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Popular drag queen stuns Broadway audiences with dazzling costumes

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Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui is quickly becoming a dashingly handsome Parisian, his soft-smooth hair a swirling design of grey and platinum, his beard a gentile beaver. All seem to belong on a gorgeous Chanel watch, the kind decorated with a dolphin. After arriving from Algeria in 1974, Mr. Cherkaoui left his native land to become, literally, France’s most successful drag queen.

On Broadway, with “The Cher Show,” the dress designer dares to use drag queens to create a kind of magic. The show is notable for, among other things, having a leading man so extraordinarily handsome — a bulging, soaring-pavilion chest from which his belly cascades with a dozen perfectly round breasts — that he could become a leading male impersonator onstage at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre. But the show, which opened on Sept. 12, is just as notable for having co-creators including the pop star Gaga (she is the show’s writer and executive producer) and the choreographer-director Seth Rudetsky (who also happens to be on Broadway with a bona fide diva in “Waitress”).

This article appears in the October 23, 2018 issue of New York Magazine.

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