Mr. Elice brings significant know-how to the project — he co-wrote the book for “Jersey Boys,” which combined the jukebox musical and the biomusical to tell the stories of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons using their song catalog. That musical was an enormous success, running for 11 years on Broadway (and soon to reopen in slimmed-down fashion Off Broadway).
The show is informed by a series of interviews that Mr. Elice has conducted with Cher. And Cher has been deeply involved in the show’s development, including reading scripts and coming to workshops.
“The Cher Show” is one of many jukebox biomusicals now in development, including “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical,” also featuring three actresses playing the title role, which is scheduled to run this fall at La Jolla Playhouse in California; “Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of the Temptations,” now playing at Berkeley Repertory Theater in California; and “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical,” which is scheduled to open in London next spring.
“The Cher Show” has not yet committed to a cast — there is a four-week workshop scheduled this fall, after which actors for the commercial productions will be chosen. In addition to the three actresses playing Cher, there will be actors portraying Sonny Bono and Gregg Allman (her former husbands) and Bob Mackie (her onetime costume designer).
The show’s creative team includes the director Jason Moore (“Avenue Q”) and the choreographer Christopher Gattelli (“Newsies”).
Mr. Suarez is a former television executive; Mr. Seller is a prominent Broadway producer best known as the lead producer of “Hamilton.” The two men are also developing projects for Universal Television.
Mr. Suarez first proposed a Cher musical a decade ago, after picking up a recording of her greatest hits while traveling in Spain.
“The show is very funny, emotional, and really tells you how Cher managed to keep knocking down doors that were closed against her — she forced people to see her,” Mr. Suarez said. “She’s had a big roller coaster of a life, and it’s all played out in the media, but this show lets the audience underneath all of that, to see what they didn’t see in the tabloids.”
Cher is known for her brazen fashion sense, and that will inform the show’s aesthetic. The producers have not yet named a costume designer, but Mr. Suarez said “she’s had such iconic looks, and that will be a big part of the show and a big part…