Part of Cher's face cracked and fell off during a press conference announcing that she will headline a Las Vegas show at Caesars Palace.
The aging songstress' face has been stretched ghoulishly taut over the years and such a fissure was bound to happen, although the timing couldn't have been worse, one of her handlers said.
Fans made the best of the predicament, however, as they scrambled for the hardened mico-pieces of face. Caesars officials estimated that there were hundreds of face shards. Security tried restoring order, but were overrun in the frenzy.
After the auditorium was cleared, the area was vacuumed, but engineers brought in from UNLV unanimously agreed that not enough of the pieces were recovered to re-assemble her, even with the latest advances in plastic surgery
Her publicist Harry Speerman said the only alternative was to market her new show as "Cher: The Monster." Cher agreed that the show must go on, but when she broke out in song, her absent left cheek and upper lip made her signature pop hit "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves" sound like "Gy-sees, Trams and Queens."
"Most of her other parts still work," Speerman said. "Our real fear is that she's bound so tightly from all the nip-tucking that she might spring a major leak on stage.
"Some nights, we may have to use a 'Cher: The Monster' body-double, but if people start demanding refunds, well, I don't even want to think about that."
One fan said she hopes she can sell a Cher face part she was lucky enough to scoop up during the melee, but may have a hard time authenticating it since it could be easily mistaken for fine-guage polyurethane tubing.
Speerman said "Cher: The Monster" may be teamed with "Sony Bono: The Cadaverous Second Banana" in a horror movie. Details are being worked out.