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Here Comes Cher – Yet Again


By Bruce Chadwick

originally published: 01/22/2024

Here Comes Cher – Yet Again

The singer/actress Cher is – has always been – one of the most beloved entertainers in the world. She has been a show business star for six decades, with a hit record in every one of the decades, the subject of a play, star of several television shows (Sonny and Cher), beloved wife of Sonny Bono and one of the most outrageously dressed women in the world (those headdresses!). Does all of that make her so beloved?

No, according to Gary Paul Bowman, one of the stars of the play The Cher Show that comes to the State Theatre, in New Brunswick, February 9–11, 2024.

“It is all of that, but it is also… She’s a normal person. Everything about her is normal despite her rather wild public appearances. She has joy like we all do, and she hurts, like we all do. Many people have told me they genuinely see all of their own aches and pains in her aches and pains.”

There is another factor involved here, too.

“And it has all been very public. Two much publicized marriages to Sonny Bono and Greg Allman, a cancelled television show. Cher has had her ups and downs. The amazing thing, to me, to all, is that  she keeps on pushing her career. Look at all the music videos she had done (my favorite was ‘Turn Back Time’ on that aircraft carrier with all those sailors and in that navy cap. Wow!). With her, it is always something new, something exciting. This year it is her new Christmas album. Recently it was the Broadway play. It’s always something with her. She never gets tired,” said Bowman.

Here Comes Cher – Yet Again



 
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Bowman, who hails from Voorhees, in Southern New Jersey, became a Cher fan when he was a kid, “My mother! Mom was a huge Cher fan and she would sing her hit songs, such as ‘Believe’ and  ‘I Got You Babe’ constantly around the house, I heard Cher songs all day long, As I became a teenager they were a staple of home life. Naturally, I became a fan.”

He loves Cher for her music but also for herself. “She is a very authentic person, on the air, in real life.  She constantly criticizes herself, lots of self deprecating humor. She’s, well, very normal. Nothing show bizzy about her, She won an Oscar for Moonstruck but you’d never know it,” he said.

Here Comes Cher – Yet Again

Cher starred in several movies, including Burlesque.

So, naturally, Bowman jumped at the chance to star in the touring production about her that will soon be at the State Theatre in New Brunswick. Gary plays several roles, the most prominent being her much younger boyfriend  Rob Camilletti.

He enjoys playing Camilletti because the man had so much to do with her singing career. “I like the character of Rob because he represents that ‘leave me alone’ attitude Cher had about her love life. She and Rob were swamped by writers and photographers in their relationship, and she just did everything she could to chase them away and give the pair a lot of private time,” said Bowman.

And people loved her for her music. “Imagine – a hit song in each of six decades. One year, at the same time, she had five songs in the top twenty. She always had the ability to adapt, to sing the style of songs people wanted, and that always changed. People have always loved her music and they still do today,” said Bowman.

The Cher Show reflects that. ”We try to do production numbers that reflect that, like her hit ‘Turn Back Time,’ that great navy number.”

Here Comes Cher – Yet Again



 
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“I think it’s amazing how loyal her fans have always been – decade after decade. We meet men, women, people of all ages, who have loved her. They have loved her as an actress, too, not just a singer. Look at Moonstruck. She just goes on and on.”

His role as Rob is like that, too, “He symbolizes, to me, the great independence Cher has always maintained. She always did exactly what she wanted to do and always will. I think the show reflects that attitude on her part,” said Bowman.

And………….And she sure can sing!

Performances of The Cher Show at the State Theatre (15 Livingston Avenue) in New Brunswick take place Friday, February 9 at 8:00pm; Saturday, February 10 at 2:00pm & 8:00pm; and Sunday, February 11 at 1:00pm.  Click here for more information or to puchase tickets.



Bruce Chadwick worked for 23 years as an entertainment writer/critic for the New York Daily News. Later, he served as the arts and entertainment critic for the History News Network, a national online weekly magazine. Chadwick holds a Ph. D in History and Cultural Studies from Rutgers University. He has written 31 books on U.S. history and has lectured on history and culture around the world. He is a history professor at New Jersey City University.

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