There have been many jukebox musicals recently: Beautiful – The Carole King musical, Jersey Boys which tells the story of The Four Seasons, and now there is a brand new musical, The Cher Show which illustrates the story of Cher.
The Cher Show
If you’re anything like me (before the show) and know little about Cher, this informative and entertaining new musical is for you! You will discover how she first found fame with Sonny – who became her first husband, her bankruptcy and how she defied the odds to return back to the limelight and the charts again.
Confusingly at first there are three versions of Cher that appear on the stage: the young Cher, Babe (Millie O’Connell), the middle version of Cher, Lady (Danielle Steers) and the Cher who is older and wiser, Star (Debbie Kurup). All three actresses have superb singing voices that do sound uncannily like Cher.
The three versions are ever present during the evening, either in the leading role or there in the background as like ghosts from the present that reflect on the happenings in Cher’s life at any given time.
One of the first songs the audience hears is If I Could Turn Back Time, transporting everyone back to 1952 as the young Cher gets advice from her mum, Georgia (Tori Scott).
In the fast-paced show you were never more than five minutes away from a Cher song. The action quickly moved to London as Cher appears on Top of the Pops with Sonny (Lucas Rush) when they even manage to knock The Beatles off the top of the charts with I Got You Babe.
As their relationship grows from a professional one to a personal one, Sonny shows himself to be the one with the business brains with a manipulative streak, as he owns 95 percent of what becomes Cher Enterprises.
As the years go by there are more marriages, Las Vegas residencies, Academy Awards and ultimately bankruptcy where Cher ends up promoting hair products on a TV commercial to make ends meet.
Catch the show in Yorkshire
Sam Ferriday was impressive as he switched from playing Greg Allman (Cher’s second husband), Phil Spector and John Southall with ease.
Directed by Arlene Phillips with choreography from Oti Mabuse and with stunning costumes by Gabriella Slade that complement and suit the three versions of Cher on stage this is an uplifting and splendid show.
The songs themselves deserve more than a mention, you will be surprised how many hits Cher as had, though no not expect to hear Dead Ringer For Love as that was a duet she sang with Meat Loaf (you will have to see the musical Bat Out Of Hell to hear that one).
Naturally, the evening ended with a medley of her biggest hits, including the one that reignited her career in 1998 – Believe. The audience were out of their seats and the smiling faces said as much as the story that had unfolded on stage.
After the last two years we all need something to cheer us up – The Cher Show is a musical feast that demonstrates what can be accomplished with grit, determination and talent. I loved it, if you are a Cher fan I am sure you will too – Believe me!
Sheffield Lyceum runs until Saturday 14 May
Telephone: 0114 249 6000 www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk
Then touring the country with further dates in Yorkshire:
25–29 October – Bradford Alhambra
15–19 November – York Grand Opera House