25 Thoughts I Had While Revisiting Cher’s One-Woman West Side Story Video
October 5th, 2018
by Josh Ferri
Next month, Oscar, Emmy, & Grammy winner and all around icon Cher makes her Broadway musical debut as the producer of the biographical new spectacle The Cher Show, starring Stephanie J. Block, Teal Wicks, and newcomer Micaela Diamond as Cher. In honor of Broadway’s new bio-musical (and the fact that we have a limited-time discount for you to see it), we’d like to spend this Friday revisiting Cher’s one-woman, 13-minute West Side Story medley from her 1978 TV special.
1. Me, reenacting fights from Real Housewives or Drag Race. But seriously, didn’t we all do one-person versions of musical cast recordings in our bedrooms growing up?
2. Right from the jump, Cher is having trouble with this lighter—which if it was live theatre, sure, but this is edited to hell and yet they kept that take.
3. This is the most motley crew of Jets I’ve ever seen. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a West Side Story where I didn’t want to hook up with at least one or two of Jets. The one with glasses on the far right is such a Herb, how would he be in a gang?
4. 1:21—I did have a huge smile thinking about what it must have been like to film this with Cher. She sounds fab. on those solo lines—Queen never lets you down with those vocals.
5. I’m not even gonna front like I don’t think her “Something’s Coming” sounds great. (But then again, I’ve had the ABBA album on repeat for a week so.) The ooos in shows and rose do sound like Jack impersonating Cher on Will & Grace.
6. 3:06—Yas, finally a Maria moment! I have some reservations about her trying for the soprano moments—just do what you do best. Also I was legit nervous, she was going to be all the friends in the dress shop for “What mirror? Where”.
7. 4:01—Gee, we just jumped right into "The Quintet". Not evening a warning, not even a “Dance at the Gym” or a “Maria” or “Tonight” or anything…
8. The Bernardo is problematic but I’m glad they kept the cuffs from the film.
9. There is absolutely nothing menacing about this Bernardo/Riff sing off at 4:40. Where’s Anita?!
10. It took five whole minutes but Cher is finally in the West Side Story role she is most appropriate for, Anita. I have high hopes.
11. It’s a little Cynthia Bailey in the bath during RHOA, but she sounds fierce as hell, and I just realized she hasn’t sung or danced “America” yet, so that better be coming up.
12. 5:18—Cher starts her “Tonight” and she is serving it. That “I’ll see my love tonight and for us stars will stop where they are” is everything. I want it as my ringback tone.
13. Oy, and she mucked it all up by bringing back the Maria. She’s acting it though and the “bright” gave hints of Cher.
14. Your favorite would never—could never.
15. 7:20—OMG, we’re at “A Boy Like That”! A glimpse of a dead body and right into it. I’m so excited for her Anita right now, but so nervous for her doing “I Have a Love” in that Maria head voice.
16. Why the big orange divider? If you are doing the movie or the show or a high school cabaret, these two women are decidedly at the same place at the same time speaking with each other.
17. 7:46—“A boy who kills cannot love…” section is enough for me to give her the Tony and complete her EGOT. That is lit. It’s exactly what you want for your Cher Anita.
18. Speaking of EGOT, what happened to Cher playing Mame?
19. Ok, I feel bad talking smack about “I Have a Love”. Cher does a very nice job on it actually. She’s acting, it’s beautifully sung, moving. By far, the best Maria section she’s had so far.
20. This lip-sync could use some work. Chad Michaels would not approve.
21. 10:40—Just at the moment I thought, where do they go from here with still 2 minutes left and all the big songs gone? Then comes a shadow Cher rumble in flashback.
22. God, I hope she sticks in “Cool” and does all the choreo.
23. 11:15—Nope, it’s “Somewhere”. Do you think Cher Tony is dead in Cher Maria’s lap right now or the crop will be tight enough it doesn’t matter?
24. I take it back. “Somewhere” is the best Cher as Maria moment. She is slaying this. I live. Also, giving some flavors of that Oscar-winning acting.
25. Oh damn, it just ends on a zoom. No bows? No shawl over her head exiting as all the Chers carry Tony out? Seriously, it just made me think why hasn’t Cher had a big Bette Midler moment in some huge revival ‘cause clearly she’s got it.