When you're hot, you're hot, and 2018 has turned out to be the year of Cher. At 72 and as ageless as ever, the global pop superstar and Academy Award-winning actress has racked up more credits and accolades in a single year than perhaps ever before in her half-century in the public eye as an essential part of pop culture's firmament.
Following up one of the most lucrative movie musicals in history was a decidedly dicey proposition, yet the second installment in the MAMMA MIA! franchise proved that lightning can indeed strike twice if all the right elements are in place. Wowing crowds and critics alike, Cher's epic performance of "Fernando" in MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN is already classic, propelling the heartwarming ABBA extravaganza to $400 million thus far at the international box office. Capitalizing on the mega-hit status of the tuner, Cher then released her 26th solo album in September, DANCING QUEEN, featuring 10 brand new recordings of radio staples originally performed by ABBA. Hot on the heels of the film and album's success, Cher then embarked on a world tour that is still ongoing. Playing dozens of dates from Brisbane to Biloxi to Brooklyn, the HERE WE GO AGAIN tour kicked off on September 21 and is currently scheduled to run through May 18, 2019. And, that's not all: Cher is the recipient of a 2018 Kennedy Center Honor, as well, with the star-studded ceremony having taken place last night and a CBS broadcast set to debut later this month.
Nevertheless, the most exciting event of all - at least for theatre enthusiasts - happens tonight: the highly anticipated Broadway opening of THE CHER SHOW. Covering Cher's incomparable career from half of 1960s pop duo Sonny & Cher to ubiquitous TV queen to Oscar-winning movie star and international icon, the jukebox biomusical boasts a plethora of classics including "I Got You Babe", "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)", "Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves", "Half-Breed", "Dark Lady", "If I Could Turn Back Time", "Believe" and "Strong Enough", to name but a few. Penned by JERSEY BOYS scribe Rick Elice and directed by AVENUE Q's Jason Moore, the cast showcases not one, but three guises of Cher, embodied by Stephanie J. Block, Teal Wicks and Micaela Diamond, alongside a company highlighted by Jarrod Spector, Michael Berresse, Michael Campayno, Matthew Hydzik and Emily Skinner.
A new tour, a hit film, a chart-topping album, a Broadway biomusical and a Kennedy Center Honor all in one year proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that audiences around the world definitely still believe in Cher.