The Cher Show

Okee dokee folks… I attended the first night of a three night run of The Cher Show, a jukebox musical about the life and times of Cher, at The Boch Wang Center in Boston.

Growing up with the music of Sonny and Cher, their weekly TV variety show, and having seen them in concert in the ’70s, I felt that this was a must-see.


The Cher Show includes 35 songs, mostly hits by Cher, but a few numbers by others, such as the Allman Brothers are included to propel the story.

The musical covers the first four decades of Cher’s life and career. This production utilizes three Chers known as “Babe,” “Lady,” and “Star” who represent the diva at various stages and ages in her life and career, and sometimes they are on stage all at once interacting and singing with one another.

The show begins with a silhouetted Star singing “If I Could Turn Back Time” which turns into an ensemble number and then continues into what would become the first of many songs sung by the trio of Chers. The “Star Cher” addresses the audience directly, is the main narrator, and turns back time to tell her story.

The “Babe Cher” portrays Cher’s youth and guides the audience through the beginnings of her dream to sing and act, her struggles with her ethnic identity, her dyslexia, and shyness. The song “Half Breed” is performed to emphasize the struggle. An inspirational moment at a movie theater is the catalyst for her dream to begin. Cher’s mother tells Babe, “The song makes you strong.”

Lady takes over soon after meeting Sonny Bono and they transition from Caesar and Cleo to Sonny and Cher and travel to London. “I Got You, Babe” had the audience singing along with the cast. At this point the crowd got excited and lots of audience appreciation permeated the air.

Vegas, The Sonny & Cher Show, marital conflict and more filled the first half. Designer Bob Mackie is represented in character, song, and gowns galore. “Living In A House Divided”, “Bang, Bang” a ballad version of “Believe”, and “Song For The Lonely” bring the end of the first act. The latter two are sung by the trio of Chers and are very powerfully performed. During the show the three Chers are often conferring with one another about decisions to make and those that have already been made but they don’t always agree on.  

Act II picks up in the middle of a Napoleon and Josephine skit on “The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour” where Cher has reached her limit with Sonny. A visit, conversation and duet ”Heart of Stone” with Lucille Ball helps “Lady” go on her own. “Gypsys’ Tramps, and Thieves” announces the newly solo Cher. Soon Greg Allman enters the picture with “Midnight Rambler” and “Ramblin’ Man”. Go down in flames “Just Like Jesse James”  emphasizes a down swing in her chosen path. A duet of “Dark Lady” sung by Allman and Sonny is one of the many highlights of the show.

The story continues with “Baby, Don’t Go”, “Strong Enough”, “When The Money’s Gone”, “The Way Of Love”, “The Beat Goes On/It Don’t Come Easy”, “I Found Someone” and a reprise of “I Got You Babe” which carries things through Sonny’s death, Cher’s movie roles, more ups and down, and her career comeback. A trio performance of “You Haven’t Seen The Last Of Me” was the strongest number of the night.

The show closes with a performance of “Believe” complete with auto-tune effects and a big finale of “”Strong Enough,” “Woman’s World,” “All Or Nothing,” “You Haven’t Seen The Last of Me,” and “Take Me Home”.

The Cher Show is inspiring, empowering, funny, nostalgic and just plain entertaining. The dialogue is clever and well written. Some memorable exchanges include Cher’s mother saying, “Settle down and marry a rich man.” To which Cher replies, “Mother, I am a rich man!” And Allman telling her, “You don’t understand excess” as he encourages her to try drugs to ease her stress to which she snaps back, “Have you seen my costumes?” There are many ensemble dance numbers with amazing and outrageous costumes. The scenery is sparse: lighting and screen projections create the background. The lead actors, Morgan Scott (Star), Catherine Ariale (Lady), and Ella Perez (Babe) were stellar and captured the mannerisms, voice, and look of Cher perfectly. If I had to choose a standout I would say that Ariale as Lady had more shine of the already shining Chers. Lorenzo Pugliese as Sonny Bono nailed the role and had the audience believing in his Sonny from the moment he opened his mouth to speak his first line.

The Boston crowd seemed to average on the younger side which surprised me but it shows the generational bridge Cher has crossed. The audience was energized by the show and couldn’t always contain their enthusiasm. The Cher Show swings through Providence next year, so if you missed it at the Wang, catch it at PPAC!      

That’s it for now. Don’t forget you can listen to my podcasts at: On my latest episode I spoke with Justin Levine who won a Tony Award for his part in Moulin Rouge. You can also find my concert photographs at Thanks for reading and listening.