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Hewlett dazzles fans with talent for mimicry

Jason Hewlett, shown in 2006, delights in lampooning a wide array of artists.
Jason Hewlett, shown in 2006, delights in lampooning a wide array of artists.
Scott G. Winterton, Deseret Morning News

JASON HEWLETT; SCERA Showhouse, 745 S. State, Orem; one night only; running time: 90 minutes.

OREM — Impersonator Jason Hewlett — "The Entertainer" — does more than impersonate celebrities.

He mocks them, mimics them and massacres them. But it's all in good fun.

He started off his concert at the SCERA Center for the Arts doing the 1970s hit group, The Bee Gees, with a tongue-in-cheek changing of the words, then switched to singers Tom Jones and Smokey Robinson. In rapid-fire succession he did The Temptations — all four of them — and after a quick, onstage change of costume it was Rod Stewart mockingly forgetting the words. Then he mimicked Air Supply.

"This is what Dorothy must have run into when she met the Munchkins," he said.

Making up words to popular songs mocking the singer who originally performed them is a signature part of Hewlett's act.

Other zingers:

As Willie Nelson: "Willie created a whole lot of buzz — and we realize he had a pretty good buzz himself."

Introducing Michael Jackson: "He lost a lot of his fans, maybe because he lost his nose in the process."

As Rose of Guns N' Roses: His voice sounds like the cartoon character Marge Simpson, Hewlett said.

Seals & Croft: "Don't you think they sound congested?"

His changes of costume included a white fur coat, striped top hat and white glasses when Hewlett took on the persona of Elton John.

"Why don't we do something a little more manly?" Hewlett said in reference to John's gay status. Then Hewlett segued into Tiny Tim singing "Tip Toe Through the Tulips" with a ukulele and high-pitched voice.

He showed the audience what Led Zeppelin's lead singer Robert Plant may be like as a 90-year-old rocker.

One of Hewlett's most hilarious impressions was not as a singer or other celebrity but as a prehistoric raptor from "Jurassic Park." He strode off the stage, lifting his legs high like the ancient reptile, bobbing his head and squeaking at the top of his range as he paraded up and down the aisles.

Other imitations included Neil Young performing "Heart of Gold" and Cat Stevens with "Moonshadow." He mimicked actor Jack Nicholson with the frozen smile as the Joker in "Batman" and ended with comedian Jim Carey as an undiscovered "sandwich artist." He also does Alvin and the Chipmunks, the group from the 1950s, a sound that's difficult to create without the technology. But he does it well.

Hewlett played guitar and harmonica together for some of the performances. He introduced some original tunes, which he offers in a just-released CD.

Raised in Utah, Hewlett works the convention circuit, but once performed in the Myrtle Beach, S.C. "Legends" show as singer Ricky Martin. He did Martin at last week's concert. He mimicked Elvis Presley's curled lip, then showed he could do it with both sides of his mouth, then combined that with raising his eyebrows separately and finally combined the facial tricks with a skit involving lasik surgery where he told the doctor, "I think you hit a nerve."