Saw Finis Henderson (pronounced HEN – dur – son…oh the other part: FI – NUS) at Hilarities in Cleveland on Friday. He’s a vocalist and impressionist who is first rate, performing in Vegas and on Cruise Ships. Read about his act below the fold.
His show includes: Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis (simultaneously), Mick Jagger, The Beattles (all of them), Roy Orbison, Barry White, Elvis, Eminem (yep, not kidding), Pavorati, Clint Black, and Barry White. Not only does he do spot-on vocals, he does very good physical impressions as well. He also does funny intro bits as people like Ed Sullivan and Christopher Walken to lead into the songs.
His show is not so much a story as a group of bits loosely strung together with interesting segues between genres or people. He makes this flimsly premise of a long show more interesting than anyone else I’ve ever seen. He does one bit that I find especially good. He starts by talking to the audience as Rocky Balboa. He interupts himself as Burgess Meredith. Then, Christopher Walken and Frank Sinatra join the conversation. Evenually, it is all of those people along with Michael Jordan, Pee Wee Herman and Homer Simpson. He moves between the voices seemlessly and very quickly. A technical masterpiece, while also being very funny.
My one tiny qualm with the show is a slight veneer of Canned Vegas Showmanship. I think my gripe may come from our differeing styles of performance. My shows are audience interaction first and my skills or bits second. His show is Vegas glitz and skill with audince participation a secondary consideration. There just seems to be a tiny wall between the audience and his interaction with us. This is not to say it isn’t effective.
As Mick Jagger, he gave Janell a lap-dance (we had good seats), so she might have a differing opinion.