Terry Fator's hitting new notes
Terry Fator rarely takes time away from the stage. A week before previews start for the 10th anniversary edition of his show at The Mirage, the singing ventriloquist is in New York catching up on the current slate of Broadway productions, but it’s a working holiday. He’s doing interviews during the day, talking about his second $100 million contract and introducing new puppet characters such as Sammy Davis Jr. to national broadcast and webcast audiences.
Fator used to get inspiration from Broadway, but he’s so far down his own path as a writer and performer that he now sees plays and musicals for fun. “I’m always trying to outdo myself,” says Fator. “I had that exact same philosophy when I was on America’s Got Talent. Any time someone asks me for advice, I tell them, ‘Do the best thing you have. Don’t hold anything back because if you’re saving something for the next week, you may not have a next week.’”
He wouldn’t mind doing Broadway in the future, but he’s completely content with his present status as one of the top draws in the Entertainment Capital of the World. Longtime cast members such as Winston the Impersonating Turtle, country singer Walter T. Airdale, party dude Duggie Scott Walker and vampy Vikki the Cougar have become celebrities in their own right. They’ve been joined in recent years by exquisitely designed caricatures of Michael Jackson, Sir Paul McCartney, Elton John and President Trump.
“The funny thing is it never occurred to me that it wouldn’t last 10 years,” says Fator of his run as a major Strip headliner. “I signed for five years with The Mirage, with an option for them to give me another five. I always assumed it was going to be 10 years and beyond, and my vision for the show was just that I was always going to push myself to try and make my show better every time, in every incarnation.”
Fans will find a completely revised production in the Terry Fator Theatre. “About three months ago, I decided we were going to bite the bullet and come up with a completely new show,” says Fator. “I rewrote it from top to bottom. This is a complete reworking and reimagining of my show. I’ve never done anything this large and I couldn’t be prouder of what I’ve come up with.”
Fator will now be joined year round by his A Very Terry Christmas co-stars, puppets of David Bowie and Bing Crosby. Brand new characters include Fatorized versions of Willie Nelson and Stevie Wonder, and Davis will be joined by fellow rat-packers Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.
None of the current cast is retiring, though. “I’m bringing back every character,” Fator says. “I counted 24 different characters that are going to make an appearance in my hour-and-a-half show. It is going to move at a really fast pace. It’s the kind of show you’re going to have to see three or four times just to catch it all.”
The Mirage, 7:30 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., additional 7:30 p.m. show March 15-16, starting at $59.99 plus tax and fee, 5+. 702.792.7777