Thursday, February 09, 2017

Billboard: Cher Returns to the Concert Stage With Glitz & Hits (But No Politics)

Keith Caulfield, of Legendary US music publication Billboard, reported on Cher's Classic Cher opening night:

Cher returned to the concert stage on Wednesday night (Feb. 8), nearly three years after an illness forced her off the road. Happily, the diva is again healthy and back in fine form.

The Grammy, Emmy and Academy Award-winning superstar launched her Classic Cher show at Park Theater at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, showcasing everything one expects in a Cher spectacle: hit singles, glamorous Bob Mackie-designed outfits, and Cher’s sense of humor. (She joked about her breasts, her age, and her love of Dr. Pepper.)

The 90-minute Classic Cher show plays a series of dates at Park Theater in February and May, as well as at The Theater at MGM National Harbor outside Washington, D.C. in March, August and September. Park Theater opened on Dec. 17, 2016 and has a capacity of anywhere between 2,390 and 6,318, depending on the show. (For Cher’s engagement, along with multi-show dates on the venue’s schedule from Bruno Mars and Ricky Martin, the capacity is between 5,200 and 5,600.)

Below are some highlights from the opening night of the Classic Cher show:

“I’m Not Talking About Politics”
Cher hasn’t been the type of diva to shy away from being outspoken about politics — on Twitter and elsewhere — but at this show, the focus was on the music. “I’m not talking about politics,” she told the crowd during a chatty moment near the beginning of the show, which drew a robust response.

Cher In the Schools
Still, recent political news events ended up getting mentioned: during a Q&A with the audience, a school teacher mentioned the newly appointed U.S. Secretary of Education (but not by name), before asking Cher if she would come and speak to her school. Cher first saluted the woman and all the work that teachers do, and then asked the woman to leave her contact information with representatives at the show to see if a school visit might be possible.

That Bob Mackie Magic
Legendary costume designer Bob Mackie has teamed up again with Cher for the Classic Cher run, and it’s a delight to see Cher strutting the stage in Mackie’s marvelous creations. Eight-time Emmy Award winner Mackie wasn’t able to work with Cher on her last tour, in 2014, so this is a reunion for the dynamic duo, who have been near-constant collaborators since the late 1960s.

Sequins, Rhinestones and Feathers, Oh My!
A Cher show is not just a concert, but an over-the-top fashion show. She opens the production singing “Woman’s World” in a glittery disco-goes-Egyptian gown, complete with a sky-high afro wig. (She’s backed up, naturally, by a troop of gladiator dancers.) Cher has 11 full costume changes through the concert, and the ensembles echo gowns Cher has previously worn on stage (after all, this is the Classic Cher show). Of course, a version of the famed leather-and-little-else outfit seen in her “If I Could Turn Back Time” music video brought down the house, while her glitzy “Half-Breed” feathered headdress was also a stunner. For the show’s finale of “Believe,” Cher donned a dazzling off-white bejeweled dress that weighs a whopping 75 lbs.

Hits, Hits and Nothing But the Hits
If you see Cher during her Classic Cher run, you’ll be treated to a nothing-but-the-hits revue – from top 10-charting Billboard Hot 100 singles like “I Got You Babe” and “Believe” to “If I Could Turn Back Time” and “Take Me Home.” While it would have been fun to showcase lesser known tunes, or even a new track, the show is seemingly designed with the widest audience in mind – thus, it has a hits-packed setlist.  

Cher’s Setlist for the Opening Night of her Classic Cher Show on Feb. 8, 2017:
Woman’s World
Strong Enough
All or Nothing
The Beat Goes On
All I Really Want to Do
I Got You Babe
​Gypsys, Tramps and Thieves
Dark Lady
Welcome to Burlesque
Take Me Home
After All
Walking In Memphis
The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss)
I Found Someone
If I Could Turn Back Time

READ MORE: 'Classic Cher' Opening Night! Costumes & Set-List Revealed!

READ MORE: A Look At Songs Written By Cher


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