Danny Gans, Entertainer of the Year in Las Vegas

Danny Gans, Entertainer of the Year in Las Vegas

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At the Danny Gans Theater at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada audiences have an opportunity to be dazzled and amazed by Danny Gans, the "Entertainer of the Year", as he becomes approximately 60 of the 300 celebrated individuals in his internationally acclaimed repertoire. The impersonator is so adept at speaking, singing and moving like his subjects that with your eyes closed, you will think you are listening to Johnny Mathis, Anita Baker, Neil Diamond, or Dean Martin. "The Man of Many Faces", as he is called, has taken the art of impersonation to a stellar level.

The intriguing question is how did Danny Gans go from the Stratosphere to the Rio to a ten-year contract with his own fifteen million dollar theater at the Mirage? Pretty heady stuff for a man whose dream was to play third base for the Los Angeles Dodgers. As a boy growing up in California he and his father lived and breathed baseball. In fact, Danny was so athletically gifted, he received a draft order from the Kansas City Royals while he was still in high school. An injury prevented him from signing on, so he entered college. This time he turned down an offer from the Chicago White Sox.

Gans kept his focus and his dream came true; he was drafted by the Dodgers. It looked like his future was set until a freak accident derailed a lifetime of hard work. During his first season, Danny collided with another player whose shoe dug into his Achilles tendon, sending him to the hospital and ending his professional baseball career.

The story goes that the exceedingly depressed young baseball player was sharing a hospital room with a man who told him to trust God. God must have something better in store or he wouldn't have thrown this life-altering monkey wrench into his life. Cliché as it sounds, this became a turning point in Danny's life. Gans attributes his success as an entertainer to his faith.

During his lengthy two-year recovery, to cheer him up, Danny's father took him to see Sammy Davis, Jr. perform in Las Vegas. The dye was cast. Sammy Davis, Jr. motivated Danny to develop the talent he had always taken for granted. He loved to entertain people and he had a natural aptitude for making them laugh. In his show he pays a touching tribute to Sammy Davis, Jr.

To reach his goal as an entertainer Danny spent 15 years on the road honing his craft, performing in clubs and becoming one of the most highly paid and sought after performers in corporate entertainment. In 1995 he took his one-man show to Broadway, and it was so well received, the Neiderlanders offered him a one-year extension. Once again, he weighed his options. His family took precedence over life on the road. Las Vegas became home for Gans, wife Julie and their three young children, Amy, Andrew and Emily.

Enter Steve Wynn, savvy businessman and visionary of epic proportions. Wynn reasoned that Siegfried and Roy had made the Mirage an entertainment destination, and that the talented Gans would add a double whammy. Once again, Wynn gambled and won. He signed Danny to a ten-year contract with his own theater. The 1,260 seat custom-built theater is warm and luxurious with deep wine reds and rich dark wood panels. The seven-piece band plays and the audience is primed for the star.

Gans makes an energetic entrance wearing black pants, a black turtleneck and a well-cut black sport jacket. Creating an immediate bond with the audience, using minimal props, his talent is obvious. It is easy to understand why he has been named "Singer of the Year", "Comedian of the Year", "Entertainer of the Year", "Show of the Year", and most recently, "Showman of the Year".

As he transitions through Smokey Robinson, Joe Cocker, Blood, Sweat and Tears, the Temptations, James Brown, and Ray Charles, one feels that he is a genuinely happy man. Gans effuses warmth and a passion for his craft. His gestures and dance moves are as accurate as his vocals. His George Burns is funny, and touching. Boomers and their parents could be seen with a nostalgic tear in their eyes. One of the highlights was a duet between Jimmy Stewart and Kermit the Frog. He captured Rod Stewart's throaty Scotch voice on 'Have I Told you Lately That I Love You?', and Bruce Springsteen's Philly bravado on 'Glory Days'. There was comedy with Bill Clinton and redneck jokes with Jeff Foxworthy. Using a wig and his profile he captured both Nat King Cole and daughter Natalie Cole. He received a standing ovation for his impression of Savage Garden.

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Linda Lane, Jetsetters Magazine Correspondent – Read Jetsetters Magazine at To book travel visit at and for Beach Resorts visit Beach Booker at

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Linda Lane, Jetsetters Magazine Correspondent. Join the Travel Writers Network in the logo at Leave your email next to the logo for FREE e travel newsletter.

Linda Lane