By Karen Carter | Posted on June 21, 2018 9:43 AM
The Cher Show began performances at Chicago’s Oriental Theatre prior to coming to Broadway this fall, with a book by Rick Elice and directed by Jason Moore.
Performance Begin June 12th at Chicago’s Oriental Theatre
On June 12, 2018, previews began for The Cher Show, a Broadway-bound new musical spotlighting the music and life of the icon, Cher. The show is already slated to arrive at Broadway’s Neil Simon Theatre with previews beginning November 1, 2018, ahead of an opening night on December 3, 2018. The show has a book by Rick Elice, who found phenomenal success in penning the script for another “jukebox” musical, Jersey Boys, and his other Broadway writing credits include The Addams Family and Peter and the Starcatcher. The director is Jason Moore, who sprang onto the scene by directing Avenue Q in 2003, and since then has directed the Broadway productions of Steel Magnolias, Shrek the Musical, and Fully Committed. Furthermore, the choreographer is Christopher Gattelli, whose was nominated for two Tonys just his year alone, and whose credits include SpongeBob SquarePants, My Fair Lady, War Paint, and Amazing Grace. These credits give a clue that the approach to The Cher Show is not a straightforward, linear bio-musical. In contrast, the format is in the style of a variety show, with three different actresses portraying Cher at different times in her life, hosting a show about the various encounters she had. While Summer: The Donna Summer Musical also attempting to incorporate the scheme of three actresses portraying one pop star to negative reviews, The Cher Show has a lot else going for it. For one, Cher’s fashion sense is an attraction all to itself, and the costume designer is none other than Bob Mackie, who actually designed Cher’s clothing during a long period of her career. Furthermore, the approach is much more avant-garde than with Summer – not only in terms of the non-linear nature, but also the reinvention of the music. For instance, the autotune hit “Believe” is reinvented as a ballad in The Cher Show, and certain late-career singles such as “Strong Enough” enter into the story early on.
Micaela Diamond, Teal Wicks, and Stephanie J. Block Portray Cher
The three actresses portraying Cher in The Cher Show come from very different backgrounds. Playing Cher in the 60s, referred to as “Baby,” is 18 year-old Micaela Diamond. With no Broadway credits to her name, Diamond, a native of Margate, New Jersey, made a name for herself by appearing in the NBC live musical production of Jesus Christ Superstar this past April. As for the Cher in the 70s, who is referred to as “Lady,” she is portrayed by Teal Wicks, whose Broadway credits include playing Elphaba in Wicked, Emma Carew in Jekyll & Hyde, and Mary Barrie in Finding Neverland. Finally, Cher from the 80s to today, referred to as “Star,” is played by Stephanie J. Block, the two-time Tony Award nominee who originated the role of Elphaba in the touring production of Wicked, and whose Broadway credits include Falsettos, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Anything Goes, 9 to 5, and The Pirate Queen, the last of which also originated at Chicago’s Oriental Theatre. In addition to Cher at different times in her life, many of her beaus are depicted in the show as well. Jarrod Spector plays Sonny Bono, her first husband of the famous “Sonny & Cher” duo, Matthew Hydzik plays Gregg Allman of the classic rock band the Allman Brothers, and Michael Campayno plays Rob Camilletti, her “bagel boy” from the 80s. In any case, The Cher Show promises to deliver further than many of the deluge of bio-musicals hitting the Broadway stage of late. With an unparalleled catalogue of familiar hits, Cher is a captivating presence, and the Chicago tryout will reveal the early response to this daring new jukebox musical.