- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
Cher, whose life is portrayed in The Cher Show — now in previews on Broadway and opening Dec. 3 — had her own Broadway debut when she was directed by Robert Altman in Come Back to the 5 and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, which ran for 52 performances in 1982.
“I was a little taken aback when Cher’s name was suggested, as she’d never been in a stage production before and Altman had never directed a play, either,” recalls playwright Ed Graczyk. “I thought, ‘This is going to be interesting.’ But at the first reading, she was wonderful and so relaxed. She made the character her own and in doing so brought more to it than even I had.”
Jimmy Dean was not quite as bombastic as her new musical, whose website promises “35 smash hits, six decades of stardom, two rock-star husbands, a Grammy, an Oscar, an Emmy and enough Bob Mackie gowns to cause a sequins shortage in New York City.”
By comparison, Jimmy Dean had a group of middle-aged women gathering in a Woolworth’s store in West Texas for the 20th reunion of their James Dean fan club. When Altman adapted the play to film, The Hollywood Reporter predicted it would “find a skimpy acceptance from moviegoers.” (It made $840,000 — $2.2 million today.)
But it brought Cher a Golden Globe nomination. Two years later, she had an Oscar nom for Silkwood and in 1988 won an Oscar for Moonstruck.
This story first appeared in the Nov. 14 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day