The unique comedian and magician known professionally as Piff the Magic Dragon – who is not to be confused with Puff the Magic Dragon, or even Pete’s Dragon – will regale Southern California audiences at Costa Mesa’s Segerstrom Center for the Arts (specifically the Samueli Theater) in a two-evening engagement on September 27th and 28th. The man who comically identifies as 100% dragon will perform four times (at 7 and 9 pm on each night).
Known for his green, red, and yellow dragon suit, and accompanied by his trusty sidekick in Mr. Piffles, the world’s only magic-performing chihuahua, the man born John van der Put has developed quite the relationship with audiences since earning national acclaim via the 10th season of “America’s Got Talent.” It’s not every day that you see an IT (information technology) guy become an entertainer with a very robust IT factor, as this Brit has managed to enthrall everyone under his spell since winning over Heidi Klum, Howard Stern, Howie Mandel, and even Neil Patrick Harris who was compelled to push the prestigious Golden Buzzer on Piff’s behalf.
Piff’s brand of humor is delightfully dry with oodles of sarcasm. Under his cowl, this “real-life magic dragon” and the “last of his species” may be wry, but he is genial all the same so you can’t help but like him as he utters a joke and simultaneously performs a how-did-he-do-it feat of misdirection. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Piff’s act is buttressed by the charm of Mr. Piffles, who is featured in many of the acts, just as Mandel experienced when he played the precarious game of “Dog or No Dog.” And while there might be a highfalutin moment or two, Piff is a humble dragon who prefers unpretentious production values and relishes a purer magic (e.g., card tricks) while being his jocose self.
Although some may deem it a gimmick, it should be said that magic, comedy, and the way of the dragon are precisely why Piff is in a league of his own, so much so that he’s a resident performer at The Flamingo in Las Vegas, besides also having been the supporting act for Mumford and Sons at one point as well as earning the top-tier respect of fellow magicians Penn & Teller. The multi-time award winner is legitimately recognized in magic circles for his effortless off-the-cuff approach despite secretly being a sort of Ph.D. in his field.
Nevertheless, all the world’s accolades mean little in the realm of entertainment unless a performer is thoroughly diverting. When Piff the Magic Dragon – with Mr. Piffles in hand – coolly hurtles toward the Segerstrom Center in time for his shows at the end of September, audiences will experience an idiosyncratic approach to magic and comedy that they will not soon forget. And it will all be carried out by a deft dragon who has transcended the tag of an “overnight sensation” to become a mainstay.
For more information about Piff the Magic Dragon’s shows at the Samueli Theater, please visit: