Since officially joining the Cher Living Proof Farewell Tour last January, thirty-year-old stand-up comedian Tommy Drake has been able to overcome a couple of his darkest fears: confronting a crowd of 12,000 rowdy Cher fans there to see her, not him; and keeping his cool when a concert venue's sound system occasionally garbles his best jokes. But most of the multicity tour has been a blast for Drake, who opens for the pop icon Monday night at Kemper Arena. He's played miniature golf with the veteran diva ("It sounds surreal, but you know, she's really, really good") and watched her race go-carts. "She has the energy of a young teenager," says Drake, who was introduced to the singer last year when he was hired to fill in for Cyndi Lauper -- Cher's previous opening act -- after Lauper hurt her ankle.
Drake, who joined a gym immediately after he was brought on tour ("Everyone in the band is beautiful," he says), thinks his comedy style works for the Cher crowd because he talks about his marriage. "It appeals to the couples, and I'm still hip enough for the gay crowd." It also helps that his wife is thirteen years older than he is. "The Cher crowd likes a female-empowered take on marriage." For information, call 816-931-3330.-- Charles Feruzza
Sky Burial is a pleasant alternative.
If you want to rock out and rock hard, this probably isn't the show for you. And if you won't be happy unless you leave with a catchy new jingle to sing on the way home (and there's nothing wrong with that), you might want to head elsewhere. But people who want to kick back, relax and enjoy pretty, wordless music should go to the Sky Burial show at the Cup and Saucer (412-B Delaware) at 9 p.m. These guys have been playing together for a few years, sometimes hauling unexpected percussion instruments onstage with them, sometimes adding the mesmerizing effects of video projection. Sky Burial just isn't a pop band. But that's kind of a relief, isn't it? For information, call 816-474-7375.-- Gina Kaufmann