Will the real Cher please stand up?
On Tuesday, the legendary singer paid an unannounced visit to Broadway’s The Cher Show, the biopic musical based on her life.
PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly have an exclusive look at Cher’s visit, and the standing ovation she received from the crowd when she made her way to her seat during Act 2 at New York’s Neil Simon Theatre. Decked in a bedazzled black beret, matching poncho, and black leggings, Cher was all smiles as she walked down the aisle, shaking hands while greeting surprised fans and posing for pictures.
Cher also posed on stage with Tony nominee Stephanie J. Block (Falsettos), Teal Wicks (Wicked, Finding Neverland), and newcomer Micaela Diamond — the three actresses who play her in the musical. Each step into Cher’s iconic shoes at different points in her life and seven-decade career.
The Cher Show uses the Grammy-winning singer and Oscar-winning actress’s score of her hits — including “I Got You Babe,” “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves,” “If I Could Turn Back Time,” and “Believe” — to help tell the story of her life.
Now in previews ahead of a Dec. 3. opening, the musical comes from book writer Rick Elice (Jersey Boys), with direction by Jason Moore (Avenue Q) and choreography by from Christopher Gattelli (Newsies). In addition to being featured as a character in the musical (as played by Tony nominee Michael Berresse), the real-life Bob Mackie is designing the costumes.
Other stars of the show include Tony nominee Jarrod Spector (Beautiful) as Sonny Bono, Michael Campayno (Wicked) as Rob Camilletti, Matthew Hydzik (West Side Story) as Gregg Allman, Tony nominee Emily Skinner (Side Show) as Georgia Holt, and Dee Roscioli (Fiddler on the Roof) as the Standby for Star and Lady.
Cher originally saw The Cher Show back in June while it was having its out-of-town tryout in Chicago. She hilariously told The Chicago Tribune afterwards that it “needs work.”
Since then, she seems happy with what the creative team has done. During a conversation with Tony winning producer Jeffrey Seller (Hamilton) for his SiriusXM special The Cher Show: Making the Musical, Cher said she loved seeing all three Chers on stage together – including some scenes in which an older version of Cher gives advice to a younger version of Cher.
“I only wish it would have really happened,” the Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again star joked. ‘I could have saved a whole lot of painful s—, okay? I wish that they would have been there and someone who could say, ‘You can leave him!’ “
Cher is expected back in New York on Monday for The Cher Show‘s official opening.