Getting Bodies into Seats At Criss Angel: Believe

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby Timothy Drake » 04/03/09 02:29 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:Heard an interesting rumor today: the latest scuttlebutt is that Believe is shortly going to close down for "rehab." Cirque is going to buy out Criss Angel and, when the show reopens, he won't be in it.


May be a rumor but SOMETHING has to be done. Cirque can't use the " work in progress" or "evolving show" lines any longer. ( its been 5 months) It's time to admit utter disaster and move on.

Best,

Tim
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 04/03/09 02:38 PM

Or they could call in Sid and Marty Kroft and make it fun.
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Postby Timothy Drake » 04/03/09 02:47 PM

Hi Jonathan,

I'm guessing you are making a reference to Lidsville? Can you explain the reference? I've seen it mentioned several times in reference to Believe but don't know the connection.

Best,

Tim
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 04/03/09 02:55 PM

Hi Timothy,

I don't mean to be the least bit opaque about this - the basic story of a person trapped in a fantastic world of psychological oddities with a magician character was handled in a fun way on that TV show

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lidsville

And the folks who made that show had a way with costumes and sets which might be compatible with both the mechanics of conjuring and the space requirements of dance.

-Jon

* and just for fun - it seems timely since Britney's big single 'womanizer' sounds similar to the theme song and she's got a magician working with here... why not complete the circle and bring on the Krofts too?
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Reason: Lidsville!!!!, Lidsville!!!! (think Mindfreak theme)
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Postby Timothy Drake » 04/03/09 02:59 PM

Thanks Jon,

I was a big fan of the Kroft stuff but think I out grew it by the time Lidsville came out. I can remember a little about it however. Too bad I never not to see the indoor amusement part in Atlanta they built as well.

Best,

Tim
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Postby Naphtalia » 04/03/09 03:24 PM

Sadly, at the mention of Lidsville, I can still sing the entire theme song....

of course, if I try to sing when Irma's around, she stops playing piano...doesn't want to encourage me.

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Postby Tim Ellis » 04/03/09 06:05 PM

Hmmm.. Criss out... maybe the Masked Magician wil get a gig back in Vegas after all...

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/03/09 06:43 PM

I heard the rumor yet again today that this incarnation of the Masked Magician is actually John Pyka. Has he posted a denial of that on here?
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Postby Jim Maloney » 04/03/09 06:52 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:I heard the rumor yet again today that this incarnation of the Masked Magician is actually John Pyka. Has he posted a denial of that on here?

I believe he denied it very strongly over at the Magic Cafe.

EDIT: Here's the Cafe thread.

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Postby Kevin Connolly » 04/03/09 07:08 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:I heard the rumor yet again today that this incarnation of the Masked Magician is actually John Pyka. Has he posted a denial of that on here?


That's what I heard. Isn't his other name, Grand Cool J or something on the credits of the show? I know I collect Houdini, but my source is really good.
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Postby David Alexander » 04/03/09 07:19 PM

How much intelligence does it take to figure out this is nonsense? A couple of minutes with Google would show this as stupid.

Why would Val Valentino hire someone to play the MM when he is the show's producer? He already knows how to be a whore so there's no need to hire someone else as Val is so experienced. That and a number of sources list him in the credits as the MM.

See: http://www.film.com/tv/magics-biggest-s ... d/23849201

The Internet Movie Database almost always has the most complete set of credits and Pyka isn't in any of them.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1245872/fullcredits#cast

Clicking on Valentino's listing you'll find that he's listed as the Masked Magician http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0884349/

Pyka issued a press release back in December stating categorically that he was NOT the Masked Magician. See here:
http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuse ... =457549216

If you still think Pyka is involved in this, please email me as I have some investment property that you need to buy.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/03/09 07:34 PM

David, you still have investment property?
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 04/03/09 07:48 PM

Thanks. I'll stick to my source and Houdini. I have better things to do than watch someone get her panties in a knot. Enjoy. :)
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Postby Ray T. Stott » 04/03/09 08:23 PM

Michael Close wrote:How much is it if you don't have to go to Believe?


