If I could turn back time, I’d rewind to my night at “The Cher Show” for another happy high.
Think I’m kidding? Snap out of it!
Granted, the jukebox musical that opened on Broadway Monday night has some clumsy and dopey dialogue. The story — a 50-50 mix of narration (yawn) and not-quite-skin-deep dramatization — tracing the pop goddess’s personal and professional ups and downs won’t surprise those with even a passing knowledge of Cher. Or access to Wikipedia.
Still, it’s thrilling watching the 72-year-old diva’s rags-to-riches-and-back-again life woven by wall-to-wall hits — “Bang Bang,” “The Beat Goes On,” “Half-Breed” and “Believe,” among them.
Stephanie J. Block gives the season its first must-see star turn as one of the show’s three Chers. She nails the singer’s signature vibrato, twang and distinctive O’s in her vocals, along with her gutsy, glitzy, no-BS attitude.
Teal Wicks and Micaela Diamond are very fine as, respectively, the singer’s middle and youngest alter egos. Even so, that three-women-playing-one-thing is getting old: It was done, though a lot less cleverly, in “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical,” where that singer’s three selves rise up and down from the stage like whack-a-moles.
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.
It’s also a looker, thanks to gleaming sets, dynamic lights and traffic-stopping costumes by Cher’s longtime collaborator Bob Mackie, played here by Michael Berresse.
Since you can’t tell Cher’s story without the other men in — and out of — her life, we also see her personal Svengali, Sonny Bono (Jarrod Spector); second husband, Gregg Allman (Matthew Hydzik); and Rob Camilletti (Michael Campayno), aka “Bagel Boy.” All have a chance to shine, as does Emily Skinner as Georgia Holt, Cher’s tough-talking mom.
The giant sparkly “C” — for Cher, duh! — hangs center stage. “The Cher Show” merits a bright, shiny, bedazzling “B.”
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