It's baking time...so this will be the last Cher Scholar post for the year. I feel like 2021 was mostly getting my head back on track after the drama of last year. Hard to believe I've done not one single Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour recap (and I was so close to the end of that series). Well, hopefully next year.
The Cher Christmas tree is up this year with two more dolls. (Had to upgrade to a bigger tree this year). The nativity of boyfriends is back, as well.
It's Christmas so it's time for people wanting to watch Moonstruck again. Here's one last essay from this year's scholarly readings of Moonstruck-think-tanking, "An Honest Contrivance': Opera and Desire in Moonstruck" by Marcia J. Citron.
Citron talks about the movie's tone, "romantic idealism tethered to the magic of the moon" and how the movie's conceit balances so precariously by successfully between realism and maudlinism. She identifies each part of Puccini's La Bohème as a part of the movie's soundtrack, the actual opera scenes, and the ways in which each Puccini theme ties to a character, mostly Ronny. She concludes "the verismo idiom of Bohème...has a stunning impact on the film." She even provides us with a table listing each act, the DVD timestamp, the piece of the score, the location in the plot and whether the musical element is a soundtrack piece or a literal opera performance. "The visit to the Met to see Bohème occupies a central place in the story, and Bohème is foregrounded as ritual through signs, posters, and phonograph recordings...it's use of opera music...performs important meta-level functions for memory, conciousness, and desire."
Cher's character in the film is explored as well: "Loretta Castorini an uncomprehending novice...throughout the film she has been independent and functioned as an individual with her own mind. Film scholars see her as an unusually strong female character in a genre in which women have been subordinate to men...Loretta appears to have internalized the opera-desire connection and made it her own, even though Ronny instigated and controlled the music." (referring to the scene in his apartment when he put a Puccini record on his turntable and then later when he invites her to the opera).
You can check out the essay on JSTOR: https://www.jstor.org/stable/30162938
So recently my friend Natalie asked for a Christmas mix. My personal Christmas mix is on my iPod and quite a few of the songs included on it are not available on Spotify, including all of Cher's Christmas offerings. Searching for them today online reminds me how much Christmas material Cher performed on her various TV shows. Maybe this is why she's not in such a hurry to give us a Christmas album. We're insatiable, Chrismastly speaking.
Years ago I did a brief breakdown of all the Cher Christmas shows.
Here are the elements of those shows:
The 1969 Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour with Cher
Where they started singing "Jingle Bells" that tragically hip way. Look, he surprises her with misletoe. Adorable!
You can now watch the entire show on Amazon Prime.
The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour (1972 and 1973) Shows
The ultimate Cher Christmas song is, of course, "O Holy Night." Unforgettable. So much so that there was once a yearly tradition to recreate it on David Letterman. Watch Paul Shaffer yearly rendition (as is tradition).
The 1973 show was a big production of festive.
Cher also did this one both years, I believe: "One Tin Soldier/It Came Upon a Midnight Clear"
You can now watch the 1972 show on Amazon Prime.
Cher's opening "White Christmas/We Need a Little Christmas" Medley"
The poinsettia-fest that is "Some Children See Him"
The full cast doing the big finale ("I Love the Winter Weather/ I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm/Let It Snow," "Santa Baby," "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," "Jingle Bells with a Steel Guitar," "Christmas Island," "Christmas in Trinidad," "Silent Night") with Foxx, The Lennon Sisters and The Hudson Brothers.
The full show, (the Redd Foxx as an elf is a funny sketch.)
The Sonny & Cher Show (1976)
The Divorced Show also had a Christmas episode.
The "Jingle Bells" open.
The kooky medley with Bernadette Peters and Captain Kangaroo which has Elijah's first if not an one very early appearance.
In the 1980s we also had a few Christmas appearances:
Cher's only official Christmas recording, "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" with Rosie O'Donnell.
Have a Cherry Christmas everybody and stay out of trouble. ;-)