$300 per person w/o Believe tickets - 5 day night stay required in a special room with 17" color TV, with no remote control, next to the express elevator shaft and two coupons redeemable for McDonald Happy Meals. :D
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Postby Jim Riser » 04/04/09 01:16 PM

Ray T. Stott wrote:
Michael Close wrote:How much is it if you don't have to go to Believe?


$300 per person w/o Believe tickets - 5 day night stay required in a special room with 17" color TV, with no remote control, next to the express elevator shaft and two coupons redeemable for McDonald Happy Meals. :D




Ray;
The correct term at the Luxor is "Inclinator". You forgot to mention that the room features doors falling off of the wardrobes, curtains coming off the rod, and multiple burnt out light bulbs. The only parts of the Luxor that seem to have seen any money spent on them in recent years are the club areas and casino areas.

About the only thing worth going to the Luxor for anymore is the Human Bodies exhibit. This is located in King Tut's former resting place. Who knows what happened to Tut?

You may still see Tut here (scroll down):

http://www.jamesriser.com/StereoImages/ ... Vegas.html

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/04/09 01:29 PM

Okay, it's time for me to admit that I am the Masked Magician.

I put a bandana over my face and teach tricks to my daughter.

If my wife is in the room she yells "STOP!" until she can leave because she doesn't want to know how tricks are done.

My 7-year-old daughter, on the other hand, now knows how to use a Phantom Tube. :) I wanted to take her to see "Bodies," but she didn't want to see naked people. I wanted to take her to see "Believe," but she read the bad reviews and didn't want to go. She said, "Papa, it's better to save the money for ice cream this summer."
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Postby Ray T. Stott » 04/04/09 02:31 PM

Who knows what happened to Tut?


Jim,
The smart money says that Tut was spirited back to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

The Luxor had the Pharaoh on 99 year lease for exhibition but Howard Carter's ghost began haunting the high roller Baccarat pit resulting in every Oriental player making a 9 hand so management decided to abrogate the lease agreement for financial reasons.

The same legal team is now working to relocate Criss Angel and a mime troupe into the big room at The Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops) for a 20 year engagement.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/04/09 02:34 PM

Jim, I used to be able to "free view" pretty easily, but can't seem to do it anymore, at least when looking at your images. Perhaps it's middle-aged eyeballs.
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Postby Jim Riser » 04/04/09 03:29 PM

Richard;
Try the tips on the web page for viewing. My eyes are older than yours - so no middle-aged eyeballs excuse. When you "get it", the 3D views inside the tomb are really cool. It's just like the old View-Master images.
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Postby CraigMitchell » 04/04/09 04:01 PM

Not working for me either
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Postby Don Knox » 04/04/09 04:49 PM

Worked for me - after I relaxed my 57 year-old eyes - the center image was suddenly there and you can scroll down and keep the center image. The second set with mostly outdoor shots really stand out.

Thanks for the shots Jim.

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Postby Terry » 04/04/09 06:57 PM

Ray T. Stott wrote: Who knows what happened to Tut?

Jim,
The smart money says that Tut was spirited back to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

The Luxor had the Pharaoh on 99 year lease for exhibition but Howard Carter's ghost began haunting the high roller Baccarat pit resulting in every Oriental player making a 9 hand so management decided to abrogate the lease agreement for financial reasons.

The same legal team is now working to relocate Criss Angel and a mime troupe into the big room at The Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops) for a 20 year engagement.



You have solved the problem with the Believe show. . .it's the curse of King Tut!!

It has brought death and destruction to those in proximity and nothing could better describe Believe. . .
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Postby Larry Barnowsky » 04/04/09 10:15 PM

I believe that the buffet/theatre tickets/room deal requires that you attend Believe and they will be taking attendance! :)

Seriously, if you want to see some great theatre in Vegas with a little magic thrown in, go see Phantom of the Opera at The Venetian. Jim Steinmeyer was the illusion consultant. I've see Phantom on Broadway and this was as good or better.

