Saturday, March 19, 2011

LVW Col: Criss Angel's Show Is Better But Still Not Good

Criss Angel went on a charm offensive with certain media figures recently, inviting them to his home to schmooze in hopes of more kind press treatment. Not only was I not among them, but a couple weeks ago I was specifically uninvited by Cirque du Soleil publicists to attend "Believe" when my collaborator in the big Newsweek piece on Celine was in town to see it. It can't be that they don't trust me as a reviewer because they seem perfectly thrilled when I rave about certain of their other shows. The only conclusion is that they remain very uncertain of "Believe" and its quality even now or perhaps they're terrified of the combustible, mercurial Angel. So I bought a ticket, and here's the column that came of that. Enjoy.

‘Believe’ is a better show,
but that doesn’t mean it’s any good


I tried. Really, I did.

I tried to put everything I knew about Criss Angel aside as I sat down in his Luxor theater last weekend. Criss Angel Believe has changed dramatically since last I saw it in early 2010, and Mike Weatherford, in his Review-Journal re-review in November, upgraded Cirque du Soleil’s first headliner vehicle to a B. Gone was the borderline-racist plot that required dreadful acting by Angel and most of the outlandish and distracting Cirque costumes and imagery; this was now a wall-to-wall, straight-up Angel magic show.

So I decided it was time to give it another shot, and that’s when the trying began.

Read the rest at LasVegasWeekly.Com


Michael said...

Nice article Steve, I think you hit your nail on the head in relation to the other magicians, ultimately a magician's career is defined by his likability and charisma, many have it and many don't. One of the criticisms I always saw of Steve Wyrick, is that he just didn't have the 'it' that Lance Burton or David Copperfield have, and after seeing Copperfield in person, I completely understand what people are talking about now in relation to that. (Penn & Teller work I think due to Teller's character's lightening of Penn's persona, plus I don't think it hurts that they meet and greet after the show every single guest and readily sign autographs and take pictures for all that ask.)

Angel worked for something like TV on an obscure cable network as it hides his flaws and rockstar makeup and outfits transmit well across the small screen for him and his base.

I haven't seen either show and likely won't, but it sounds like they at least just decided to put Angel in a magic show and leave it at that. It's probably what was needed from the start, and they probably alienated a fair base with the disaster everyone wrote about anyway, at least for non hardcore fans.

This is probably how the show finishes the contract, at least then MGM and Cirque figured the best way to proceed was to try and put something at least serviceable out there.

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