Venue: Terry Fator Theatre
3400 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV
Show Dates: Ongoing
Show Times: 7:30pm; dark some Fridays
Age Restriction: 5
Show Length: 90 minutes
Starting at $64.99
When Terry Fator and his puppets came together it was a marriage made in Sesame Street heaven.
Without each other, Fator would have been another of the many middle-aged singers to walk across the stage on "America's Got Talent." And, well, the puppets would still be puppets, but albeit far less funny ones.
But thanks to their union and the exposure of winning "America's Got Talent," in 2007 Terry Fator has capitalized on his success and done what few could do: headline in Vegas with essentially a puppet show.
To call Terry Fator's show at the Mirage just a puppet show, though, hardly does it justice. The multitalented performer uses his knack for comedic situations and impressionist skills to put together an hour and half-long show that doesn't even require a warm-up routine.
The closest the show comes to a warm-up act is Ben Harris, who acts as a DJ before the show and the less-sexy assistant during it. Just before Fator takes the stage, Harris breaks out in a round of dance moves to an eclectic mix of music ranging from Big & Rich's "Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy," to MC Hammer's "Can't Touch This."
But the act lasts only a few minutes before the audience is introduced to Fator and Winston the Impersonating Turtle. Winston may best be compared to Kermit the Frog as a dirty old man. Aside from showing his musical prowess, Winston shares his affinity for the Turtle Ranch (think Bunny Ranch, but for turtles) in a bit that keeps on giving throughout the show.
Winston gives way to Walter T. Airedale, a classic puppet with cowboy flair. After riling up the audience and Fator himself, Airedale asks Fator, "How come I can't talk when you're laughing?"
After taking shots at Tiger Woods and the Octomom via two side-splitting songs, the barrage of puppets continues from Maynard Thompkins, Wrex the Crash Test Dummy, Julius from the Apollo Theater and Vickie the Cougar.
All the while, if you really pay attention, you get the chance to hear something remarkable. Fator's vocal range extends from Etta James' "At Last," to Garth Brooks' "Friends In Low Places." The appreciation for his talent runs even deeper when he performs both parts of two duets. He does Sonny and Cher's "I Got You Babe," and "What A Wonderful World," as Kermit the Frog (with Winston) and Louis Armstrong.
Combine that range of musical samplings and add in that Fator never opens his mouth more than half an inch during the songs unless he's taking a breath or, on the rare occasion, singing a song as himself.
No, to call Terry Fator a master of puppets would be an under appreciation for his show and talents. But to call him the best singer on the Strip, who doesn't open his mouth more than half an inch, while using puppets and providing endless comedy might be more accurate. Unfortunately, that's really hard to fit on a billboard.