TAPE FACE HAS SECOND PLAYFUL ENGAGEMENT AT FLAMINGO
by Jackie Brett
While he doesn’t have anything to say, mime-sensation Tape Face has returned to the Flamingo Las Vegas in the intimate Bugsy’s Cabaret for his second limited-engagement there this year running Oct. 5-8, 19-22, 25 and Nov. 1-5, 8-12, and 15-19.
Tape Face came to recognizable prominence in this country as a finalist on Season 11 of “America’s Got Talent” (AGT). He’s impossible not to remember with black electrical tape over his mouth and expressive eyes outlined in thick black makeup.
After seeing his show recently, it’s rather fascinating to watch how he communicates so well without using words. From the show’s first opening announcement, it is clear many audience members will be called to the stage to participate in the game-like fun Tape Face creates with each routine. He will come down into the audience or gesture from the stage and quickly draw his next playmate into action in a child-like world of play just as he did with the AGT judges. In fact, many of his sketches were performed on the show.
Music plays a big part in pacing his show and building each routine and all the interplay. He has carefully selected songs such as Diana Ross and Lionel Richie’s “Endless Love,” Tom Petty’s “Free Falling,” and Rossini’s “William Tell Overture” to build each vignette.
His props such as balloons, oven mitts, staple guns, pom-poms, a hair dryer, etc. are amazingly simple and clever. In fact you leave with a curiosity to come up with fun things to do with items you have around your own home.
While the black tape and almost hobo-like appearance is a gimmick, he backs his comedic performance up with genuine and skillful talent. He’s not the traditional mime like Marcel Marceau but he’s more like a cross between an animated Charlie Chaplin and the playful Ellen DeGeneres who wants everyone to play games, have fun and be more childlike.
Before the show, Tape Face rather quietly and without fanfare appears in the middle of the room and takes selfies and photos with his enthusiastic fans.
The former circus and street performer called a busker in his native New Zealand, aka Sam Wills began performing his silent stand up, “The Boy With Tape On His Face” in 2008. Now after success on AGT, he’s spent the last two years touring the world in various cities and performing limited-engagement residencies in venues like London’s West End at the historic Garrick Theatre.
Ticket prices begin at $62.95, plus applicable tax and fees. VIP seats including a meet-and-greet with Tape Face are also available.