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Marilyn, Cher and Sally

With well-coiffed wigs and a well-rehearsed set of songs, Sally Langlois of Inverness is delighting local audiences with her impersonations of legends Marilyn Monroe and Cher.

By JORGE SANCHEZ

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 18, 2001


She's Marilyn Monroe. She's also Cher. But her friends know her as Sally.

By day, Sally Langlois is a mild-mannered health agency worker, but when her day job is over, she often turns into one (or two) of the most glamorous women in show business.

Langlois hopes to enter the world of celebrity tribute performers, and with her impersonations of Marilyn Monroe and Cher, she's proving to local audiences that she has both the acting skills and vocal chops to recreate these two legends.

She has also advanced through preliminary competitions on the Internet star search contest Next Big Star.

Langlois will perform both of her acts tonight at the Relay For Life walk-a-thon fundraiser at Crystal River High. She performs as Cher at 7 p.m. and as Marilyn Monroe at 8:30 p.m.

Since the two superstars don't resemble each other in the slightest, Langlois has to use acting skills and different singing voices in each act.

For Marilyn, she usually wears the flowing white dress the actor wore in The Seven Year Itch. She adds a platinum blond wig and other accessories.

"I've learned to paint the mole on the correct way," Langlois said. "My body type is closer to Marilyn's but my singing voice is closer to Cher's. For Marilyn, I have to get into character, just like an actor."

As Monroe, Langlois performs a set that includes songs such as My Heart Belongs to Daddy, I Want to Be Loved, Old Black Magic, Heat Wave and Bye-Bye Baby.

"That's my encore," she said of the last song.

To craft her impression, Langlois became somewhat obsessed with Marilyn. She has dozens of framed pictures of the actor, studies every movie she made and listens to her recordings, even some pretty lousy bootlegs.

Cher is Langlois' newest tribute act. Her voice is already a near match, so it became a matter of putting on a long black wig and getting some evening gowns with lots of sequins. She stores them in a cedar chest in her bedroom.

"You have to turn them inside out to protect the sequins," she said.

Langlois studies Cher's recent HBO concert special as well as the early shows with Sonny to get Cher's elegant stage moves down.

Her Cher songs include Half-Breed, Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves, Believe and I've Got You Babe.

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