Sigmund Freud and ghost emojis? It must be the arrival of Cher: the musical

Rebecca Nicholson


A stage version of the singer’s six decades in showbiz is heading for Broadway. We’ll be in the front row.

In these dark times, we must believe: there is one woman who can always be relied on to provide 140 characters of sweet relief. One woman whose political commentary is more vivid and rousing than all the CNN, MSNBC and Fox anchors combined. And as if coming to the rescue of the world when it most needs it, the great @Cher has announced that there will be even more of her around, in the form of a musical of her life story. There are unconfirmed reports of implosions on the set of this season’s RuPaul’s Drag Race finale.

At the start of the year, after a low-key read-through, Cher expressed her excitement levels as stars emoji, starry heart emoji, stars emoji, birthday cake emoji. But we know now that Cher: The Musical will officially be coming to Broadway in 2018 and, as is right and just for a pop legend of this stature, it has been put together by the premier league of musical theatre: it will be directed by Jason Moore (Avenue Q), produced by Jeffrey Seller and Flody Suarez (Hamilton), with a book by Rick Elice (Jersey Boys).

So far, all we know is that there will be a lot of Cher hits involved, that the three stages of Cher’s life will be represented by three different characters – Babe, Lady and Star – and that, somehow, Sigmund Freud appears. Presumably he will have a more significant role than when she last tweeted about him, all in caps, which was to say, when asked about Trump, that “Freud couldnt untangle basket of [two snake emojis] that is [chicken drumstick, toilet, french fries, double exclamation mark, toilet]s insane racist, bigot, misogynist, pathological liar, malignant sociopath, vlad [boy] toy”. She has since shortened Trump to the toilet emoji alone, or occasionally a rat, although this week she has also called him #AssholeInChief, “this mammoth ass mofo” and a “Saudi bitch”. Sadly, dedicated students of Cher’s online linguistic evolution will notice that she has all but retired the ghost emoji, once a cheerful favourite, presumably consigned to the scrapheap until the heaviness of the current political climate begins to lift.

If this angry activist stage of Cher’s life does not make it into the musical, then LiS will grieve for a missed opportunity. Babe, Lady, Star … President? At a time when opening Twitter is, for almost every user with an opinion who is not a troll, like walking into a Cradle of Filth concert wearing a Little Mix T-shirt, the fact that Cher’s ceaseless outrage is also joyfully upbeat is a tonic. Every emoji-strewn tweet is a defiant shrug befitting someone who has been in showbiz for six decades and does not give a toss what you think.

Imagine the sheer thrill of this on stage: an actor in a toilet emoji costume dancing furiously with the double exclamation marks, while Cher/Star belts out The Star-Spangled Banner, in the leotard from the If I Could Turn Back Time video. LiS would be in the front row for the entirety of the run, which would, of course, never, ever end.

Two more suggestions for the writers of this project. When LiS met Cher for the greatest 40 minutes of its life, she told it that she was living in London and watching GMTV when she came up with the idea of using a vocoder for Believe, which means that it is very likely that Lorraine Kelly, Eamonn Holmes or Fiona Phillips have earned their right to a role in this great venture.

LiS also asked her to clarify a long-rumoured story about Salvador Dalí and the gift of a vibrator. “Whoooo?” she cooed, before remembering the 70s. “Oh, SALVADOR!” It turned out that the great surrealist had not given her the vibrator, but that she had discovered it under a chair cushion, having turned up at his house for dinner in the aftermath of an orgy. If that isn’t the stuff of box office gold, then Broadway audiences are toilet emoji, broken heart emoji. Double exclamation mark.



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