Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

His Closed Mouth Leaves Others Agape

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

His Closed Mouth Leaves Others Agape

Article excerpt


WHO: Terry Fator

WHEN: Friday

WHERE: Prudential Hall, NJPAC, 1 Center St., Newark. 1-888-GO- NJPAC or

HOW MUCH: $35 to $85

Terry Fator can sing without moving his lips.

Preferable, certainly, to artists like Ashlee Simpson and Milli Vanilli, who move their lips without singing. But it's also part of a larger entertainment package that has made Fator, coming to Newark's NJPAC on Friday, the most buzzed-about ventriloquist since the days of Wayland "Madame" Flowers, or even Edgar "Charlie McCarthy" Bergen.

For one thing, he does more than 100 voice impressions: Bob Dylan, Celine Dion, Etta James, Elvis, Lady Gaga, Garth Brooks, Axl Rose, Marvin Gaye - you name it, he can impersonate it.

For another thing, he can not only sing with his mouth closed - he can belt.

"There's something about my physical makeup that allows me to do it," Fator says. "I have a voice doctor, he has told me what I do is physically impossible. I break every rule of singing, yet for some reason there's something about my physical makeup that allows me to make these enormous tones through a tiny slit in my mouth. I don't understand it, my doctor doesn't understand it, but I'm grateful."

He's been told that he has a seven-octave range. "I've never counted, myself," he says.

He can tell you how many puppets he has: 20 in all, generally eight per show, including such characters as Walter T. Airdale, Winston the Impersonating Turtle, Emma Taylor, Julius the Soul Singer and Duggie Scott Walker, the heavy metal guy. One he has high hopes for won't be ready in time for the NJPAC show: Kani Kapila the Hawaiian. A little tribute to his Hawaiian wife, he says. "The name is a pun," he says. "[A Kanikapila] is like an event, a Hawaiian jam session. Every time I say the name to a Hawaiian, they die laughing."

Fator has been sitting on top of the entertainment world since 2007, when he appeared on Season 2 of "America's Got Talent," bowled over judges Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and David Hasselhoff, and took home the $1 million first prize. The following year, he was signed to a five-year, $100 million contract - said to be one of the biggest in Las Vegas history -- to appear at the Mirage Hotel and Casino. …

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