He’s the comic magician who keeps failing his way to the top.
We speak of Piff the Magic Dragon, the famed “loser” of “America’s Got Talent” who has just been extended at Flamingo Showroom through 2024.
“I am very excited to continue to perform at Flamingo on the Las Vegas Strip for the next three years,” Piff, legal name of John van der Put, said in a statement. “I now hold the record for longest run of any magic-performing dragon with a magic Chihuahua and am so proud. Thank you, Caesars Entertainment.”
Piff, along with sidekick Jade Simone and veteran canine entertainer Mr. Piffles, performs at 7 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays. Mr. Piffles was reportedly “unavailable” for comment. Insiders say he only responds to questions in writing.
Piff is also due to celebrate his sixth anniversary at the Flamingo, where before COVID the show performed at Bugsy’s Cabaret. During the pandemic reopening, Piff moved into the big room, spacing out his audience and selling out the available tickets.
“Since 2015, Piff the Magic Dragon, Jade Simone and, of course, Mr. Piffles have entertained our guests at Flamingo with their unique blend of wit, comedy and magic,” Caesars Entertainment Vice President of Entertainment Chris Yancey said in a statement. “We are incredibly pleased to see Piff’s show grow over the years, and we look forward to many more years of laughter and success at Flamingo.”
Since moving into the former Donny & Marie Showroom, Piff has continued robust sales in the venue in which “Ru Paul’s Drag Race Live!” also does strong business. Crowds exceeding 500 are commonplace for both shows.
You might recall, or not, Piff was a finalist on Season 10 of “AGT.” After a stint in which he was featured in”X Comedy,” also at Bugsy’s, he broke out for his headlining own show on Nov. 7, 2015.
Shrewdly, the performer who topped thousands of auditioning acts just to reach the “AGT” finals positioned himself as a luckless also-ran. The description fit the character’s, um, underdog image. But make no mistake, Piff is a winner.
The cast is rounded
On the topic of “AGT” alumni, the show’s Season 16 finalists Jimmie Herrod and Lèa Kyle are joining champ Dustin Tavella to fill out the “America’s Got Talent: Live” cast at Luxor. The show opens for previews Thursday night.
Herrod, a rangy singer, earned a Golden Buzzer during the competition and performed as a soloist with the Oregon Symphony showcase in 2018. Kyle, who joins the cast at a date to be announced, is a French illusionist who also earned a Golden Buzzer.
That triumvirate joins host Preacher Lawson from Season 12; the Season 15 champ, spoken-word artist Brandon Leake; singer Kodi Lee; danger duo Deadly Games, performance artists Duo Transcend, the mentalist team The Clairvoyants, shadow-performance troupe The Silhouettes and Ukrainian LED dance troupe Light Balance in the Luxor cast.
Cool Hang Alert
Multitalented vocalist Elijah Rock’s release party for his latest album, “Matters of The Heart,” is set for 6 p.m. Thursday at the new Gatsby’s Supper Club, 2031 West Sunset Road in Henderson. Rock has performed in “Vegas! The Show” among many solo performances around town.
This is a full hang, folks, with the Uli Geissendoerfer Quartet and Strings lineup of Rebecca Ramsey, James Harvey on violin; Hanna Suk on viola; Lindsey Springer on cello; Carlos Mata-Alvarez on sax; Dave Ostrem on bass; and Larry Aberman on drums. Cost is just $15-$25, a mere pittance. Go to eventbrite.com and search Elijah Rock, and you’re home. Or, there.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.