OCCUPATION: Las Vegas impressionist, comedian and singer
GOAL: To be a multimedia star while affirming "my Christian values"
QUOTE: "I'd love to have the career that Sammy Davis had"
He's famous for his herky-jerky Michael Jackson, who morphs into a smooth Nat King Cole and--wow!--Natalie Cole, then into a boozy but bang-on Dean Martin. He can be Bill Clinton one minute, Ricky Martin the next, and by the time Sammy Davis Jr. shows up onstage, the crowd is so enthralled that they gasp involuntarily. The man behind all these faces is Danny Gans, the hottest entertainer in Las Vegas. He sings, he dances, he does impressions, he tells stories, and, at 39, he has managed to appeal to the MTV-weaned young crowd and Don Rickles fans alike. "I tell people my act is like the weather in Hawaii," says Gans. "If you don't like it, wait five minutes and it will change again."
Last week, his act changed again, moving into a new 1,265-seat theater that Steve Wynn built specially for him at the Mirage Hotel. Along with his 10-year, $150 million Vegas contract, Gans has recorded an album of Christian music, Brand New Dream, and Aaron Spelling is developing a TV pilot based on his life. Once a minor league ballplayer, Gans was doing 130 nights a year on the corporate-entertainment circuit when he decided to settle down in Vegas with his wife and three kids. There he has found his niche. "I hope I've made you laugh," he says of his act, "made you reminisce, maybe made you think about your faith and family, given you a few goose bumps and hopefully a tear."
--By Cathy Booth