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Vegas - 2017 - Issue 2 - Late Spring - Cher

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You'd only sung "I Got You Babe" on the road once, and now with Sonny on a huge screen, you're singing it together again. What prompted you to bring it back? Well, a couple of things. I figured this is probably going to be the last time, no matter what I'm thinking, and I was thinking that he would just love that. I didn't think I could do it before. I didn't think I'd actually get through it. And then when we were in rehearsal, just to see if I could get through it, I really enjoyed it. When he died, everything changed. When he was alive, we could fight or do whatever we wanted to, but then all of a sudden he was gone, and it was a big loss—a huge loss. Our marriage was the least important thing that we did together. Was it a revelation when you realized you could get through it? And maybe even have fun with it? Yeah. It was the having fun with it that really changed things. Every night when I do it, I see him and it's different. Warm. We had rough times, but every time I see him and we're singing together, I like it. Look, we always had a good time working together. That's just what Sonny and Cher was. If he came back today, we'd be able to pick up and do the same thing that we did before. Once we were in rehearsal and I realized that it wasn't scary, and it didn't make me feel bad, or make me feel sad, I was kind of thrilled because it added some- thing new, and it added something new for me, and it was fun to see him. There's a clip in the show of you accepting your Oscar, where you said, "I'd never been accepted. I'd succeeded at everything I ever tried but I'd never been part of the group." But you're Cher! Is it important to be accepted? It's not very important to me now, but it was in the beginning. Because you want to be accepted by your peers, except I didn't have any peers. There was no one welcoming me with open arms, so finally it took me a while to not care. There was always a point in my career, and that never stopped, that I was going to do what I wanted. But I was always going to be terrified to do what I wanted. And so I wanted to do it, and I was afraid, but not afraid enough to not do it. Have the best moments of your career been the ones people would expect? I think that most of the time that's true, but it's not true all the time. I did a play on Broadway and it wasn't a huge success, [Ed Graczyk's Come Back to the 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, in 1982, directed by Robert Altman, a role she later reprised on screen]. But for me it was a milestone, and I got Silkwood from it. And I would have enjoyed it if I hadn't gotten anything from it because it was just for me exciting and fun and unusual. It was an unbelievable amount of free- dom and I loved acting. Sometimes things just come to you and they might not look like what you're expecting but something makes it special and amazing to you. It feels like there's a lesson in there… Well, for sure that was a freak. Because I was going to do an audition and then my mother thought I was someplace else and she called Bob Altman and they knew each other. And he said, "What's Cher doing this year?" and my mom said, "She's doing this that and the other," and he called me and he said, "I'm going to send you a script," and that was the Broadway play. And it was something that opened a door for me that was a whole new chapter of my life and I loved it. Do you love acting for the same reasons you like performing onstage? It's different. It's much different. I always say this but I always mean it. Singing is like going to a party at someone else's house and acting is like throwing the party at your own house. Do you have a favorite part of your show? And a favorite costume? "Burlesque" I like the most. It's just so much fun and it's kind of new… like a little baby play. And I love the songs—and it's choreographed so well. I just really enjoy it. I think the gold dress is really beautiful [worn with a blond wig and a gold halo in "After All"]. I'm singing in the boat. I enjoy the costume-wearing, too. It's fun to make a storyline that isn't just music. It's just like an extra part of performance. It's not like in a film where you put your work clothes on and it gives you an insight into the character that you wouldn't otherwise have maybe, but the costumes are kind of like the cherry on the top. You've just added 18 shows to your mini-resi- dency. If you were just trying this on for size, it seems to fit. This is more fun than my other experiences because I like this venue so much. It makes me feel happy and excited. It's a concert venue, so people are able to get up and dance around and be unre- strained. It makes me feel good. I want to see people having fun—it's my only purpose for being there. I like that so much. I feel just really free. . DRESSER CONFESSOR Cher's longtime friend and costume designer Bob Mackie weighs in. You've been working with Cher for a long time. Yes, 50 years…terrifying! And we were full-blown adults when we met. Do you have a favorite costume for this show? I don't have a favorite. Some of the looks go back to the beginning, like the headdress ["Half Breed"], and the bellbot- toms ["I Got You Babe"]. The costume she wears for "Woman's World" is exciting—it's all turquoise with a big afro, and that's a whole new costume. And when she comes out on the boat [for "After All,"] she's like a religious icon. She falls into all these ethnic groups so beautifully—African, Indian, Middle Eastern. You never lose her in a costume. When we first started work- ing together, the ideal was the turned-up nose, squeaky-clean blue-eyed girl, and yet there were millions of girls who had olive skin and a bigger nose. Cher gave them the freedom to be who they are. It's been said that there are dozens of major fashion moments that wouldn't have happened without your collabora- tion with Cher—like the Met Gala dress that Kim Kardashian wore in 2015 inspired by a dress you made for Cher in 1974. In the beginning, she was the only one who [dressed up]. The pop music stars thought it was cool to wear T-shirts—whatever you showed up in. Cher loved getting dressed. Then Madonna, and now Gaga, Pink, J Lo, Britney: Every time they change a song they change their clothes. That Met dress—Cher wore it to the Met Gala in 1974, and I was her date, and the place went crazy. Then, people just wore nice clothes, and now it looks like a costume ball. [Kardashian] didn't look like Cher. What are your favorite memories of working with Cher through the years? The woman is still the girl she was years ago. Nowadays, she has a little more of an opinion. When she wanted that mohawk for the Academy Awards, she was mad at the Academy because she hadn't been nomi- nated for Mask. "Don't you think it's a little overkill?" I asked. "No, it'll be fi ne," she said. And that picture has shown up every year since 1986. VEGASMAGAZINE.COM 79

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