Review + photos: Cher turns back time, is a classic diva in ‘Classic Cher’ at Park Theater

Let’s run the check list: Fabulous fashions. You got it! Glamor and glitz. You got it! Hit singles and disco blockbusters. You got it! A mechanical elephant. You got it! A silver-sequined gondola that “sails” from one side of the stage to the other. You got it! And spinning, overhead trapeze acrobatics. You got it!

In fact, nothing was missing from Cher’s premiere of her show “Classic Cher” at the new Park Theater at Monte Carlo on Wednesday night. Maybe just two things: The kitchen sink and Steve Wyrick’s old helicopter parts. Cher put everything else in to dazzle and wow the loyal audience.

There was a touch of Celine Dion’s show at Caesars Palace with the fly-away-opening white drape that later served as a TV screen for a montage of her movie roles and a memorable and emotional look back at Sonny & Cher TV variety shows and duets.

There was a long hint of Britney Spears’ earlier Axis at Planet Hollywood show using a circus backdrop theme. And one couldn’t help but think of Cirque du Soleil with its acrobatic artists spinning on a flying trapeze overhead as Cher sang.

All totally classic, and the sold-out crowd of 5,600 fans lapped it up loving the excitement and Cher’s usual candor. However, I can’t believe that her Q+A with the audience at the top of the show will be included anymore because how many times can one listen to pleading men wanting to marry her or invite her home for dinner? “I don’t do marriage,” snapped a giggling Cher!

But for the Las Vegas schoolteacher who asked the superstar to speak at her school, it could be a dream come true. Cher saluted the teacher and all work of teachers and asked the 25-year-old to leave her contact information to see if a visit to the school might be possible during her residency, which runs through Feb. 25 and when she returns from May 3-20.

The rhinestones, sequins and feathers were spectacular right from the opening “Woman’s World.” Just how tall was that afro wig? Incredible because it didn’t slip an inch while she gyrated with her gladiator dancers.

As Bob Mackie told me in our interview posted here last Sunday and in Sunday Life of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Cher worked her way through 11 costume changes and a glittering pair of sparkly bell-bottoms. The highlight was the amazing black stocking, garter belt, thigh-high boots and chest-mesh outfit that she first wore in her video for “If I Could Turn Back Time.”

Bob told me: “There’s plenty of flesh through the mesh.” Call this a version of leather and little else. No wonder guys less than half her age were asking to marry her or have dinner.

Cher is in top form, and you would never guess that she will be celebrating her 71st birthday May 20. What a party that closing night of her second run will be. She’s overcome health issues that brought her last tour to a halt three years ago. She looks taut, trim and terrific.

Cher joked about her age and Dr Pepper — plus her breasts — during the opening audience chat. But she didn’t get into topical Washington, D.C., happenings or her threat to move to Canada if Donald Trump became president, saying: “I’m not talking about politics here tonight.”

This is an all-hits show — and nothing but the hits. Cher belts out 17 of her chart winners, and everybody was singing along to “Take Me Home” and “I Got You Babe.” Her feathered headdress for “Half Breed” could not have been more stunning.

The off-white bejeweled gown she wore for the finale of “Believe” is so incredible, it’s no wonder that its 75 pounds of glitter had her slowing down at the end. She said that Tuesday night rehearsals had run to 3 a.m., and they ran the show early Wednesday afternoon. “I’m having trouble with my voice, but my heart is all perfect here,” she said to applause.

Here’s her setlist from the premiere show where she used the new electronic video mapping of Park Theater to full effect. It was an explosion of video magic that looked like a Tiesto showcase:

“Woman’s World,” “Strong Enough,” “All or Nothing,” “The Beat Goes On,” “All I Really Want to Do,” “I Got You Babe,” “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves,” “Dark Lady,” “Half Breed,” “Welcome to Burlesque,” “Take Me Home,” “After All,” “Walking in Memphis, “Shoop Shoop Song,” “I Found Someone,” “If I Could Turn Back Time” and “Believe.”

Go turn back time to the glory days of Cher’s hits in this 90-minute-plus spectacle. It’s a wall-to-wall jukebox of hits and the greatest and most outrageous flamboyant fashions you’ve ever seen. Cher owned the stage and the audience. Let her own you — just don’t invite her over for dinner or ask for her hand in marriage.

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