Terry Fator survives by using more than his puppets

In the shuffling of shows in Las Vegas this year, and the recent series of announced closings, we’ve wondered about the Preponderance of Puppetry in our city.

Two shows featuring puppets, and those who operate them, have come and gone over the past five months: Paul Zerdin’s “Mouthing Off” left Planet Hollywood Showroom on Sept. 4, and “Puppet Up! Uncensored” closes at Sands Showroom at Venetian on Saturday.

The survivor, again, is Terry Fator, still headlining at the venue named for him at the Mirage. A high volume of shows with (and without) puppets have cycled through the Strip since Fator opened in the former Danny Gans Theater in April 2009.

How have the star ventriloquist and his assortment of puppets, including Winston the Impersonating Turtle, Vikki the Cougar and Barry Fabulous, managed to sustain their residency on the Strip?

“I really don’t know, but I do know that my show kind of transcends people’s view of puppetry — they have a very negative view of puppetry,” Fator said as he stopped on the “gold carpet” at Criss Angel’s H.E.L.P. charity show at Luxor on Monday night. “You would think that the Muppets would have helped with that, but for some reason they don’t like puppets. I saw ‘Puppet Up!’ and it was hysterical, and Paul is great. But with my show … it’s much more like a traditional Vegas show, where we have music and singing and dancing.”

Fator’s weekend performances resume in October at the Mirage’s Parlour lounge, where every other Wednesday after his show he samples such artists as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, James Taylor and Michael Buble, James Taylor — with no puppets onstage.

MUSINGS FROM CARLOS

The spirit of the ’60s is back at Mandalay Bay.

Carlos Santana has returned to his Las Vegas Double-R (Recurring Residency, another alliteration) experience at House of Blues. He was to return Wednesday night and is onstage for a half-dozen more shows through Sept. 25. The new singer in Santana’s band, Ray Greene, formerly of Tower of Power, is joining him for this latest set of dates. Greene announced his departure from the famous horn band in January.

About a month after this run ends, Santana is issuing the live CD, DVD and Blu-ray recordings of the reunion performance of his original band at HoB in March. The drop date is for the package (including two CDs from that terrific show) is Oct. 21. The performance marked the release of “Santana IV,” the album featuring guitarist Neal Schon, keyboardist/vocalist Gregg Rolie, drummer Michael Shrieve and percussionist Michael Carabello.

During an interview Tuesday afternoon at his office in Las Vegas, where he also owns a home, Santana referred to the Sept. 4 San Francisco Fest at AT&T Park. The lineup of Journey, Santana, the Steve Miller Band, the Doobie Brothers and Tower of Power sold out the 42,000-seat home stadium of the San Francisco Giants in just four hours.

“It was great, really great,” Santana said of the event, modeled after the Bay Area’s Day on the Green festivals, promoted by the late Bill Graham in from 1973 through ’91. “They should bring it here.”

Good idea. At least one parcel in Vegas — Las Vegas Festival Grounds on southeast corner of the Strip and Sahara Avenue — still has no events scheduled, at all, as Rock in Rio USA and the ACM Party for a Cause debate a return to the 50-acre property. And, every band that played AT&T has performed recently in Vegas.

STRAIT TO THE BOX OFFICE

George Strait brushed against two sold-out shows over the weekend at T-Mobile Arena, but was not quite at capacity. The official ticket sales figures for the shows were a total of 34,483 (about 17,000 per night), compared to 38,562 in his first two shows at the arena April 22-23.

Strait continues to be an enormously popular draw at T-Mobile, the closest thing to a resident performer, and returns for two shows Dec. 2-3 (coinciding with the National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack Center) that officials are optimistic will sell at a similarly brisk pace.

THE PUNCH LINE AT SIN CITY

Three days after announcing that Sin City Comedy & Burlesque was closing after a seven-year run in two Planet Hollywood venues, Cabaret club Director of Operations Pete Housley says the production will remain afloat. Expected to close Oct. 1, Sin City is remaining in its nightly 9 p.m. slot at the club on the P.H. mezzanine level.

This week, Cabaret club owner Norbert Aleman, Sin City Comedy license owner John Padon and Housley renegotiated a partnership that relieved Padon of some of the booking responsibilities (he moved to Hawaii last year) and also maximized profit potential by cutting the Wednesday night show from the schedule. The regular headliner is still the fine stand-up Greg Vaccariello.

John Katsilometes’ column runs Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday in the A section, and Fridays in Neon. He also hosts “Kats! On The Radio” Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on KUNV 91.5-FM and appears Wednesdays at 11 a.m. with Dayna Roselli on KTNV Channel 13. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Recycled Art and Cute Dogs at Summerlin Festival Of Arts
Recycled Art, Cute Dogs Abound At Summerlin Festival Of Arts (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jason Aldean talks about the possibility of a Las Vegas residency
Country superstar Jason Aldean discusses his feelings about playing in Las Vegas and says he'd be interested in a Las Vegas residency when the time is right at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas on September 21, 2018.(John Katsilometes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who To Watch At Life Is Beautiful
Life Is Beautiful Setup
Workers preparing Fremont street for this weekend's Life is Beautiful festival, on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The 46th annual Greek Food Festival will feed 25,000 people in Las Vegas
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zia Records Move
Zias Records is moving from its Sahara Avenue and Arville Street location to a bigger store. (Mat Luscheck/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Video from Fertitta wedding Sep. 1
video from @wedstagrams of Fertitta wedding at Red Rock Resort
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like