Piff the Magic Dragon Returns to Roots

Inside Magic Image of Piff the Magic Dragon doing a One-Handed Card SpringStar of television, stage and the Penn & Teller magic contest, Piff the Magic Dragon sent us a nice note this morning.  He is returning to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for a special, limited run of shows based on his Breakfast at Piffany’s production.  The show will benefit a worthy charity.

We first read about Piff when he performed at the Fringe Festival several years ago.  He and his magic dog, Mr. Piffles have risen to great heights within the magic world and his return to the Fringe will likely sell out almost immediately.  If you are looking to see great magic performed with profound creativity, you need to see Piff the Magic Dragon.

Piff wrote:

I’m coming back to the Fringe this year. But only for two weeks. Here’s some fancy words about it.

“Direct from Las Vegas, Piff returns to the Fringe with an hour of new tricks, old snacks and sweet, sweet prizes. And yes, he’s bringing the dog too.

Part magic show, part game show, part cry for help, Breakfast at Piffany’s sees Piff split the audience into teams to fight for points and prizes, and along the way witness incredible magic tricks, delicious snacks, surprise special guests and epic thumb wars.

A smash hit on the Las Vegas Strip, Piff has dished up desserts to Shania Twain, sold Hollywood star Brad Garrett a croissant for $1000, and dazzled David Copperfield himself with sleight of paw dragony miracles. Piff and Mr Piffles (the World’s First Magic Performing Chihuahua) fly into Edinburgh for sixteen nights only to give UK audiences a taste of what they’ve been missing.

The evening culminates in the Auction of the Croissant, to benefit Edinburgh charity The Sick Kids Friends Foundation (but don’t tell Piff, he’s planning to buy a fancy new castle). In Las Vegas Piff raised over $15,000 in three months by selling stale pastry treats to minor celebrities. It’s unlikely he’ll repeat that feat in a town where punters balk at a £4 beer, but he’ll give it his best shot.

Piff The Magic Dragon Overcomes Snark

Inside Magic Image of Piff the Magic Dragon doing a One-Handed Card SpringPiff the Magic Dragon received a glowing review on the usually snarky Chortle, a British Comedy Hub.  How snarky?  Check out the last lines from a recent review of a Fringe Festival comic and his jokes about London:

“If, as a comic, you are relying on anecdotes with no real peril or no punchline you’re clearly in for a rough ride.  … Rarely have I been so turned off by such a blatant bout of town or city bashing. He can add awareness of this to the various notes-to-self he ought to make.”

Ouch.  That’s Snark to the E, as the kids say these days.

Given Chortle’s willingness to pull no punches (along with an occasional head-butt and knee to the groinal regions), we were impressed by their take on Piff the Magic Dragon.

The reviewer notes that Piff the Magic Dragon’s flat affect is rare in magic.

Deadpan isn’t much used in magic. David Blaine might be a miserable sod, but generally conjurers want to sprinkle some showbiz razzmatazz over everything they do. Not so much Piff, who’s depressed and lonely, bitter that his wife and assistant has left him, and grumpy about the amount he’s had to spend on every prop.It’s an appealing persona, even if he hasn’t quite nailed it yet.

The show sounds like our kind of magic and comedy.  Piff recently appeared on the Penn & Teller show “Fool Us!” You can check out the video of that very funny encounter on Piff’s web site.

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Paul Nathan’s Cool Card Trick Challenge

Inside Magic Image of Attractive Fan Challenging Paul Nathan to Perform a Card Trick or  Cough Up the CashMagician and actor Paul Nathan has a great hook for his play at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  If you seem him anywhere (literally anywhere) you are free to stop him and challenge him to perform one of the card tricks his character does in the play, Devil in the Deck.

If he succeeds, you get to see a neat effect in a very impromptu situation.  If he fails, you get a cool $1,000.00.

There are a couple of conditions for the challenge but they are not unreasonable.  First, the deck must be ungimmicked, standard size, and in reasonable condition. If the deck is still in its unopened condition, he will use the deck without hesitation.  If it is well-loved and sticky with various folds and tears, he reserves the right to pass on the challenge.

The only exception to the challenge is CardToon for obvious reasons.

Finally, in handing your deck to Mr. Nathan, you acknowledge you may not get it back. So, if you purchased some of those Jerry’s Nugget decks being offered by Lee Asher, you might want to keep them in your back pocket and hand over a less expensive one.

The play sounds pretty cool as well.  According to one source, “Devil” is an elegant blend of stories, music, and enthralling close-up magic. The card tricks alone are worth the ticket price.”

The show begins its limited run on August 5th and will go until August 29th.

Mr. Nathan is familiar to fans of Star Trek Voyager and has been seen on HBO and MTV.

As Jack Swindle, he spends his life cheating at cards and cheating death to break a gypsy curse.

Continue reading Paul Nathan’s Cool Card Trick Challenge