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Sonny and Chas

December 13, 1987|Bart Mills

At the end of the "Sonny and Cher Show" in the early '70s, baby Chastity would toddle onstage and look cute while her folks sang "I've Got You, Babe." Since then, Chas, as she likes to be known, has been growing up (she's 18 now) and working quietly at learning the singing and acting trades: she attended the Lee Strasberg Institute and NYC's High School of Performing Arts.

Now, during her Christmas holiday from studies at the NYU Film School, where she's a frosh, she'll sing duets with her father onstage at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The New Year's Eve gala will include the Mamas and the Papas, Donovan and numerous other oldies acts.

Chas is ambivalent about family connections: "This is the first time in a long time that I've done anything with my parents in the business. I always wanted to be my own person, which might have been a bull-headed way to approach it."

She also has mixed feelings about her appearances on the old TV show: "It was a lot of fun, but looking back, it's not like it was some accomplishment to be proud of. I was just a little kid pushed out on stage. It took no skill or talent, and it's the only thing I've done that's been seen."

Chas was speaking to us from NYC on a conference-call line. Her West Coast-based dad put in: "Chas would never sing around us. I didn't even know she sang until I saw her a few years ago in a play put on by her acting class. She's a quiet person. She doesn't say a lot, but she feels a lot. You can definitely hear messages coming out when she sings."

At the Springs, Sonny and Chas will sing several Sonny and Cher oldies. They may also perform some of their own songs.

Chas was backstage recently at the David Letterman show that reunited Sonny and Cher. What does Chas, who is working on her fourth stepmother and has seen a number of men enter and leave her mother's life, think of her parents' reunions?

"I was pretty shocked. They've led pretty separate lives. But it was really touching to see them together."

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