Oti Mabuse and Arlene Phillips to stage Cher musicalon May 21, 2021 at 6:22 am

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The Strictly dancer and ex-judge will stage the musical, which has already been a hit on Broadway.

Oti Mabuse, Cher and Arlene Phillips

image copyrightBBC/EPA/PA

Strictly dancer Oti Mabuse and former judge Arlene Phillips have joined forces to stage the European premiere of the musical The Cher Show.

The show, which has already been a Broadway hit, tells the story of the singer’s rise to fame and features hits including I Got You Babe, Believe, Strong Enough and The Shoop Shoop Song.

Phillips is directing the musical, while Mabuse is choreographing it.

It follows the news that a big-screen biopic about Cher is also being made.

Cher, who turns 75 this week, announced the biopic on Twitter, saying it will be made by Mamma Mia! producers Judy Craymer and Gary Goetzman.

She said the untitled film will be written by her “dear friend” Oscar-winner Eric Roth, whose previous movies include Forrest Gump, 2018’s A Star is Born, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Insider.

Phillips said of the stage musical: “I am just over the moon that I am actually going to work on a show about someone who I’ve idolised since the mid-60s with I Got You Babe.

“I remember on a black and white TV seeing Sonny and Cher and I think it was the sound of her voice. It’s a sound that raises the hairs on your arms and tingles your spine.”

The show will document Cher’s relationships with her mother, singer Sonny Bono, and fashion designer and costumier Bob Mackie, as well as her hugely successful music career. Cher has notched up four UK number one singles, with the huge hit Believe topping the UK charts for seven weeks in 1998.

Phillips, who has yet to meet Cher, has worked on music videos for music huge names including Tina Turner, Donna Summer, Whitney Houston, Diana Ross and Aretha Franklin.

Mabuse, who won last year’s Strictly Come Dancing with Bill Bailey, added that her Mum is a big Cher fan.

Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse

“I just remember us playing songs, like Strong Enough, and feeling so empowered as little girls, and being in wonder of her outfits and her looks and the confidence that she had,” Mabuse said.

She added she was going to create “big” musical numbers, adding: “I’m going to try and make it as Cher as possible.”

The show will also feature costumes created by Gabriella Slade – Cher is also famous for her eye-catching outfits, often featuring feathers and sequins, as well as her wigs. It is expected to open next year and will tour the UK and Ireland.

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