Monday, March 25, 2019 | 2 a.m.
This month marks the 10th anniversary of Terry Fator’s award-winning show at the Mirage and his faithful fans will tell you that one of the keys to his success in Las Vegas is the sheer number of songs, jokes and charming characters packed into each production.
Incredibly, Fator has renovated his show by adding even more of all three elements, accelerating the pace and bouncing between new musical and comedic impersonations.
“I wanted to pull out all the stops and really, completely change the show,” he says. “I think I’ve probably changed it 14 or 15 times over ten years but it’s always been a gradual process, doing a character for a few months and then changing that character so the show is constantly flowing. But about six months ago I decided I wanted to go in a totally different direction.”
That new direction truly takes advantage of Fator’s unmatched skills as a ventriloquist and singer. He’s focusing more on real-life celebrity characters, incorporating acts starring puppet versions of Elton John, David Bowie, Willie Nelson, Justin Bieber, Stevie Wonder, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin. But his original characters are still part of the mix, including Winston the Impersonating Turtle, country singer Walter T. Airdale, and the recently re-introduced Wrex the Crash Test Dummy.
The stunningly large cast inspired the show’s new name, “An Evening with the Stars.”
“Instead of trying to take characters out, I’m doing shorter routines, so there are more characters, more impressions and shorter songs,” Fator says. “I’m doing a lot of song parodies, too, and I’ve never really done that before. I’ve learned the show flows faster if I put more comedy and jokes into more songs, kind of doing it all at the same time.
“There are a couple routines that are longer and very funny. I do this crazy mashup of ‘Rocket Man’ and ‘Space Oddity’ with Elton John and David Bowie, and I put Willie Nelson in and he sings a song straight then does a parody that always gets a big laugh. So it’s a greater mixture of music and comedy and celebrity impressions and I’m having more fun than ever.”
The new show was unveiled at a gala performance on March 15, complete with celebrity attendees including Jane Seymour, Mat Franco, Drew and Jonathan Scott, Rich Little, Brian Boitano, Criss Angel and Pia Zadora as well as Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom presenting a Key to the Las Vegas Strip to Fator.
This may be the biggest change yet to Fator’s show but he has consistently spruced things up, not only to take care of his many fans who return to see him again and again, but also to keep his performance fresh.
“The thing about me is I like to push myself. I’m not ever going to say, ‘That’s it, I’m done, this is it.’ I’m going to top myself next year and the year after that,” says the 53-year-old entertainer. “I just did a meet-and-greet and met this woman who told me she’s seen the show six times and said this time was the best, but each time it’s been better. As long as I’m doing that for my fans, they’ll keep coming back.”
“Terry Fator: The Voice of Entertainment presents An Evening with the Stars” is performed at 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday (with select Friday and Saturday shows) at the Terry Fator Theatre at the Mirage (3400 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 702-792-7777) and more information can be found at terryfator.com.