Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Criss Angel Facade Cracks Further

Astute listener and reader David F. from Manchester, U.K. pointed out that Criss Angel Believe, just two months into its official, post-preview run, is offering 40 percent off tickets. He caught it on the LuxorLV's Twitter stream. I dug a little deeper and it seems that this discount is through 2008 and the normal prices resume after New Year's Eve.

It is absolutely without precedent for Cirque to be discounting a 10-week-old show. What happened to this being the No. 1 show or at least the No. 1 Cirque show in Vegas? Yes, they've lowered prices on several shows, including Mystere and Ka, but those are older shows. If the Criss Angel show were of the Love or O caliber, not even the worst recession would be reducing it to this. Also, the period between Xmas and New Year's is still one of the busiest times in Vegas, so it's telling that they're discounting these seats for shows in that span, eliminating the explanation that they're trying to fill seats in the traditionally slowest period prior to Christmas.

MGM Mirage spokesman Alan Feldman had some thoughts. Admitting he's not up on occupancy for the new Luxor magic show and was not involved in the pricing for the discounted shows, he said: "I don't know what the pricing situation is for that show, but I think what's up is that we're in the midst of an all-time historic economic downturn. We're not getting the same room rates during that time, either. Even New Year's Eve, where the prices usually go up dramatically, they're not going up as much as they once did. There are New Year's Eve weekend packages that average out to less than $2o0 a night. That's unheard of."

Well, OK. And in a way, perhaps the recession is a good thing inasmuch as it may kill off bad shows faster than if there was the cushion of better days. It may be that Las Vegas CityLife, which put Angel on the cover of their annual Get Out of Town issue, could get its wish sooner than later, although the R-J's Mike Weatherford did report this week Cirque will be spending the next few months working on a "fixation" plan.

On the upshot, though, Angel has surged a little in TicketNews.Com's weekly Vegas show rankings. He'd actually fallen off the list and sat behind such hot tickets as Jubilee! since the Oct. 31 opening and subsequent critical savaging.

Looking at the list on that site -- and I have been week after week -- all I can say is that it must be nice to be the Colosseum. Bette, Cher and Elton are perennials atop this list.


Anonymous said...

My wife & I (with deepest regret) saw the show on Monday night. There were several empty seats. In fact, right up to the start of show time, ushers were bringing patrons from the furthest reaches of the balcony down into the lower level. I gather they didn't want Mr. Angel to see a lot of vacant chairs in the first few rows. The show, as virtually critics have rightly observed, is almost unbelievably bad. Given the track record of Cirque, it's amazing that this 90 minute show has about 15 redeeming minutes, and most of them have little to do with Criss Angel. It's the most un-Cirque-like (there's a word for you) Cirque show I've seen. The performers are reduced to being either clowns or dancers. None of the aerial artistry we've come to expect from Cirque du Soleil. If this show is still running by June, then Angel is capable of more powerful wizardry than Houdini, Copperfield and Blaine combined.

London, ON

Tom said...

Ok lets gain some perspective. This show, whatever its faults, had the bad luck to open right at the same time as the economic meltdown. Heck, even Steve Wynn, at the dawn of his new resort opening, is discounting rooms deeply. Even he recognizes the facts of the current state of economic affairs. It is no shame to discount a show to put bodies in seats. If this show is bad, it won't matter anyway, but lets not use the fact of discounting as further proof that its a bad show. It think its tough for everyone in Las Vegas right now.

Anonymous said...

the discount doesn't work anymore. ugh. I wanna see this piece of $hit

Jinx said...

Just as some added information, Travelzoo has Cirque discounts through end of February right now on all Cirque shows. While I do believe "Believe" is having issues. Cirque is heavily discounting all of it's shows it seems on Travelzoo for the next couple months.

Lee said...

I was in Vegas a few weeks ago and saw the show. While it was not a "MINDFREAK" episode, I thought the show was GREAT! So GREAT, that I saw the show 3 times while I was out there. I'm not sure what everyone was expecting but I thought it was great. I will definetely be seeing it again.