02.6.11 · 12:46 PM
By Don Chareunsy, Vegas DeLuxe editor
“This is so weird this is the end,” superstar Cher said of her final performance last night in her 200-show, 2 1/2-year run at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace to a sold-out crowd that gave the Oscar, Emmy and Grammy winner standing ovation after standing ovation.
The final show kicked off 20 minutes after the scheduled start time of 7:30 p.m., with Cher descending from the ceiling in what she jokingly referred to a little later as a “rickety Evel Knievel Death Machine” singing U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and high-fiving the front rows of The Colosseum. Cher’s first costume was glittering silver with a matching headdress.
After the song ended, Cher walked to each section of the stage, joined her hands in a pranamasana pose and bowed her head in thanks. Her extended monologue included meeting gay men for the first time -- hairdresser friends of her parents when she was 11 (“They were always so happy!”); the age of her audiences at Caesars Palace (“Some of my audiences were so old, they were dead”); and her enduring beauty at age 64 (“She’s so old, she’s so cute … how does she do it?!”).
In between her many fabulous costume changes -- and there was one for every song -- there were dance and song sequences from her cast of dancers, singers and musicians, and video montages of her career with her ex-husband, the late Sonny Bono, and influence in the worlds of fashion (some hits, some misses but always interesting), television (The Sonny and Cher Show and her character Laverne) and film (Silkwood, Mask and the Oscar-winning Moonstruck).
The set list: “Fire Down Below” (in drag in a purple pinstripe Zoot Suit with hat) and “The Beat Goes On” (in a black and white coat and glittering red mini dress with matching boots). She paid tribute to longtime designer Bob Mackie before a parade of costumes in her closet and singing “All I Really Wanna Do,” “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves,” “Half Breed,” “Take Me Home” and “After All” from Chances Are (aboard a gondola and in a white fur coat and hat).
In a nod to her younger fans, she finished the night with “If I Could Turn Back Time” (resurrecting the infamous, barely there costume that she still rocks) and “Believe,” in a finale that epitomized super fabulous and gay. The night also included covers of the aforementioned U2; Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band’s “Old Time Rock and Roll” (in a glittering green and yellow dress and a red wig); Thelma Houston’s “Don’t Leave Me This Way” (in a blue and silver disco ball gown); Nazareth’s “Love Hurts”; and Marc Cohn’s “Walking in Memphis” (the accompanying video featured Cher as Elvis).
The evening’s most touching moments were her “duets” with Sonny, who she met when he was 28 and she was 16, via video to “It’s the Little Things” and “I Got You Babe.” She also took an extended moment to offer her thanks to her musicians, singers, dancers, crew, posse, Teamsters -- and, mid-song, to her managers.
What an amazing run, Cher. Las Vegas will never be the same without you.