Here comes Cher. And Cher. And Cher.
A new musical using Cher’s songs to tell her story — with three actresses playing different aspects of her life — is heading for Broadway.
“The Cher Show” will play first in Chicago, beginning performances June 12 at the Oriental Theater and running for five weeks. It will then transfer to the Neil Simon Theater on Broadway, opening next fall, the producers, Flody Suarez and Jeffrey Seller, said.
“We have been discussing this musical for 10 years,” Cher said in a statement. “It’s exciting and scary.”
The musical has an unusual approach: It will be structured like a variety show, nodding to “The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour,” which helped propel her to celebrity in the 1970s. The show currently features all or part of 35 to 40 of Cher’s best known songs.
“ ‘The Cher Show’ is not linear, and it is entirely psychological — it takes place in her psychological closet, and in that closet is everything she’s ever been in her life, everything she has ever played, every song she’s sung, everyone she’s been married to, every pair of shoes she’s worn, every success and every failure,” said Rick Elice, who is writing the show’s book.
The show is informed by a series of interviews Elice has conducted with Cher. And Cher has been deeply involved in the show’s development, including reading scripts and coming to workshops.
“The Cher Show” is one of many jukebox bio-musicals now in development, including “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical,” also featuring three actresses playing the title role, which is scheduled to run this fall at La Jolla Playhouse in California; “Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of the Temptations,” now playing at Berkeley Repertory Theater in California; and “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical,” which is scheduled to open in London in the spring.
“The Cher Show” has not yet committed to a cast. In addition to the three actresses playing Cher, there will be actors portraying former husbands Sonny Bono and Gregg Allman, and Bob Mackie, her onetime costume designer.
Cher is known for her brazen fashion sense, and that will inform the show’s aesthetic. The producers have not yet named a costume designer, but Suarez said “she’s had such iconic looks, and that will be a big part of the show and a big part of the budget.”
Cher, by the way, has appeared on Broadway: In 1982, she played Sissy in “Come Back to the 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean,” a role she reprised in a film adaptation. She has also won an Oscar for her role in “Moonstruck.”