After creating some of her most iconic looks over the years, Bob Mackie and Cher are reuniting in a big way, EW can exclusively reveal. The fashion designer and costumer has officially signed on for The Cher Show, the upcoming musical based on the Oscar-winning actress and singer’s life.
With Cher having authorized the production, it’s a fitting reunion for the pair; Mackie has dressed such legends of entertainment as Joan Rivers, Judy Garland, and Carol Burnett, but Cher remains one of his very best-known collaborators. Recently, he created the costumes for her Cher at the Colosseum residency at Las Vegas’ Caesars Palace, which ran from 2008-2011, and her 2017 “Classic Cher” shows. Perhaps most famously, he designed the memorable ensemble Cher wore to the 1986 Oscars.
“On my first day ever fitting her, in breezed the most adorable little spirit,” Mackie tells EW. “All tan with long, shiny black hair, a perfect size four with the most beautifully exotic face that could melt the heart of the most jaded costume designers! She didn’t look remotely like anyone else. America became delighted and fascinated by this charismatic creature called Cher.”
After decades of working together, Mackie hasn’t run out of ideas for how to honor the singer in her musical. “Cher has had a huge recording career with hits in every decade and her own, very unique style to match: Even as a serious actress, she picked up her Oscar looking like no one else,” he explained. “Thirty gazillion outfits later, the lady is about to be immortalized in a musical, for which I am delighted to be designing. Darling, my sketchpad is ready!”
The synopsis for The Cher Show, produced by Flody Suarez (What’s New Pussycat) and Jeffrey Seller (Hamilton), reads as follows: “Based on the life of Cherilyn Sarkisian La Piere Bono Allman or as her friends call her, Cher! The kid on a tricycle, vowing to be famous. The teenage phenom who crashes by twenty. The glam TV star who quits at the top. The would-be actress with an Oscar. The rock goddess with a hundred million records sold. The legend who’s done it all, still scared to walk on stage. The wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend. The woman, looking for love. The ultimate survivor, chasing her dream. They’re all here, dressed to kill, singing their asses off, telling it like it is. And they’re all the star of The Cher Show.”
Mackie has also exclusively shared with EW a stunning sketch, below, of the three costumes which the three Chers will wear in the show.
The show’s creative team will also include Tony-Award winning set designer Christine Jones (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and American Idiot), set designer Brett Banakis (The Glass Menagerie), Tony Award-winning lighting designer Kevin Adams (Hedwig and the Angry Inch and American Idiot), and sound designer Nevin Steinberg (Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen).
Casting has yet to be announced for The Cher Show, which will begin performances at Chicago’s Oriental Theatre on June 12 for a limited engagement through July 15, before heading to Broadway in the fall. Tickets for the Chicago run will be available on March 23 and can be purchased here.