Worldwide icon-chevron-right North America icon-chevron-right United States icon-chevron-right New York State icon-chevron-right New York icon-chevron-right Bob Mackie on his dazzling Tony-nominated costumes for The Cher Show

Bob Mackie on his dazzling Tony-nominated costumes for The Cher Show

The iconic designer discusses the show-stopping pieces featured in the hit Broadway show.

Advertising
The Cher Show
The Cher Show

It's pretty rare that the costume designer of a Broadway musical plays as central a role as Bob Mackie does in The Cher Show. Not only does an actor play a version of Mackie in the show, but an entire musical number basically exists to make the audience ooh and ahh at a sampling of his glamorous, over-the-top designs. (It succeeds.) That centrality makes sense, however, for a show that spans the length of the music icon's career—one that Mackie has played an indelible role in for over fifty years.

Mackie not only designed new costumes for this Broadway production—there are a whopping 600 costumes featured in the show—but he also meticulously recreated some of Cher's past looks that he was responsible for, from the showgirl-inspired look she wore to the 1986 Oscars to the feathered naked dress at the 1974 Met Gala. 

We chatted with the designer about some of his designs for the show before the 2019 Tony Awards air this Sunday.

On including the 1986 Oscars dress:
"It was kind of obvious which of the past looks to include in the show. They were the ones that have been talked about the most, like this one. It still turns up every year where people talk about the red carpet. People used to say that that wasn't what you should be wearing to a red carpet, but now everybody is doing these big looks. The one in the show is identical to the original really. If you put them on a table, you couldn't tell the difference."

TK

Image: Courtesy The Cher Show

On recreating the early Sonny and Cher looks:
"Even though I wasn’t around during the early Sonny and Cher years, that was before my time, everyone saw those looks, and we later duplicated them for the Sonny and Cher Show. She'd wear up to 20 costumes an hour in that show. For [this production], 
we have a full time little lady that sits down and repairs [costumes] every single day. There’s always something, because there are so many looks. It’s an opulent show."

TK

Image: Courtesy The Cher Show

On designing for the three different women that play Cher:
"It’s a little tricky when there are three of them up there. Sometimes they’re dressed very similar, but most of the time they have their own look. We have everything from dresses with the most opulent beading to jeans. And that’s very much what Cher’s like. It’s either one or the other with her."

TK

Image: Courtesy The Cher Show

Advertising