REVIEW — Tape Face: House of Tape at Harrah’s (Las Vegas)
The world can’t stop talking about voiceless star Tape Face, the newest marquee talent entertaining and outwitting audiences at Harrah’s Las Vegas.
The mime and comedian, real name Sam Wills, took over Sin City with a pair of successful limited engagements in 2017, and the mute performer is back in town with a new 3-year residency courtesy of Caesars Entertainment.
“Performing in Vegas last year was a dream, but to be able to return and perform in my very own custom venue in Vegas is beyond words,” said the America’s Got Talent finalist turned Vegas headliner. “House of Tape is definitely a tick off my bucket list!”
That 200-seat venue, housed on Harrah’s main gaming floor, is as idiosyncratic as its tight-lipped star, who himself can be described as a Tim Burtonesque gothic clown with a hint of Salvador Dali madness.
If we’re talking greats, as we are, the speechless prop comic is a modern-day Harpo Marx or Marcel Marceau.
Arrayed in faded grey Converse, simple black and white striped tee, and colorless suit jacket and slacks, the voiceless entertainer muzzles himself, completing his punk mime look with a trademark mouth-obscuring slice of black duct tape.
Despite the cozy showroom he now calls home, the former busker brings the street to the stage: he comes armed with props and toys plucked out of trash bags and cardboard boxes, the rest stashed in his weathered but handy knapsack of tricks.
Tape Face’s wide-eyed, wild-haired look hails from traditional circus freak shows, but his gags and style of comedy are a mix of pure whimsy and madcap Looney Tunes lunacy.
He’s inhumanly expressive and devilishly funny, saying nothing but communicating everything.
A props MacGyver fashioning the most innocuous of household items into weapons of mass comedy, Tape Face’s antics don’t stop at the plastic and the store-bought: he involves the audience at almost every turn, converting unsuspecting onlookers into people props.
And like Pinocchio’s Blue Fairy, Tape Face bestows life into otherwise inanimate objects, swiftly constructing makeshift puppets and anthropomorphizing them with convincing personality.
His distinctive take on the Vegas comedy show is as unpredictable as it is hard to describe: one moment you’re witness to plunger darts pitched at toilet seat bullseyes, and the next you watch on in amusing horror as some poor joe is turned into a slapdash Darth Vader by way of black bag, beanie, and limp measuring tape.
Other gags include a kung fu-fighting soccer ball marionette, a four-person synchronized dance to The Jacksons’ “Blame It on the Boogie,” a staple gun shootout, blowdryer putt-putt and Tape Face’s famous duet-singing oven mitts bit.
Tape Face is Las Vegas’ funniest show, a feat achieved without so much as a peep — proving silence truly is golden.
Tape Face performs at 7:00 pm Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at Harrah’s Las Vegas. Tickets start at $63 (plus tax & fees), and VIP meet & greets with Tape Face are available. Purchase tickets here or by calling 702-777-2782.