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Theater & Dance

Three Versions of Cher Head to the Dallas Arts District This Weekend

The Cher Show actress and singer Morgan Scott talks about what it takes to transform into the pop culture icon as the Tony-winning musical comes to the Winspear.
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The Cher Show features three different Chers from these different points in Cher's life and career including the (left to right) "Lady" Cher played by Catherine Airale, "Star" Cher played by Morgan Scott, and "Babe" Cher played by Ella Perez. Meredith Mashburn Photography

It takes a lot of work to become a convincing Cher. Singer Morgan Scott has been practicing for it her whole life, even if she didn’t realize it until she was older.

“I had seen her in reruns of The Sonny and Cher Show,” Scott says. “I’ve seen her music videos on VH1. I didn’t recognize that was the same person and my sister and I would play it on repeat. We would be singing along to her videos and hearing her on the radio and I thought maybe I have a knack for this.”

Scott is one three singers in the touring production of the Tony-winning musical The Cher Show, which comes to the Winspear Opera House from Thursday through Saturday, December 17.  

She plays the “Star” Cher, one of three versions of the pop star depicted in the musical. Catherine Airale is the “Lady” Cher, referring to her “Dark Lady” period, and Ella Perez is the “Babe” Cher, which ties back to the early mega hit “I Got You Babe” that Cher sang with her late husband and TV co-star Sonny Bono.

The Cher Show is a biographical tale of the singer’s life from her early days on television alongside Sonny to her Oscar winning performance in 1988’s Moonstruck. Cher’s story is told through three different periods of the Oscar-winning actress’ life.

“It’s not just a chronological telling,” Scott says. “What’s beautiful about [the show] is the way they do it. These Chers are always with each other. At the end of the day, my inner child is still part of the Cher I play. The tumultuous relationships, it’s all still part of the Cher I play. It’s all part of the same person.”

The three Chers’ lives intersect in interesting ways that explore what makes the real Cher so versatile and powerful as a performer and personality.

“While she is older and wiser, she can look at the younger Cher and the middle Cher and can say or know what she needs to do,” Scott says. “That’s not to say that my Cher doesn’t have her own fears and things she needs to triumph over. She’s overcome quite a bit in her life. She gets knocked down and got right back up and that’s how all these reinventions occurred.”

Scott says she had plenty of opportunities to practice Cher’s songs before she auditioned for The Cher Show. These experiences went far beyond her younger years when she was trying to learn the icon’s songs from the radio.

“I’ve been a wedding singer for a very long time,” Scott says. “Five years ago, the bandleader put ‘Believe’ on the set list and asked if I would mind taking a crack at doing it as Cher. Sure enough, they got a kick out of it.”

The new challenge was learning how to talk and act in between the songs.

“The challenge certainly was the text and presenting it in a way that I have to imagine Cher would,” Scott says. “That became the truest, most sincere way of presenting it. That’s what I try to do with every person, to be the human being that we all connect with.”

Other challenges are the costume changes. The Cher Show features about 400 outfits designed by Cher’s costume designer Bob Mackie. There’s even a parade of Cher’s iconic outfits that gets “thunderous applause every time.”

“I get to wear so many iconic looks,” Scott says, “stuff that people will certainly recognize.”

Scott also performs a Cher solo with “The Way of Love,” one of the artist’s earliest hits that was originally performed by Johnny Mathis. It was first released in 1972 as the second single of Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves

“It’s not just the most challenging because it’s a vocal thing,” Scott says. “There’s a spotlight and it’s just me on stage and it’s terrifying, but that’s the point. I get to be the most vulnerable during the show and it’s a real challenge and very rewarding.”

There’s also a special moment where the three generations of Cher get to share the stage for a song. She won’t spoil the song, except to say that it represents a point in Cher’s life where she can finally appreciate both her achievements and struggles.

“It’s definitely a moment of triumph and growth and it’s very, very powerful,” Scott says. “Even if you don’t consider yourself a Cher fan, it’s a blast and you learn a ton about her musical history with this and what she’s gone through. You’ll leave pumped, I would say.”

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