By DERRIK J. LANG
AP Entertainment Writer
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Cher is not finished.
The iconic singer-actress is returning to the stage next year for a series of performances on both sides of the country because, well, she can’t imagine not working, not even at 70. Despite bidding fans farewell in past tours, Cher is not prepared to say her final goodbye.
“Someday, I will be finished,” she said during a recent interview to promote her forthcoming “Classic Cher” residency tour. “That’s really what I’ve said to myself: ‘Someday, you won’t be able to do this, but you’re able to right now.’ It’s like my mom misses driving. My mom loved driving. She can’t do it anymore.”
For now, Cher says she’s still capable of staging an extravaganza — and that’s what she intends to do at a pair of new high-tech venues: the Park Theater at the Monte Carlo in Las Vegas and The Theater at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
The pop legend’s residency, which launches Feb. 8 in Las Vegas, will feature both revival performances and new takes on classic songs. Here, during a wide-ranging conversation, the unabashedly honest artist tackled an array of topics:
On why her new show is called “Classic Cher”: “Oh, it’s just some bull(expletive) word. It’s because I’m going to try and distill my career and let everybody remember and see who I was, what I did and try not to disappoint people, like I hate it if I go to a concert and they don’t do the songs I want to hear.”
On whether she would perform with a Sonny Bono hologram: “No, a hologram doesn’t work for an arena because it doesn’t bend, so we do a big screen and angle it because it’s mostly him singing. We found all these videos where he’s facing me and I can sing facing him. It works out really well.”
On reviving one of her favorite past performances: “There’s a song that I love that was a hit called ‘After All.’ One time, when I was in Vegas, I did it in this amazing boat. It came out of the mist. … It made the song seem so much more mysterious and poignant and whatever, but few people saw it, so I’m going to bring that back and the costume I wore because the costume is beautiful.”
On emojis, which she frequently uses on Twitter: “For me, they are imperative. Emojis are like hieroglyphs. They really are hieroglyphs. You can use them to create emotion. You can use them to punctuate something. You can use them instead of words. I don’t understand punctuation at all because I’m so dyslexic.”
On Snapchat: “I find it fascinating, but I don’t have time to do everything. I have to have time to do other things. I can’t devote my life to it. Sometimes I go on too long (on Twitter) and think, ‘This is so dumb. You’re a grown-up.'”
On her son, Chaz Bono, playing a hillbilly cannibal on the latest season of “American Horror Story”: “There’s more to come. The more he does, the better he’s going to be, but I think it’s great. I mean, come on. That’s your first thing, and it’s ‘American Horror Story.’ It doesn’t get better that that.”
On the presidential election: “I can’t even bring myself to watch the debates. That’s how emotionally involved I am.”
On the most important political issue: “If the Republicans get the Supreme Court, we can say goodbye to all the strides we’ve made that are important, just for civil liberties. When you see the people he’s surrounded himself with up to now, one can only imagine who he’d pick to lead the country. He doesn’t want to do it. He wants to be the king, but he doesn’t want to do the work.”
On Donald Trump’s comments on Howard Stern’s show: “If someone said that my daughter was a hot piece of (expletive), I would put my fist through his (expletive) face.”