At a Glance
What is it?
A weird (his word, not mine), wordless comedy show from the America’s Got Talent finalist.
Where is it?
At Harrah’s on the Center Strip.
Is it worth cost?
This is definitely an aquired taste kind of show so maybe watch some YouTube videos first before you shell out the bucks.
Why should I see this show?
Because you’re kind of weird, too.
What else do I need to know?
If you get picked to go onstage, just go with it.
What’s the bottom line?
I like weird so I enjoyed it but I can definitely see how this might not be everyone’s taste.
The TV show America’s Got Talent seems to be a breeding ground for Las Vegas headliners. You’ve got Terry Fator, Mat Franco, and Piff the Magic Dragon all with their own productions here and now you can add Tape Face to the list.
Okay, so how to explain Tape Face? New Zealand born comic Sam Wills does a combination of prop comedy and mime – sort of if you mixed Carrot Top with Marcel Marceau. The gag here is that he does the whole thing with a layer of duct tape across his mouth, hence the name. It’s weird and that’s not my word, it’s his. The show and overall experience celebrates the offbeat in a way that I find refreshing but probably isn’t going to be to everyone’s taste.
Audience participation is a big part of the show. Now, before you freak out, no it doesn’t mean someone is going to force you to clap along or stand up and dance or any of the other dumb stuff entertainers force you to do. Instead here, Tape Face roams the audience with a flashlight and finds unwitting victims to bring up onstage with him. If you get picked, just go with it. None of the people that got chosen on the night I saw the show seemed particularly thrilled about it at first but all of them laughed and had fun while doing it.
What will you be doing (or watching be done to other people) onstage? Well, there’s one bit where he deftly balances a ping pong ball on the air blowing up from a hair dryer and has an audience member standing on a chair try to hit it with a plastic golf club into a dust pan on a stick held by another audience member. I know, you’re saying “He does what now?” But it’s very funny, mostly because Tape Face is trying to communicate the idea “I’d like you to hit this ping pong ball that I’m balancing on a layer of air from a hair dryer into that dust pan on a stick” without using any words (the tape over his mouth, I remind you), is challenging in comedic ways.
Other bits include oven mitts singing “Endless Love” to one another, a big red button that isn’t supposed to get pushed getting pushed, lots and lots of red balloons and a guy trying to pop them, and, in a particularly inspired bit of hilarity, three audience members trying to learn choreography to “Blame it on the Boogie” by The Jacksons. The people brought up on stage are unintentionally funny and enjoyable to watch but don’t take your eyes off of Tape Face because his facial reactions – sometimes big, sometimes subtle – are comic gold.
I’d say the only downside to the show is the unfortunate space they have put him in. It’s carved into the former KGB restaurant at Harrah’s so a combination of a flat floor and a low stage make seeing the action difficult at times. The room was packed on a Wednesday night when I saw the show so hopefully they’ll bump him up to plusher digs at some point in the future.
I really liked Tape Face but remember, I’m kinda weird, too.