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/04/09 10:42 PM

Ugh ... sorry, Larry, but the idea of turning Phantom of the Opera into a musical has always disgusted me. Watch the silent film with Lon Chaney instead. The idea of a singing phantom is just nauseating.
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Postby Timothy Drake » 04/04/09 10:51 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:Ugh ... sorry, Larry, but the idea of turning Phantom of the Opera into a musical has always disgusted me. Watch the silent film with Lon Chaney instead. The idea of a singing phantom is just nauseating.


Sorry Richard,

I'm with Larry. Phantom is a masterpiece. If you haven't seen it you don't know what you are missing. 21 years on Broadway ain't nothing to sneeze at.

Best,

Tim
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 04/04/09 10:59 PM

I've never been a fan of any Andrew Lloyd Webber production. His music just isn't something I enjoy.
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Postby Timothy Drake » 04/04/09 11:02 PM

Good.... If you can get any Phantom tickets you won't need them so I'll trade you some Believe tickets for them. LOL

Best,

Tim
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Postby NCMarsh » 04/04/09 11:03 PM

Timothy Drake wrote:
I'm with Larry. Phantom is a masterpiece. If you haven't seen it you don't know what you are missing. 21 years on Broadway ain't nothing to sneeze at.

Best,

Tim


Because commercial success is the measure of artistic achievement? Bull...

Phantom is aural bubblegum. Give me Sondheim over Weber any day -- Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George -- those are masterpieces...not theme park shows mounted in theaters

A.L.W. can write addictive, hummable melodies -- but so too can whoever writes the Free Credit Report dot com ads...the shows are driven by, and remembered by gimmicks -- a helicopter landing on stage, a guy in a mask singing from atop the proscenium, crowds of protesters -- more than anything else...it's great for what it is...but it ain't art

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Postby Ray T. Stott » 04/04/09 11:08 PM

Jim Riser wrote:
Ray T. Stott wrote:
Michael Close wrote:How much is it if you don't have to go to Believe?


$300 per person w/o Believe tickets - 5 day night stay required in a special room with 17" color TV, with no remote control, next to the express elevator shaft and two coupons redeemable for McDonald Happy Meals. :D




"What a dump!"
Bette Davis



Ray;
The correct term at the Luxor is "Inclinator". You forgot to mention that the room features doors falling off of the wardrobes, curtains coming off the rod, and multiple burnt out light bulbs. The only parts of the Luxor that seem to have seen any money spent on them in recent years are the club areas and casino areas.

About the only thing worth going to the Luxor for anymore is the Human Bodies exhibit. This is located in King Tut's former resting place. Who knows what happened to Tut?

You may still see Tut here (scroll down):

http://www.jamesriser.com/StereoImages/ ... Vegas.html

Jim
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Postby Timothy Drake » 04/04/09 11:12 PM

NCMarsh wrote:
Timothy Drake wrote:
I'm with Larry. Phantom is a masterpiece. If you haven't seen it you don't know what you are missing. 21 years on Broadway ain't nothing to sneeze at.

Best,

Tim


Because commercial success is the measure of artistic achievement? Bull...

Phantom is aural bubblegum. Give me Sondheim over Weber any day -- Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George -- those are masterpieces...not theme park shows mounted in theaters

N.


We're not talking some over hyped show that had a short run here. We are talking a show that has created a large following and it didn't do that by being a flash in the pan. It's a commercial success because many people appreciate it. I guess you are not one of the 80 million or so who have seen it or wish to.

Funny that you should mention both Into the Woods and Sweeney Todd... I thought the songs in each were utter garbage so I guess its a difference of tastes.

Interested in your take on Les Mis now.

Best,

Tim
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 04/04/09 11:22 PM

I've seen Phantom (large production in LA many years ago). Hated it.

I understand there's a large market for that sort of hokum, and I'm glad that it's been enjoyed by so many, but... not for me.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 04/04/09 11:35 PM

... careful the tale you tell, that is a spell.
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Postby NCMarsh » 04/04/09 11:46 PM

Timothy Drake wrote: I guess you are not one of the 80 million or so who have seen it or wish to.


