MGM’s Monte Carlo Resort and Casino is undergoing a gradual rebranding and renovation. And if the Park Theater is a hint of what to expect, then Vegas is in for a great surprise.
During a recent visit in August, I had the chance to see Cher during one of her extended engagements at the new midsize theater. Cher might be 71 years old, but she is in top shape, her voice is pristine and the production quality of the show is at the level of some of Vegas’ most popular productions.
More than once I thought about the Cher show’s similarity to my all-time favorite Vegas production, “The Beatles Love,” the Cirque du Soleil homage to The Fab Four, and “Michael Jackson One,” the Cirque Du Soleil tribute to the King of Pop. Like those two shows, Cher’s performance tells a story about her persona and career, highlighting her early days in Sonny & Cher, her acting resume and her solo achievements. Also like those cirque shows, Cher’s performance wows the crowd with skilled dancers, circus performers, stage effects, screens on all sides, a stage screen and a set (and costume) change for nearly every one to two songs.
But, unlike those shows, Cher’s performance has a secret weapon: the Goddess of Pop herself. What “The Beatles Love” and “Michael Jackson One” depend on — theatrics themed after The Beatles and Jackson, respectively — is merely an enhancement at Cher’s show.
Cher is on fire.
“I did a five-minute plank,” she proudly shared during one of several generous monologues. “What’s your granny doing tonight?”
She was at times sassy and sexy, while other times she revealed a more vulnerable, confessional side — perfectly suited for the 5,200-person venue.
“I thought it would be really hard to do this song,” she said, clad in a long, fringed, black-haired wig and multicolored bell bottoms. The live band began playing “I Got You Babe,” and the face of Sonny Bono, her long-time partner who passed away in 1998, appeared on the stage screen. Cher began to sing, and the crisp video version of Bono sang right back.
The production value was high, but the emotions were real.
When to Go: Cher returns to the Park Theater in November for nine shows. Other performers with extended engagements at the theater include Ricky Martin (this month) and Bruno Mars (December 2017 and February 2018).