Natalie Douglas: Tributes: Cher

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Natalie Douglas

Tributes: Cher

Birdland, NYC, July 16, 2018

Reviewed by Ron Forman for Cabaret Scenes

Natalie Douglas
Photo: Kevin Alvey

Natalie Douglas doing a tribute to Cher? Could Douglas do a fitting tribute to someone who she called the most angular person that she has ever seen?

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The answer is a resounding, “YES.” As she has done in her monthly series of tributes at Birdland, Douglas does not try to imitate, but she adjusts her amazing vocal instrument to match the style of the performer to whom she is paying tribute. She said, “Cher performs as if she does not care,” and Douglas did the show in a free and easy manner.

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She mixed her own thoughts and feelings about Cher with interesting and amusing anecdotes about the icon.

Douglas opened with “Welcome to Burlesque” then rock ’n’ rolled through ”All I Really Wanna Do.

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” Cher is the only vocalist in history to have #1 charted Billboard hits in six consecutive decades, and Douglas showed her chops as a belter with one of these, “Dark Lady.” She did a show stopping “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” using an arrangement by Cher.

Garth Kravitz joined Douglas for “After All,” a duet that Cher recorded with Peter Cetera. Douglas remarked that she fell in love with Cher at age seven after hearing her recording of “The Way of Love,” and then performed it lovingly. Douglas became a hard rocker for “If I Could Turn Back Time,” and the audience joined in on a rousing and lively “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves.

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” The rocking closing number was a mash-up of “Strong Enough” and one of the few songs Cher actually had a hand in writing, “Believe.” The encore was the song Cher performs in the film Mama Mia! Here We Go Again, “Fernando.” 

Ron Forman

Ron Forman has been a Mathematics Professor at Kingsborough Community College for 45 years. In that time, he has managed to branch out in many different areas. From 1977 to 1994 he was co-owner of Comics Unlimited, the third largest comic book distribution company in the USA. In 1999,after a lifetime of secretly wanting to do a radio program, he began his weekly Sweet Sounds program on WKRB 90.3 FM, dedicated to keeping the music of the Great American Songbook alive and accessible. This introduced him to the world of cabaret, which led to his position as a reviewer for Cabaret Scenes.