Is Terry Fator Worth $100 Million? And Is He Worth $58.91?

Here’s the big, new question on the Strip: Is Terry Fator’s show at the Mirage worth the money? That is, is it worth the ticket price ($58.91-$124.91)? And will MGM-Mirage get their money’s worth in his five-year contract (supposedly a $100 million deal)?

On Saturday night, I saw the show’s official “hard” grand opening with other media and invited guests. (It opened “soft” on Feb. 14.) Fator entertained me throughout, and it’s not even the type of entertainment I’m inherently drawn to.

In a post-ironic age of recession and worry, Fator delivers an earnest, Vegas showroom act, the singing ventriloquist. That sounds odd. The singing ventriloquist.

But he has honed his act for years. His voice is strong. His lips don’t move. His shtick is smooth, efficient and funny.

Many tourists and quite a few locals will dig it, I have no doubt. And although you never know how long a show will run, this one looks, smells and sounds like it has a great shot at luring full crowds for several years.

At the after-party for Saturday’s opening, I kept hearing the same thing from people who had just seen Fator for the first time. They were surprised they’d enjoyed his show more than they had expected they would.

That’s high praise, coming from Vegas insiders. I have to say, with Fator coming a few months after the opening of Cirque du Soleil’s and Criss Angel’s horrible “Believe,” it was a welcome relief to see Vegas, which needs a hit, get one.

I will have much more on the show in my full column on Monday.

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