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The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

‘The Cher Show’ hits the Stanley Theatre stage this week

Photo courtesy of Donna Fiegel, PR Marketing Director of The Cher Show.

Do you believe in life after love? You just might after seeing The Cher Show, a Broadway musical that depicts the life of pop culture icon Cher and spans six decades of hit songs, two whirlwind romances and enough sequins for a lifetime. The show is on its first national tour and will make a stop at Utica’s historic Stanley Theatre on Tuesday, February 27 and Wednesday, February 28.

The Tony Award-winning jukebox musical tells the life and lore of Cher at various stages of her legendary career, from her early days to achieving global icon status. Some people believe there can never be enough Cher, and fortunately for them, The Cher Show has not one but three women portraying the icon. Each performer represents a particular era of her career: “Babe” for Cher in the 1950s and 60s, “Lady” for the 70s, and “Star” for the 80s and 90s, played by Ella Perez, Catherine Ariale, and Morgan Scott, respectively.

When asked the question of why they pursued The Cher Show, both Scott and Ariale rebut with an enthusiastic “Why not?” Both actresses noted the excitement of playing such a lively, passionate figure as Cher, and how their love of the singer has only multiplied since having the opportunity to play her.

According to Scott, “an entire Broadway show dedicated to the singer makes complete sense for Cher” as the only individual, man or woman, “to have a number-one Billboard hit every decade for seven decades…she deserves to have a lifetime of dedications and honors to acknowledge what she has given the world for all this time.”

Ariale agreed. “She deserves a Broadway show dedicated to her and then some!”

For Scott, the chance to play Cher has been a long time coming. Prior to landing the part, the actress used to sing Cher’s hits as a wedding event singer.

“The second I saw the opportunity to actually be her in a show, I knew I had to go for it,” Scott said.

Scott, however, revealed she didn’t always have the guts and conviction it takes to embody someone like Cher.

“I was very shy growing up and would only sing alone in my room along with the radio,” she said.

According to Scott, breaking out of the shell of timidity is the most rewarding part of performing. “For me, it’s proving to myself what I am capable of. Imposter syndrome is a real thing and conquering that fear, that doubt, is rewarding every time.”

There’s no doubt that playing someone as gutsy and boundary-pushing as Cher can inspire confidence, and it happens to be Ariale’s favorite part of being in the show. “I think taking on Cher’s essence has given me some more confidence to take up space in my day to day life,” Ariale said. “It has been a gift to play someone with so much agency. I’m learning a lot from her story.”

Like Scott, Ariale’s confidence to pursue a career as a performer took time to cultivate. While she “grew up listening to musicals” and “loved the genre from an early beginning,” she “never seriously thought about pursuing a career in it until high school.”

“My theater teacher pulled me aside one day and told me I was good enough to do this as a living and my mind was truly blown,” the actress said. “My plan was to become a teacher! Once I heard him say those words and give me that confidence, I was all in. I got into Pace University’s BFA Musical Theatre program and did my training there. The rest is history!”

The Cher Show is a six-decade journey of the singer’s stardom and includes people who impacted Cher’s life, such as Sonny Bono, her husband from 1964 to 1975 and the other half of the pop duo Sonny & Cher. Other figures like her second husband, Rock musician Greg Allman, and longtime friend, Lucille Ball, make appearances and help build the song-filled story.

The musical features 35 of Cher’s biggest hit songs like “I Got You Babe,” “Little Man,” “All I Ever Need Is You” and “Believe.” Ariale says it’s “so hard to pick” a favorite tune from the show, considering that Cher’s extensive discography is filled with endless “bops.”

Both leading women point to “Song for the Lonely,” the last tune of act one, as their favorite. “It comes at a point in the story where my character, Lady, is at a decision crossroad,” Ariale said. “She is faced with the choice of leaving Sonny, and her younger and older versions of herself come together and all three sing to one another and bring some comfort and uplifting energy. It always gives me chills and makes me feel so empowered.”

The musical separates itself from others in that it has a distinctly feminist perspective, delivering messages of female empowerment to its audiences with every line. The Cher Show conveys how Cher was able to maintain relevance beyond the typical life expectancy prescribed for women in Hollywood. “I think we try our very best to capture her superstar essence,” says Ariale, who admits that it’s something “only Cher herself is truly capable of.”

Cher’s aura has compelled audiences for decades because of her sheer daringness. She was one of the first women to show their bare stomachs on TV, got tattoos before it was cool, and in 1973 released a song embracing her Native American heritage called “Half-Breed.”

“Not only is this show about a fiercely strong woman, but it was directed and choreographed by women and Cher is portrayed by three women,” says Scott. “It is not just a jukebox musical, but a story that speaks to the strength and independence women can now have.”

Watching the musical inspired by the icon’s highs and lows is bound to inspire, excite, and move its audiences deeply. Ariale promises those who attend an “incredible night at the theater.”

“The costumes, the nostalgia, the humor, and the music are all so unforgettable,” says Ariale. “It makes for a perfect evening. You will learn a few things, want to stand up and dance, laugh a lot, and may even shed a tear!”

The Cher Show will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 27 and 28 at the Stanley Theatre in Utica. Tickets are available for purchase on

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Selma Dizdarevic
Selma Dizdarevic, News Editor

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