I Got You Babe, ‘The Cher Show’ in Miami

Another hit jukebox musical is currently on at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami with the arrival of The Cher Show, running from January 2nd through the 7th. Cher, the icon, has become an iconic musical, packed with your favorite songs to hum along to. The singer’s entire life was displayed on stage throughout the course of the performance, and it’s quite the presentation; it’s amazing.

In fact the entire night was something I can’t forget. The Arsht recently opened Teatro, a restaurant on the upper levels of the Ziff Ballet Opera House owned by Constellation Culinary Group. Only open a few hours before select shows, the menus take the form of a curtain opening and closing. Their menu has an Italian/Spanish flare and exists primarily as a prix-fixe, while rotating specials for the select shows for which they are open. The diner has an option of an appetizer and an entree, or an entree and a dessert. The cioppino and the lamb osso buco were particularly good.

As a fairly new musical, first premiering on Broadway in 2018, The Cher Show does something a little differently than the other jukebox musicals I’ve seen. The titular character, Cher, is split into three actresses, all different ages in order to encapsulate all the parts of Cher’s life, and they’re named Babe (Ella Perez), Lady (Catherine Ariale), and Star (Morgan Scott). The Chers would swap out when convenient, tapping into a visual element I hadn’t anticipated, almost like a freeze-frame or a rewind. It was unique, and I rather enjoyed the fresh feel of that rotation.

Catherine Ariale as Lady-Morgan Scott as Star-Ella Perez as Babe-and the cast of THE CHER SHOW –       Photo by Meredith Mashburn Photography

The setting of this production didn’t have much of a concrete feeling to when and where the scenes took place, but it made up for that decision with giant LED screens that played hypnotic graphics and staging effects. Later, a giant CHER would drop down to further highlight her love for extravagance and being her own person. As someone who usually dislikes the lack of grounding in productions, this one didn’t need it, as I felt grounded with the performances and growth of the Chers. Perez felt as good as Ariale and she felt as good as Scott.

The supporting cast alongside Cher held their own next to the icon, especially that of Lorenzo Pugliese’s Sonny Bobo. His voice and appearance were strikingly similar, an almost uncanny reproduction of the image. This is also true for Bob Mackie (Tyler Pirrung) and Gregg Allman (Mike Bindeman). I haven’t been able to get “I Got You Babe” out of my head since.

Speaking of songs, the hits felt just as big and with all the pomp you would expect from a production all about the queen of outfits. Opening with “If I Could Turn Back Time,” all three Chers joined together by singing this in a trio, only to end the song by saying, “But, wait. We can.” Thus, the musical begins. Cher’s Grammy-winning song “Believe” also featured all three of the actresses. The entirety contains a whopping 35 songs and, believe or not, over 2,000 costume pieces.

With The Cher Show, there is not much room for critique, especially when the person who it is dedicated to is so well-loved and respected and still living. Perhaps this is why, as much fun as I had, I didn’t think it was perfect or the best thing I had ever seen. It represents Cher in almost holy light, presenting almost no bad qualities about the person to the audience. People love Cher, I get, and she might be this incredible, almost flawless person, but I believe there is a humanistic side that was missing from the production.

Don’t miss it! Believe, and grab your tickets here to the Tony-winning musical here.

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