were feeling stomach cramps and living the U.S. Electoral nightmare. And I have to tell you, something in me changed on November 9. It was as if the election showed me what my special purpose was, to quote Navin R. Johnson. I've been spending the last few weeks organizing and setting up some new messaging initiatives against what I see as the encroachment of Fascism and racism in my country and around the world.

Elections have consequences, as President Obama has often said. For our purposes here at I Found Some Blog, I no longer will have the time to post long, academic Cher tracts beyond the latest news. Something's gotta give after all. I'm working on a novel and two other writing projects. I can't take on the new commitments of activism without giving something up. So no more play-by-plays of the television shows and long reviews of albums. I actually had three of the last four Sonny & Cher show wrap-ups ready to go. But there's no time to finish them now. My gift of gab is now "going to the cause" and that means getting active in my community, motivating Democrats to vote, and wearing my safety pin as a reminder to fight racism and hatred every single day.

If these are values you share, please come by my new Facebook page "BTW New Mexico is a U.S. State," LIKE the page, and SHARE some of the posts with your friends. I would sure appreciate it.

Television

CherxmasBut even Dark Ages had good times. There has been some great Cher news over the last three weeks and we're thankful for tender mercies, we are.

Cher scholar Bruce Barton notified us recently that on Monday December 5 GetTV will be airing the rarely seen 1975 Cher Christmas show. He also linked us to a clip of the festive intro. Can't wait!

And according to the GetTV schedule, there are other goodies in store.

This Monday, November 21, we can binge on three episodes we've already seen: (1) Jean Stapelton and Mike Connors, (2) Jimmy Durante and (3) Andy Griffith.

November 28: The 1973 Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour Christmas Special

December 5: The 1975 Christmas Special with Redd Foxx, The Hudson Brothers and The Lennon Sisters. It looks like it's the full hour show.

Concerts

ClassiccherYou may have heard that Cher is doing some limited shows in Las Vegas and Washington, D.C. next spring. Miraculously I was able to get tickets to one of the Vegas shows. Check out Cher's site for details.

Cher as also on James Cordin's late night show around the time the tickets went on sale. Watch Cher and James singing "I Got You Babe" and  Cher talking about "I Got You Babe".

She was also on The Today Show.

Broadway

So the Broadway show is also actually coming together. From Playbill:

There will be a two-week staged reading in New York City January 2-14. Pitch Perfect’s Jason Moore will direct. It's being called The Cher Show. Flody Suarez and Hamilton’s Jeffrey Seller are producing. And some details were revealed. The characters of Cher are Babe (teenager), Lady (solo) and Star (which sounds like her evolution to icon). Other characters include Sonny, Georgia, Bob Mackie, David Geffen, Gregg Allman, Robert Altman, Rob Camilletti, and Sigmund Freud. Different era Chers may also talk to each other. The book was written by Tony Award-winning Rick Elice (of Jersey Boys, Peter and the Starcatcher). Cher songs in the show may include  “I Got You Babe,” “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves,” “Take Me Home,” “Believe,” and “If I Could Turn Back Time.” Tony winner Daryl Waters is musical supervisor.

Our Beautiful Friends

Farm-storyCher scholar and one of the contributors to Cher Zine 3 has published a memoir called Farm Story! I'm very excited to read this as soon as I can finagle a copy.

Cher was also interviewed for the Fast Company Innovation Festival, "Cher on Creativity and the Power of Authenticity."  I was disappointed with the piece but the "big show" comments were interesting and her ideas around emojis, which are now considered fine art!