Las Vegas Sun

October 16, 2019

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Jeff Tracta, Rich Little, Jonathan Clark and a few words about impressionists

Jeff Trachta

John Katsilometes

Jeff Trachta summons video imagery of Rich Little at Pearl Theater at the Palms.

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Guess who Jeff Trachta is performing an impression of at Pearl Theater at the Palms.

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Jonathan Clark, an impressionist seeking a Las Vegas home.

The Las Vegas Impressionist Tilt-A-Whirl continues to spin, as Jeff Tracta staged an impressive showcase at Pearl Theater at the Palms, a four-show spree ending Sunday night. Tracta is best-known, probably, for his eight-year run as Thorne Forrester (which sounds like a job duty for a botanist) on “Bold and the Beautiful.”

In October, Tracta opened for Liza Minnelli at LVH, when it was still known as the Las Vegas Hilton, and also headlined at the Rio in 2006.

Tracta’s new show at the Palms reflected a lot of expense, primarily through the use of vast video screens behind him and on each side of the Pearl stage. He’s a talented individual; his sprint through all voices on “The Family Guy” and his mimicry of Carrol O’Connor and Jean Stapleton as Archie and Edith Bunker singing “Those Were the Days” proved such.

Not sure I understand why Tracta used a lengthy video clip of Rich Little, though. Little is a friend of Tracta’s and helped inspire Tracta's career as an impressionist, but Little’s video presence sort of took attention away from Tracta’s impressionist artistry -- akin to the Killers playing a video of Aerosmith during a concert. But the segment did provide a healthy boost for Little’s own impressionist show at Shimmer Cabaret at LVH, which originally was scheduled to close this week but has been extended through July 4..

For Tracta, the purpose of the quickie residency was to showcase his production for an extended engagement somewhere in Las Vegas. He’s not alone in that effort, and a couple of entertainers in the impressionist genre have struggled to chisel into the Vegas entertainment scene. Greg London made a couple of passes, first at the Riviera and later at the Shimmer, before returning to his home in France and gallivanting around Europe. And Jonathan Clark’s run at Starlite Theater at Riviera has ended with no dates or plans elsewhere announced.

This all keeps with my theory that there should always be a minimum number of impressionists working at any given time in Vegas, and that number is 3. Call it the Gorshin Theorem.

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