You would guess wrong. I have seen Phantom live, along with several other ALW pieces.

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/04/09 11:47 PM

Les Mis was a piece of crap, too.

Andrew Lloyd Weber is never even mentioned in the same breathe as Stephen Sondheim. Sondheim is a master, a genius.

Weber is a hack who cranks out trash to please the public--akin to novelist Sydney Sheldon.
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Postby Timothy Drake » 04/05/09 12:01 AM

[quote=Richard Kaufman

Weber is a hack who cranks out trash to please the public--akin to novelist Sydney Sheldon. [/quote]

Webber learned that trick from The Disney Company.
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Postby NCMarsh » 04/05/09 12:12 AM

Walt Disney created something the likes of which had never been conceived before. There was nothing, nothing remotely comparable to Disney World when he bought a huge patch of swamp in the middle of nowhere. it was genius and it was vision -- creating an immersive world where people could move through their fantasies...

Gimmicky spectacle and pop ballads came way before ALW...he executes it well, and I'm glad people enjoy it...but masterpiece is an overstatement
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 04/05/09 12:13 AM

Starting to look like a dispute over a matter of taste.

Can you imagine the fun of Sydney Sheldon working over a Michael Crichton novel?
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Postby Timothy Drake » 04/05/09 12:22 AM

NCMarsh wrote:Walt Disney created something the likes of which had never been conceived before. There was nothing, nothing remotely comparable to Disney World when he bought a huge patch of swamp in the middle of nowhere. It may not be art, but it was genius and it was vision -- creating an immersive world where people could move through their fantasies...



Hello Nathan,

I am betting that not many on this board know more about Walt Disney ( other than Richard maybe) than I do. I have studied the man for 25 years and an oil painting of him adorns my living room wall. I have quite an extensive library on him. Note that I said... " The Disney Company" and not Walt Disney. They are in my opinion two entirely different entities.

BTW... yes there was something similar to Disney World when Walt bought swampland in Florida. It's called Disney Land. Now THAT was original.

Best,

Tim
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Postby Disparity1 » 04/05/09 12:24 AM

Criticism

...the main and overriding attraction of criticism is that it at once makes the critic superior to what he is criticising. A man who criticises a play implies that he has seen better plays and that he knows what a better play is like. A girl who criticises a party wants people to know that she is used to going to better parties. A book critic wants his readers to know that he has not been taken in. Praise, on the other hand, seems to imply subservience and navety. If one person praises a restaurant and another criticises it then the critic feels that she knows what good food is really like whereas the praiser is satisfied with any old thing. Because criticism is so easy it is often the refuge of mediocre minds who cannot be interesting in any other way. Too often a critic forgets that he is not criticising the situation but only his understanding of it. A book critic may be indicating his lack of understanding of the book as much as its deficiencies. In practice you do not have to understand something to criticise it indeed, criticism is very often a camouflage for lack of understanding.

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/05/09 12:35 AM

The difference between what Walt Disney did with his animated films (he did create the medium of the feature-length animated film) and his better live-action films (So Dear to My Heart, Song of the South, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and Mary Poppins, to name but a few) is that they were not the work of a hack--or even of one man. They were the work of large teams of people whom Disney broght together. The films were acclaimed by critics and public alike.

Andrew Lloyd Weber's shows were routinely roasted by critics, who saw them as poorly written with schlock music and lyrics. Yes, people went to see most of them in droves, but that proves nothing to me except that they were financially successful. And they are now mostly dated and can be seen for the tripe they were. In my theater-going days in New York City I saw Cats and Les Miz, along with every Sondheim show that opened as I grew up. The Sondheim stuff was great, thoughtful, full of intellect and emotion. The Weber stuff was just a lot of crap and failed in almost every way except for the sets and costumes.

Disney's films, on the other hand, have ripened with age. Even animated films such as Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and Sleeping Beauty--which were criticized at the time of their release as being less well crafted than his earlier films--have now been recognized as classics of the genre.
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