Friday, Feb. 4, 2011 | 12:04 p.m.
It’s difficult to believe that after 200 shows, superstar Cher ends her 2 1/2-year run at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace tomorrow night, having achieved nearly $200 million in ticket sales. It was in May 2008 when Cher descended onstage for the first time from the ceiling in a glittering gondola, a Jules Verne flying machine that nightly signaled “and now for something completely different.”
Cher was a loner in Las Vegas, preferring to commute back to her Malibu home. Although she rented a house here for a time, she wound up, like Sir Elton John before her, at the Palazzo suites at The Rio when she stayed in town. Cher was rarely seen -- if at all -- in nightclubs -- and interviews she gave were few and far between.
There was a 1-hour sit-down onstage at Caesars when Oprah Winfrey also stayed at Caesars. Cher look-alike fans and Frank Marino’s Divas Las Vegas attended the show, as many have, religiously the past three years, cooing over the Bob Mackie gowns she wore at every show. Frank plans to attend tonight's second-to-last show and pledges to keep Cher's legacy alive in his Imperial Palace production.
From “I Got You Babe” to “Gypsies Tramps & Thieves” to “Believe,” Cher has turned back time in her own way, singing hits that crowned her queen in more than five decades of hits. Last month, she became the only pop artist in history to have a No. 1 hit in six decades.
During her residency, we followed Cher through a biker romance, the sex change of her daughter Chastity (now Chaz) and the globetrotting to promote her latest film Burlesque. In recent days, she’s been tweeting, decrying the fact that her Burlesque song “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” won a Golden Globe but was ignored by the Academy Awards!
Now, just like Bette Midler, Cher can claim big audiences during her entire run at The Colosseum, and celebrities have popped in to see the 64-year-old superstar and paid tribute with rare backstage meetings. Tomorrow night’s finale should have an all-star turnout from Hollywood.
Cher departs a queen having conquered her empire, but it remains unknown what comes next. She’s said before that she won’t sign on again for another long Las Vegas run. She’s said touring has played out. The guessing game begins Sunday morning after she leaves town.
Many thanks for all the years of hit songs, stunning Bob Mackie gowns and brilliant performances!
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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