The Cher Show BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Joan Marcus
  • NY TIMES

  • DEADLINE

  • VARIETY

  • HR

  • GUARDIAN

Opening Night:
December 3, 2018
Closing:
Open Ended

Theater: Neil Simon Theatre / 250 West 52nd Street, New York, NY,

Synopsis: 

Superstars come and go.

Cher is forever.

For six straight decades, only one unstoppable force has flat-out dominated popular culture — breaking down barriers, pushing boundaries, and letting nothing and no one stand in her way. The Cher Show is her story, and it’s packed with so much Cher that it takes three women to play her: the kid starting out, the glam pop star and the icon.

The Cher Show is 35 smash hits, six decades of stardom, two rock-star husbands, a Grammy®, an Oscar®, an Emmy®, and enough Bob Mackie gowns to cause a sequins shortage in New York City, all in one unabashedly fabulous new musical.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF The Cher Show

    Review: In ‘The Cher Show,’ I Got You, Babe. And You. And You.

    Jesse Green

    December 3, 2018: There’s a fine line between tacky and spectacular. In creating costumes for Cher over the years — costumes that often tell the story of a shy woman emerging triumphant from a chrysalis — the designer Bob Mackie has kept on the right side of the line by making sure the level of craft supports the extravagance of the gesture.

    Sadly that’s not the case with “The Cher Show,” the maddening mishmash of a new musical that opened on Monday at the Neil Simon Theater. Except for the dozens of eye-popping outfits Mr. Mackie gorgeously recreates for the occasion, it’s all gesture, no craft: dramatically threadbare and surprisingly unrevealing.

    That’s too bad because, reading between the paillettes, you get the feeling that the 72-year-old singer-actress-survivor is a good egg: self-mocking, plain speaking and a hoot. Whether that’s enough to build a Broadway musical on is another question, one “The Cher Show,” striving to be agreeable, never gets close to answering.

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  • DEADLINE REVIEW OF The Cher Show

    ‘The Cher Show’ Review: Powerhouse Performances, Skimpy Story – Broadway

    Greg Evans

    December 3, 2018: Believing in life after love turns out to be a surer bet than pinning your hopes on jukebox musicals, no matter how fabulous the subject. The Cher Show, opening tonight at Broadway’s Neil Simon Theatre, might not disappoint anyone likely to applaud a Bob Mackie-designed Oscar gown, but neither does it do any boundary-pushing. So very un-Cher.

    With a pedigree promising much, much more – book by Rick Elice (Peter and the Starcatcher, Jersey Boys), direction by Jason Moore (Avenue Q), costumes by Mackie and the involvement of the diva herself as producer – The Cher Show doesn’t budge outside lines already drawn for other mediocre bio-musicals, dragging Cher where Donna Summer, Gloria Estefan and even Janis Joplin have already been. The lack of creative ambition and innovation is dispiriting, especially when Jersey Boys, Beautiful and Lazarus have already proven these things needn’t be dreadful.

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  • VARIETY REVIEW OF The Cher Show

    Broadway Review: ‘The Cher Show’

    Frank Rizzo

    December 3, 2018: Choosing to recreate the spirit of the television variety shows that Sonny and Cher — and then Cher sans Sonny — headlined in the ‘70s is a choice that lands as flat as the jokes in Broadway’s latest jukebox bio, “The Cher Show.” Its attempt to celebrate the resilience of its “bad-ass” star and her half-century career of highs and lows rarely rises above that TV series’ taste for cliches, corn and cheese. Despite an icon with attitude, an armful of pop tunes and a can-do cast, the script never quite finds a satisfying style — or a genuine heart — as a winning stage musical. As Cher might say: Broadway’s a bitch.

    You know a show’s in trouble when the moments that elicit the biggest applause of the night don’t even feature its title character. There’s a mini-fashion show featuring over-the-top outfits by original Cher designer Bob Mackie — who created the costumes for the musical — that’s a stunner of shameless excess. There’s also a dazzling number choreographed by Christopher Gattelli featuring a knockout dancer (Ashley Blair Fitzgerald) representing “The Dark Lady” of one of Cher’s songs.

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  • HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW OF The Cher Show

    'The Cher Show': Theater Review

    David Rooney

    December 3, 2018: Her characteristic sleepy-eyed drollery is all over The Cher Show, not least in the delectable star turn of Stephanie J. Block, one of three performers playing the Goddess of the Eternal Farewell Tour at various ages.

    That triplicate device was used less effectively last season in the woeful Summer: The Donna Summer Show, which paid tribute to another gay icon, albeit one less comfortable with that status and less endowed in the sense-of-humor department.

    The major difference here is that the diva trio — identified, in descending order of age and worldliness, as Star (Block), Lady (Teal Wicks) and Babe (Micaela Diamond) — interact far more extensively. So we get Cher at three distinct points in her evolution, cracking wise and offering cautionary advice, encouragement and consolation through her ups and downs. That quasi-interior dialogue is often quite affecting.

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  • THE GUARDIAN REVIEW OF The Cher Show

    The Cher Show review – Broadway musical is a mixed bag of pop excess

    Alexis Soloski

    December 3, 2018: Cher’s fandom is assured. The exuberant, occasionally tacky jukebox musical that tells her life story is more faltering. The Cher Show, like last year’s Donna Summer musical, requires three actors (and the occasional dancer) to play one jukebox queen. Micaela Diamond is Babe, Teal Wicks is Lady, Stephanie J Block is Star. (That trio sounds cheerier than Maiden, Mother, Crone.) Together they describe the evolution of Cherilyn Sarkisian from southern California ugly duckling to the black swan entertainment queen. This is a straightforward story of female empowerment, though, as crafted by an all-male creative team, it sometimes feels more like a compilation of girl-power pep talks than an individual woman’s singular journey.

    Do you believe in life after love is a fine question, but do you believe in jukebox musicals is probably a better one. The producers Flody Suarez and Jeffrey Seller obviously do, but belief is not enough. Mashing song and story together is the great problem of the genre. The Cher Show doesn’t solve it. Rick Elice’s book relies heavily on exposition, with Block often stepping out to narrate key moments or to summon her other selves for a consultation.

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