Steven Andrade is Cher – Queen of Hearts

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Katy Perry "Roar"

Out and About in AC.

Last month I celebrated my 55th Birthday with another’s success. I joined Steven Andrade, the co-producer and creative director of Believe – Divas in a Man’s World backstage prior to a performance of their Christmas Show. Steven has been working as a female impersonator for 14 years. He has performed many diverse venues ranging from Corporate Retreats to night clubs, casino showrooms and TV. 

Through the years he has raised over $300,000 for various charities, and continues working toward more.

I first met Steven when Believe opened Resort’s 13th floor theater across from the gay nightclub Prohibition in April. Funny thing to keep in mind, while 99% of the female impersonators are gay, 99% of the audience is straight – many seeing their 1st female impersonator show. All leave smiling, and some make their way across the hall to stop in their 1st gay bar for a drink before continuing their night downstairs at the tables. Turns out, Believe is a bridge of understanding and acceptance too… between worlds that might otherwise not meet.

Writer Geoffrey A Rosenberger relaxing.

Writer Geoffrey A Rosenberger relaxing.

Saturday, I interviewed Steven before the show in the dressing room he shares with Gary Dee, the Joan River’s impersonator who emcee’s the show. Gary brings a great routine and a spontaneous and quick witted barrage of jokes that engages the audience making it interactive the moment he opens. Gary announced my birthday, let out a few lines that left the audience in stitches…. asking me not to print them. (Quite honestly, I’m not sure I could). Gary is so good, Joan Rivers has hired him several times.

In the dressing room, Steven was applying his makeup, and explaining his costumes. They are designed and painstakingly made by him to resemble Bob Mackie’s costumes which are every bit a part of Cher.

Believe is different from other revue shows. It’s not a series of 1 song stints by performer after performer. It’s a total evening of longer performances by actors who become the person they portray. It’s also the 1st time the top impersonators from across the nation have been assembled into one continuously running show.

It is the goal of each actor to capture the look, feel, and essence of his diva. Steven isn’t there to be Steven playing Cher. He’s there to be Cher…. to leave you convinced you have just seen her perform, and leave you full with that memory…. and he does.

When the curtain opens Cher descends on a stage lift, and has you singing and moving your body with her. Visually, you are on a journey in your mind, seeing Cher before you, exactly like every time you’ve seen her before. A highlight in Steven’s life was meeting Cher, who was full of accolades for his performances. They say the best form of flattery is imitation. It’s hard to tell where reality stops and imitation starts.

Vicky, a 70 year old usher at the theater told me afterwards… “It’s like I’m alive again. I’ve lost 50 pounds, feel younger and better than I did 20 years ago, and it’s all because of the positive energy coming from that stage and these guys every night. I’ve never had a job like this. I love it.”

A lady visiting from Westchester, NY told me: “They’re better than the real thing. I’ve seen all these stars perform.” And she meant it. She sat there totally entertained, clapping her hands to the music, smiling ear to ear, and forgetting they aren’t the ‘real thing’, totally captured by their performances. This was my 3rd time seeing the show, each time with different friends seeing it for the1st time, and each time more entertained than the time before. I look forward to seeing it again with new friends.

Other Diva’s include:

Jason Cozmo as Dolly Parton, capturing her in Christmas Red and true to life. I hear someone whisper, “Darn, where’s she get those parts?”

Eddie Summers portrays Patti LaBelle: As you watch, you can feel her reaching down deep for the high notes and you reach with her.

Phyl Craig, as Liza Minelli is 2nd to none. I have seen him impersonate Nancy Sinatra too. He brings both to life, as his boots made for walking dance across the stage.

Finally, Frank Moore as Prince, captures a male Diva to the tee. He is the choreographer of the show, and a fluid acrobatic dance accompanies his performance.

Through the years, I have met Liza Minelli and Patti LaBelle personally. After meeting the Divas, I feel like I’ve met the rest.

While backstage before the show, Sheky, the costume master, came into the dressing room to announce “Lisa is here”. Lisa is undoubtedly Steven and the show’s biggest fan. This young lady arrived via wheel chair with her mother Denise from out of town. She makes the pilgrimage at least once a month to be swept away for the moment from her daily routine. I recommend to any and all of you… make the pilgrimage.

Steven made Lisa’s night more complete, when, after the show, Cher posed for pictures with her

and the rest of our guests. Lisa words to Cher: “You’ve made my day. Thanks.”

YGeoffrey A Rosenberger in Atlantic Cityou made mine too. I’ll always remember this special birthday. BRAVO!!

Geoffrey Rosenberger is a Broker Associate with Marketplace Realty in Margate, NJ: involved in Sales, Real Estate and Entertainment Development, and Consulting on all aspects of the area and community. Email Geoffrey at  geoffrosenberger@comcast.net

Out and About in AC.

Last month I celebrated my 55th Birthday with another’s success. I joined Steven Andrade, the co-producer and creative director of Believe – Divas in a Man’s World backstage prior to a performance of their Christmas Show. Steven has been working as a female impersonator for 14 years. He has performed many diverse venues ranging from Corporate Retreats to night clubs, casino showrooms and TV.