Piff the Magic Dragon
At a Glance
What is it?
A solo show from “America’s Got Talent” 2015 standout Piff the Magic Dragon – a laconic and sardonic British guy in a dragon costume.
Where is it?
In the intimate Bugsy’s Cabaret showroom at The Flamingo on the Center Strip.
Is it worth the cost?
If you couldn’t get enough of him on AGT, then absolutely.
Why should I see this show?
Because you get “how did he do that?” magic along with belly-busting laughs.
What else do I need to know?
Sit up close if you can – you’ll get a better view of the magic.
What’s the bottom line?
Piff has been needing his own Vegas show for a long time!
Most of America came to fall in love with Piff the Magic Dragon during his 2015 stint on “America’s Got Talent” but I, and many other Vegas fans, joined the cult of Piff last year when he was a featured performing in Vegas Nocturne, the Absinthe spin-off that played at The Cosmopolitan for a too-brief time. He was the best thing about a really terrific show and I believed that he was destined for headliner status. Now he’s there with his own show in Vegas at The Flamingo and all I can wonder is why it took so long!
For those of you who missed him here or on AGT, the concept of the act is a relatively compact British guy who wears a cheesy dragon costume, has a wryly sardonic and biting wit, a laid-back delivery, and Mr. Piffles, his Chihuahua magic assistant. He does tricks and tells jokes and if it all sounds weird, it is, but also really funny, often astounding, and every now and then quite brilliant.
The magic portion of the show is mostly card tricks and other up-close magic so you’re going to want to sit as close to stage as possible to get the highest impact. Even though it’s not a very large room, if you’re sitting at the back of it you’ll be straining to recognize that he did, in fact, just pull the correct card out of a can of dog food. While the bit involving a computer screen that not only shows a chosen card but Piff himself running down the street to retrieve is a nice bit of tech-era wizardry, most of the tricks are decidedly old school and low-fi, a welcome relief to those of us who are tired of the big prop illusions done at a lot of the other magic shows in town. Really, which is more impressive – a guy escaping from the “whirling blades of death” that you know he’s totally not going to actually die in or a guy making a piece of toast with the correct number and suit of a card chosen by an audience member on it?
Add in the fact that said guy is really funny and wearing a dragon costume and I don’t know how it gets any better. You have to be a fan of sarcasm and dry humor to enjoy Piff but those of you who do will be entertained especially when he singles out hapless audience members to assist him on stage.
And of course who could forget Mr. Piffles? The white Chihuahua is the calmest dog ever in the history of the world and incredibly patient with an owner that likes to do things like make him escape from a straightjacket.
The relatively young show isn’t perfect yet. Piff has made a career out of mostly doing quick-hit featured performer gigs, where he comes on for 10 minutes, kills it, and walks off a hero. Stretching it out to an hour-plus feels, at times, like a series of stitched together bits rather than a cohesive whole, but I think this is part of the process for anyone who is getting their first ever headlining show. I look forward to going back to see it again to prove my theory.