By Andrea Bennett | April 17, 2017 | People
The latest from Vegas' Editor-in-Chief, Andrea Bennett.
I got to reconnect with Yigal Azrouel after his fashion show for the Nathan Adelson Hospice luncheon at Wynn.
Cher called me "Babe." And while I fully recognize that after five decades of performing, calling people “babe” is just a reflex for her—you know, like blinking or sneezing—it felt no less like a feminist anointing to me. When we began planning our annual “Women of Influence” issue months ago, I could think of no better person to be on the cover than Cher. Do you know anyone else who could more convincingly descend from a stage ceiling in tribal priestess costume (it’s the one on our cover) singing a feminist anthem like “Woman’s World?” Neither do I. Or who has exercised her influence—loudly and sometimes blisteringly (like it or not)—with no thought of personal consequences? Again, me neither.
Everyone find their best blues! One of my husband, Reid Gardner’s, and my favorite events of the year is One Night for One Drop, in which Cirque du Soleil casts and crews donate their time and talent in support of areas in water crisis.
I spoke with her longtime friend and costume designer, Bob Mackie, for our cover story, and although she hasn’t strayed into politics in her new show, he agrees that regardless of what you think about her opinions, her fearlessness in our current political climate is a breath of pure, unfiltered fresh air. Painted into mesh bodysuits, wearing a sari and riding an animatronic elephant, surrounded by gyrating gladiators, maybe Cher is outspoken in the kind of theatrical way that resonates particularly well with a Las Vegas audience.
Michele Quinn and Jerry Misko and I celebrated the incredible “Tilting the Basin: Contemporary Art of Nevada” show in a pop-up gallery warehouse in Downtown.
But there’s also a reason that she’s been a trailblazer for 50 years, giving women permission to speak their minds, not shoehorn themselves into cultural norms, and, on occasion, wear a headdress made of rooster feathers. To Cher and all the strong women making the world a little more amazing for the rest of us, we salute you.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY RAY ALAMO, COURTESY OF THE ART MUSEUM AT SYMPHONY PARK