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Piff sees the magic Flamingo Showroom production

Updated October 19, 2020 - 8:30 am

The Kats! Bureau at this writing is the Apple store at Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. I lost the Kat Device on Saturday night, likely downtown while walking from Commonwealth on Fremont East, then to Fremont Street, and on to Neonopolis.

I am always in dire need of my phone, and simply lost without it. But there’s only so much canvassing a person can manage on a Saturday night on FSE before calling it. But i have a new phone, and we advance with righteousness:


Piff The Magic Dragon has emerged as a side act at “Vegas Nocturne” at the Cosmopolitan 6 1/2 years ago to the first Strip headliner to return to a ticketed performance in the COVID era. Piff opens Oct. 29, running 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, setting the show until primary headlining show “Ru Paul’s Drag Race Live” is back, likely in the first quarter of 2021.

Piff has worked his magic away from the live stage, winning the “Tournament of Laughs” competition on TBS. He’s mastered the elusive craft of delivering comedy magic virtually with his interactive, online “Pay Per Piff” shows at pifftthemagicdragon.com and many other Piff-centric URLs.

The headliner, legal name of John van der Put, says of COVID, “It’s been crazy, it’s been a time for great moments, some fun times, but it’s also been really hard and some of the most difficult times of my life. It’s a bittersweet period now, coming back to Vegas, into the big showroom.”

Piff and I reconnected for this week’s episode of “PodKats!”

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Piff, his onstage and life partner showgirl Jade Simone, and Mr. Piffles are to perform for a spaced-out crows of 250 at Flamingo Showroom. If there can be a fortuitous turn of events in COVID, this crew is experiencing just that. The Piff headlining show has filled Bugsy’s Cabaret, drawing about 200 per show, for the past two years.

During that period, Piff said he and producers Matt and Angela Stabile of Stabile Productions ave mused about moving into the former Donny & Marie Showroom. The show has drawn upwards of 2,000 fans at performing-arts centers across the country.

“We have been doing extra shows, 5 p.m. shows, just because we we were selling out,” various talks about what doing next. I thought, well, what if we just work on what would be the big Piff show. What would my big Vegas show look like? We’ve spent the past six months working on it.

“I’m just surprised it worked out as well as I thought it might, which is rare for me.”

Sebastian returns

I yearn — yearn, I tell you! — for the day when Sebastian Maniscalco is back onstage at Encore Theater. He’s been teasing to such with shows at the Wynn Las Vegas Event Lawn at the hotel’s new Event Center. He performed another socially distant show Saturday night.

Maniscalco has been performing mask-less. This, even as we are still awaiting a final directive on whether comics are required to wear face covers onstage as comedy shows reopen in Las Vegas. The mask-mandatory rules apply only for ticketed shows, so invite-only performances such as Maniscalco’s are not covered, by protocol.

But I anticipate, and thus predict, comics will be allowed to perform without masks when comedy clubs and headliners are booked again in town. Just a “feel” thing.

Home version of the game

Enoch Augustus Scott says he’s always wanted to host a game show. A veritable Monte Hall in the making, Scott and DJ Liz Clark host the “Untitled Vegas Game Show at 6 p.m. Tuesday at www.facebook.com/enoch.a.scott. Vegas celeb contestants include “Sexxy” creator and star Jennifer Romas (whose team will win, let’s be honest), vocalist Tymara Walker, and the comedy coupling of Nancy Ryan and John Bizarre.

We do not know the format, if only because it’s likely Scott himself hasn’t’ finished planning. But there will be teams, with the star of “Zombie Burlesque” fulfilling a dream behind Door No. 1.

None Oak

Quick quiz: What newly named Vegas venue shares a name with a well-known pants style and a popular 1970s Ford fastback coupe? It’s Capri at the Mirage, previously known as 1 Oak Nightclub until MGM Resorts took over the venue from Hakkasan Group. Oh, it’s a cigarette, too, I am told. Capri cigarettes, “The slimmest in town,” according to the ad campaign.

It’s a fine name, offering the chance to park some product placement in valet.

But seriously, the future of that space was uncertain even before COVID. Production shows, music acts existing and in development and comedians all have kicked Capri’s tires. Similar to the pants of the same name, it’s a ‘tweener size and a unique fit

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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