British comedian Ricky Gervais may do well to avoid Las Vegas after his Jan. 16 Golden Globes monologue. He most certainly enraged fans with his joke, “Do you want to go see Cher? No. Why not? Because it’s not 1975.”
Forget Gervais, Cher still makes one hell of an entrance. And judging from her Jan. 12 show (The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, 7:30 p.m., call for dates, $95-250, 1-800-745-3000), many people want to see her.
Floating above the audience in a golden, flashing throne, the diva descended to the stage like a disco angel. And she dressed the part, too, wearing a golden weave of sequins with a headpiece that’d make a Mayan goddess blush. And if a royal entry wasn’t enough of a statement to her ambitions, she launched immediately into a cover of U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”
Then in an immediate reversal, Cher delivered an extended comic monologue. She alternated between self-deprecating attempts to be relatable (mocking her flying throne as an “Evel Knieval deathmobile”) with shameless ego (saying that if she were to fall from the deathmobile onto the audience and die, her death would be breaking news, whereas the dead audience would be less than a footnote). The fit 64-year-old made jokes about her age: “Don’t feel sorry for me because I’m old. I’ve got enough jewels to keep me forever. Then she corrected herself, pointing to her glitter getup. “Sequins, not jewels.”
The show—which was entertaining but not mind-blowing—then rotated between song performance and dance/aerial routines. The best of the three Sonny and Cher montages was a black and white, mod version of “The Beat Goes On.” Cher’s wild costumes—besides her two cross-dressing numbers—were satisfyingly sparkly and revealing. She pranced in a leather jacket, fishnet bodysuit and barely there bottoms for “Turn Back Time.” The song’s video was banned from MTV, and this outfit should’ve been, too. Her comeback chart-topper, “Believe,” was ornamented with celestial white-clad dancers, making it possible to believe that for Cher, there is “life after love.”
It’s been three years since Cher kicked retirement with a 200-show contract with Caesars Palace. And on Feb. 5, it’s all coming to an end. But until then, there’s enough glitz in her production to feel like it’s eternally 1975.