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FIRST (AND SECOND AND THIRD) IMPRESSIONS
By Kate Silver - Las Vegas Magazine

One minute he’s Arnold Schwarzenegger, the next, Michael Jackson. It’s anyone’s guess who could come next--Maybe he’ll launch into Annie Lennox before bringing it home with Billy Ray Cyrus? With more character sketches than even he can count, it’s no wonder impressionist Gordie Brown sometimes questions who he, himself is.

“It’s a constant search for Gordie Brown to find his own persona,” said Brown, who performs at the V Theater in Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort. “I think the more I do shows, the more I find it.”

The audience never completely loses sight of the real Gordie Brown. Though he may scrunch his face into the spitting image of Jack Nicholson and belt out a twang almost better than George Strait, Brown’s cheeky humor comes through in every character and with every made-up lyric. That’s because his show is not just about being an impressionist. Brown is a comic who uses his imitative skills as a tool of his trade.

“That’s why I do impressions, because it helps with the comedy,” he said. “Rather than being a traditional stand-up, which is a wonderful thing, I wanted to combine impressions into another dimension of entertainment.”

Born in Ottawa, Canada, Brown didn’t discover his talents until he was about 15 and found himself doing a John Wayne impression. A friend laughed, and that was all the encouragement Brown needed. Soon after, he saw Rich Little perform. The rest is history.

“Once I saw my hero, Rich Little, do impressions, I sat there in the front row, in awe. I knew what my path was going to be.”

He made his way to Vegas and became an opening act for Pual Anka, Barry Manilow and others before scoring his own show at the Golden Nugget, downtown. The impressionist made enough of a, yes, impression to bring his act to the Strip performing at The Venetian before landing at Planet Hollywood.

Brown never tires of freshening his act. It changes frequently, as he discusses current events and adds new characters to his repertoire. Just don’t ask him which one he likes best.

“The latest impression I’m doing tends to be my favorite at the time,” he said. “I’m working on Al Pacino. I put Michael Bolton back in the show, and the crowd’s really enjoying it and I’m really enjoying banging on Bolton. Those are my favorites for now. But they’ll change.”

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