I travelled to Las Vegas to see Cher. You heard me. Cher. I was first introduced to her music as a child in the 1980s and have always wanted to see her perform. Realising the chances of her coming to Australia were slim, when I discovered she was performing in Las Vegas I felt a 10 day trip was exactly what I needed.
I’d heard stories that no one puts on a better show than Cher so I had fairly high expectations walking into the Monte Carlo Casino. As the lights dimmed a video played, a nostalgic mix of old footage and images from the Sonny and Cher days. Suddenly the singer herself is lowered in a gilded cage from the ceiling and the crowd erupted. I’m not someone who believes in highlighting a woman’s age when it comes to their skills, but damn, Cher is 71 – a fact she has no shame in announcing to the crowd – and she works that stage better than performers half her age.
In a career that spans 6 decades Cher has had 15 number one hits and a total of 33 top ten hits on all Billboard charts combined. She has stared in 13 films, winning two Golden Globes and one Academy Award. Despite all her success, the performer has never truly felt accepted by either the music or the film industry, hilariously recounting stories to the audience of rejection from a film producer on her 40th birthday.
The elaborate sets and multiple costume changes were overwhelming. All her hits were covered – Believe, Gypsies, Trams and Thieves, and of course If I Could Turn Back Time. Not going to lie, when Cher came out in the black body stocking she wore for the 1989 film clip for If I Could Turn Back Time, and started belting out the iconic tune, I teared up a little – this was the moment, the moment I’d travelled so far to experience – and it was epic. Her voice hasn’t diminished in any way in the last 28 years since the song’s first release.
Another highlight was her tribute to Sonny Bono, who tragically died in a skiing accident in 1998, and to whom she was married for six years. Cher stood next to a screen onto which the image of Sonny was projected as he sung his part of their huge 1965 hit I Got You Babe. Clever and touching – it was perfect.
Riding on elephants (mechanical), sailing across the stage in boats, dropping from the ceiling – seeing Cher was as sensational as I had hoped. Not only was she worth travelling half way around the world to see but I’d do it all again – in a heartbeat.
Cher will be performing at Park Theatre, Monte Carlo in Las Vegas on various dates from the 17 January – 19 May, 2018. Tickets can be purchased online.
Writer attended the performance on Friday 24 November, 2017.