By Debbie Hall
Terry Fator recently celebrated his eighth anniversary at the Mirage by introducing a fully revamped production featuring his most beloved characters including Winston the Impersonating Turtle, the world’s greatest Elvis impersonator Maynard Tompkins, Vikki the Cougar, Fernando V. Francisco, Emma Taylor and President Donald Trump. He added “guest” puppet character Sir Elton John. The new show dubbed “Terry Fator Tonight” takes on the personality of a late night talk show in its theme.
About the changing of the entertainment scene on the Las Vegas Strip, Fator stated, “I hope with the new direction that entertainment focuses on talent. I feel sometimes we get lost in spectacle. It is about the people who are entertaining. For example, The Rat Pack—Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin—got on stage, sang songs, made people laugh and entertained their audience. They didn’t need explosions or lasers. I want to entertain my audience so they want to keep coming back.”
Fator combines his talents of singer, comedian, ventriloquist and celebrity impressionist. His unique talent of celebrity impressions sung using ventriloquism is amazing as he belts out notes like Adele and Etta James, croons like Tony Bennett, entices like LMFAO and serenades like Aaron Neville. However, Fator always works on new voices and new ways to showcase his gifts to keep his show new and fresh.
In 2007, Terry Fator won Season 2 of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” and was offered a multi-million dollar contract to perform at The Mirage. Last year, it was announced that his contract had been extended to 2021. After 25 years of performing at county fairs and venues across the country, winning “AGT” at age 42 catapulted him into the upper echelon of entertainers, landing him at No. 3 on Forbes’ list of the top-earning comics behind Jerry Seinfeld and Kevin Hart in 2015.
Fator has also continued to show his support and appreciation for aspiring ventriloquists by creating the Clinton Detweiler Scholarship, a scholarship that helps up-and-coming performers pursue their career in ventriloquism. Fator will be giving away two scholarships to the contestants that showcase their best ventriloquist and puppeteering skills.
To qualify for the Clinton Detweiler Scholarship, contestants must submit a one-minute video showcasing their best ventriloquist skills as well as a short written response answering why they should be chosen to attend the 2017 Vent Haven Convention. All entries must be received no later than May 26. Fator himself will be making the decision on the finalists, and who are awarded the scholarships. Winners will be announced in June. To enter or for more information, visit terryfator.com/scholarship.
Along with performing and touring (with over 39 shows booked), Fator has released a DVD “Terry Fator: Live In Concert,” a country music CD “It Starts Tonight,” as well as a series of children’s books including “Lamu, The Christmas Kitten.”
“Terry Fator: The VOICE of Entertainment presents Terry Fator Tonight” performs Monday to Thursday and select Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. at the Mirage. A Most Valuable Package Experience includes premium seating, an autographed photo, souvenir show program and a complimentary drink. Tickets can be purchased at the Terry Fator Theatre box office, by phone at 702.792.7777 or online at mirage.com. For more information, visit terryfator.com.