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'The Cher Show' Revs Up in Chicago for Broadway

'The Cher Show' Revs Up in Chicago for Broadway
Cher attends the 'China: Through The Looking Glass' Costume Institute Benefit Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4, 2015, in New York City. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 29 June 2018 01:50 PM

"The Cher Show" revved up in Chicago Thursday night before it makes its way to Broadway in the fall, getting mixed reviews from critics.

The ambitious musical that takes on one of entertainment's most transformative figures played in front of an audience at Chicago's Oriental Theatre on Thursday and will continue through July 15, according to Playbill.

"The Cher Show" will start its Broadway run at the Neil Simon Theatre on Nov. 1 with opening night set for Dec. 3, Playbill noted.

The musical, which the music idol was involved in developing, features Stephanie J. Block, Teal Wicks and Micaela Diamond as Cher in different stages of her career. The come on stage all together at times as the older Cher talks to her young self and visa-versa, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Tribune critic Chris Jones said the musical leans too much on the star's romantic relationships and not enough on her successful transformations to musical icon and Academy Award-winning actress.

"Right now, 'The Cher Show' defines Cher far too much in terms of her relationship with her trio of great loves: Bono (Jarrod Spector), Gregg Allman (Matthew Hydzik) and young Rob Camilletti (Michael Campayno)," Jones wrote.

"… There is just too much time spent on Cher trying to placate these dudes in all their neediness. In the final analysis, Cher survived them all, with the help of her mom, Georgia Holt (the terrific Emily Skinner). We're most interested in how," Jones continued.

Chicago Sun-Times reviewer Mariam Di Nunzio was more forgiving, saying that with more than three dozen of the star's songs heard in either snippets, medley, or in their entirety, fans will not be disappointed, regardless of the script.

"What fun it is to hear 'I Got You Babe,' sung by Sonny (an effective Jarrod Spector) and his adoring young Cher. Or 'Song for the Lonely,' 'If I Could Turn Back Time,' 'The Way of Love,' 'Different Kind of Love Song,' 'Half-Breed,' and 'Take Me Home' served up in a sparkling stage production," Di Nunzio wrote.

"And Christopher Gattelli's choreography is marvelous throughout, with dancer Ashley Blair Fitzgerald receiving a well-deserved ovation for her intricate and physically demanding routine during 'Dark Lady,'" she continued..

Both critics agreed that the costume designs by Bob Mackie were scene-stealers. Mackie has collaborated with Cher for her legendary costume designs dating back to her 1967 appearance on "The Carol Burnett Show," noted Playbill.

"The fun comes courtesy of the dizzying array of Bob Mackie costumes (the real Mackie did them), as 'designed' right before your eyes by Mackie's fictional doppelganger (Michael Berresse)," Jones wrote. "This is a sheer delight, as are the eye-popping, parading gowns, although the ensemble look more comfortable in them than the Chers."

While the trial run is quite long – two hours and 40 minutes – there will be something there for fans connected with all stages of Cher's career, but both critics agree the musical still needs some fine tuning.

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"The Cher Show" revved up in Chicago Thursday night before it makes its way to Broadway in the fall, getting mixed reviews from critics.
cher, broadway, chicago, musical
Friday, 29 June 2018 01:50 PM
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