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The Reviews Are In: 'The Cher Show' on Broadway

Category Broadway

|by Amy Sapp |

Here's what critics thought of Cher's flashy new bio-musical

The Cher Show has officially opened at the Neil Simon Theatre. Starring the likes of Tony nominee Stephanie J. Block (Falsettos), Teal Wicks (Wicked), newcomer Micaela Diamond, Tony nominee Jarrod Spector (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical) and Tony nominee Emily Skinner (Side Show), this musical was met with both praise and critique from its theatrical reviewers.

Read on for highlights from 10 critics’ reviews of The Cher Show on Broadway.

Stephanie J. Block stars in ‘The Cher Show’ (Photo: Joan Marcus)

Stephanie J. Block stars in ‘The Cher Show’ (Photo: Joan Marcus)

The New York Times
“…It’s only with Star – the ‘bad-ass,’ mature Cher – that we get a character who rewards our attention. She also rewards the efforts of the fine singing actress Stephanie J. Block…Not only does she ace Cher’s vocal inflections and physical mannerisms, including the half-mast eyes, the arm akimbo and the dancing-from-the-hair-up hauteur, but she somehow integrates them into a portrait of a woman at odds with the very dream that sustained her.’”

Time Out New York
“…It can’t be said that The Cher Show doesn’t provide what it promises: Cher, Cher and more Cher. The costumes, by the the star’s real-life coutourier Bob Mackie (who is also a character in the show, played affably by Michael Berresse), are simply sensational…The sexy chorus of 14 struts shameless, especially in the second-act showstopper ‘Dark Lady’ (choreographed by Christopher Gattelli and featuring Ashley Blair Fitzgerald as a fourth, dream-ballet Cher, literally tossed among various muscular suitors). Like Cher herself, the musical has the virtue of never seeming to take itself too seriously.”

The New York Post
“If I could turn back time, I’d rewind to my night at The Cher Show for another happy high…Book writer Rick Elice (Jersey Boys) gives us a wry, winking, tongue-in-cheek telling, keeping the vibe light…Between director Jason Moore’s flashy, fleshy, fluid staging and choreographer Christopher Gattelli’s high-energy and ridiculously sexy dances – wait till you see the steamy ‘Dark Lady’ – the production is light on its feet, too.”

“Keeping the show afloat are the strength of its combined Chers, who each give us just enough of the low vocal treble to evoke the star while hanging on to her own individuality. Diamond highlights the freshness, excitement and naiveté of youth; Wicks, the deadpan humor and personal conflicts of mid-career Cher. Broadway veteran Block showcases seasoned assuredness and chops as the older, wiser Cher, who finally becomes a woman who finds the courage to live up to her empowering persona.”

The Hollywood Reporter
"Director Jason Moore's production, which breaks new frontiers on Broadway for bare midriffs, underboobs, wigs and paillettes, unashamedly embraces its abundance of trashy-flashy, tacky vintage-Vegas kitsch. But it's also slyly fabulous and imbued with a plucky feminist spirit that's quite stirring, basically recounting the story of how the innately shy Cherilyn Sarkisian stopped letting men tell her what to do and found the strength to run her own show.”

The Guardian
“Though there are three Chers, it’s clear from the opening number that Block, with her tigress contralto and comic authority, is the goddess of this particular trinity. Diamond is sweet and Wicks is sharp and they’re fine singers both, but their roles are secondary – inevitable if you imagine the singer’s life as a teleological gallop toward self-actualization. So this holiday season, Cher the love. Cher the joy. Cher the clumsy storytelling. A couple of Cher-tinis and you might believe, too.”

Entertainment Weekly
“The therapeutic way these three ages of Cher interact with one another – girlish hopes meeting a veteran’s hindsight – has more in common with another show from last season, Three Tall Women, if the play about a woman’s trifurcated life were written by spiritual guru Marianne Williamson instead of Edward Albee.”

The Wrap
“…the real star of The Cher Show is (Stephanie J.) Block, who may be the best impersonator the Broadway stage has seen in recent memory. She even manages to exude genuine maternal warmth in her sage advice to the two younger Chers without ever losing any sass or swagger.”

Rolling Stone
“We have shy 16-year-old Cherilyn Sarkisian; grown-up ‘goddess warrior’ Cher; Sonny’s Cher; maneater Cher; victim Cher; and when all else fails, we always have don’t-give-a-f**k Cher. And to accessorize all that, there’s a plethora of wigs, wings, sequins, sailors, glitter, feathers, gypsies, lace and g-strings…‘Let’s do this, bitches,’ one Cher begins but, as another Cher wisely warns, ‘Don’t try this at home, queens.’ The tao of Cher runneth over.”

New York Daily News
“In Jersey Boys, Frankie Valli was always running as fast as he could, ‘trying to get home.’ So what was Cher's deal? The answer – as delivered by Stephanie J. Block, the fearless leader of a trifecta of Chers in this new biographical musical penned by Rick Elice, directed by Jason Moore and choreographed by Christopher Gattelli – is disarming in its simplicity.”

For more of the best of Broadway, check out our list of the Top Shows in New York in December 2018

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