THE LIFE FORCE THAT IS CHER, AFTER MORE THAN 60 YEARS OF PERFORMANCE, IS STILL WOWING AUDIENCES AROUND THE WORLD
BY JON DOMENICK
Achieving that rarified distinction of being known globally by a singular name, the woman born Cherilyn Sarkisian in 1946 in El Centro, California, continues to delight and thrill audiences on stage and screens both large and small. After moving to Hollywood at 16, Cher sang backup for The Ronettes (“Be My Baby”) before meeting future husband and singing partner Salvatore “Sonny” Bono in a coffee shop. Sonny and Cher’s climb was as steady as it was meteoric. The pair’s first number-one hit was “I Got You Babe,” which they sang on every television variety show of the era until they got their own— The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour (1971 – 74). First the epitome of bohemian hippy chic, it wasn’t long before Cher’s wardrobe began to sparkle with gowns and other get-ups designed by Bob Mackie, with whom she still works today.
The pair divorced in 1975, with Cher quickly establishing a successful solo career filled with chart-toppers (“Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves,” “Half-Breed”) and roles in movies like Silkwood and Mask, as well as an Oscar winning turn in Moonstruck. In the 1980s, the world of dance club music beckoned, and Cher met the challenge, releasing global dance hits through the 1990s. Next, she conquered Vegas with a series of concerts at Caesar’s Palace from 2008 to 2011, returning to Sin City for another residency in 2017.
The “Goddess of Pop” continues to reinvent herself. Her jukebox musical, The Cher Show, now playing at Broadway’s Neil Simon Theater, is having a successful run following its December premier; bullet points of her life portrayed on stage include her 1975 to 1979 marriage to the late Gregg Allman and the death of Sonny Bono in a 1998 skiing accident.
The indomitable performer is spending 2019 on a world tour—its title coming from her latest film, Momma Mia: Here We Go Again, released in 2018, in which she played Meryl Streep’s character’s mother. For the Here We Go Again Tour, she will spend much of March at the MGM Las Vegas, hitting Philadelphia on April 20 and Brooklyn’s Barclays Center May 2; the night before she performs at Newark’s Prudential Center. Then it’s on to Germany, Denmark, the UK, Sweden, and more before her last scheduled show in Dublin, Ireland in November.