By Danny R. Johnson
LAS VEGAS – Entertainment executives at The Mirage Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas may have been a little skeptical at first signing on ventriloquist, Terry Fator, to headline their operations, but after 500 plus performances, The Terry Fator: Ventriloquism in Concert show is a runaway smash hit on the Vegas scene.
Terry Fator, who was the 2007 $1 million grand prizewinner of the NBC hit variety show, America’s Got Talent, stuck to his convictions and followed his dreams all the way to the Las Vegas Strip. And what a trip it has been. Since his success on the TV show, Fator has created some of the most memorable characters that have their own personalities which highlights his exceptional ventriloquism skills; which is why San Diego County News has dubbed his act as the BEST Comedy/Variety Show on the Vegas Strip!
Fator’s concerts are sold-out events and are performed in The Terry Fator Theatre at The Mirage Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Men, women and children of all ages, nationalities, and backgrounds occupy every seat each night of the show; and on this particular Friday evening, close to 900 people came to see the man who can make you laugh, cry, and feel good after the show – doing all this by using dummies.
Fator masters the art of ventriloquism like no other
Ventriloquism is an act in which a person usually called a ventriloquist, manipulates his or her voice so that it appears that the voice is coming from elsewhere, usually a puppeteer “dummy”. The act of ventriloquism is ventriloquizing, and the ability to do so is commonly called in English the ability to “throw one’s voice.” However, the term “throwing one’s voice” is misleading, because it implies that a sound’s physical origin has changed, when really the change has been perceptual and not physical.
Terry Fator is able to do something most ventriloquists failed to achieve in performances. That is to convince the audience that a dummy is talking and actually hold the audience’s attention for 90 minutes. He performs this feat so magnificently with his array of zany characters that 90 minutes goes by so fast — the audience does not even realize it has been taken on a magical and hilarious ride.
Ventriloquism was immensely popular in the middle of the 20th Century, thanks in great part to the work of Edgar Bergen. Bergen popularized the idea of the comedic ventriloquist. Bergen, together with his favorite figure, Charlie McCarthy, hosted a radio program that was broadcast from 1937 to 1956. It was the #1 program on the nights it aired. Bergen continued performing until his death in 1978, and his popularity inspired many other famous ventriloquists who followed him, including Terry Fator.
Fator’s cast of characters are astounding
Fator has literally revolutionized the art of 21st Century ventriloquism. Instead of utilizing one dummy – he uses seven or more dummies and is able to impersonate dozens upon dozens of voices – it is just overwhelming.
Terry Fator: Ventriloquism in Concert headlines Fator, but the real stars are a bunch of impressive cast of dummies who have their own personalities and egos – did I just give credits to a bunch of dummies? This show is good!
Among the list of characters which were widely on display in this particular performance were: WINSTON – The Impersonating Turtle-Fator uses this character to do a number of impersonations from John Wayne, James Cagney, Kermit the Frog, and host of others; the next character is WREX – the crash test dummy who finds the term offensive. WREX would rather call himself an Impact Assessment Consultant.
Another character named VIKKI is nicknamed “The Cougar,” and here are the reasons why: No one really knows how old she is – she claims she is 49, but the last person rumored to have asked her was never seen or heard from again. VIKKI is not legally allowed within 1000 feet from the Jonas Brothers, and she hopes to one day pose for PlayPuppet magazine.
You have to give Fator some props for being able to stand on stage for 90 minutes, five nights a week, with a bunch of dummies, and loving every minute of it. He uses his characters to do impressionists of superstars like Michael Jackson, Cher, Elvis Presley, Garth Brooks, and Frank Sinatra with such ease, which is why San Diego County News highly recommend the Terry Fator: Ventriloquism in Concert as a must see show when you’re in Vegas.
702-792-7777 or 1-800-963-9634
6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Show at 7:30 p.m.
Dark Sunday and Monday – Performing at the The Mirage Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas in the Terry Fator Theatre
Danny R. Johnson is San Diego County News’ Entertainment/Travel News Editor, and is based in Washington, D.C.