Criss Angel Believe

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Richard Kaufman
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Criss Angel Believe

Postby Richard Kaufman » March 5th, 2010, 11:16 am

Anyone know when the seven new illusions are going into the show and all the dancers are going out?
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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Magic Newswire » March 5th, 2010, 12:21 pm

According to This Article: http://bit.ly/9eaUwB

"The dancers also were told that in mid-April, some seven major new illusions will be incorporated into the show so that Believe will eventually have 30 magic segments in all with its new look. As a result, the dancers have been told that their run in the show will then slowly come to an end.

Cirque has confirmed my weekend report, and in a statement that the dancers contracts will not be renewed after July, added that they hope to place the dancers in the other six resident Cirque shows on the Strip. Felix Rappaport, president of the Luxor, where Believe is a resident show, said a new marketing campaign for Believe is being planned for mid-April to emphasize the changes as Cirques traditional fixation process finalizes the makeover."

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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Christopher Lyle » March 6th, 2010, 9:32 am

I met Criss at the WMS this week. He was walking around the Dealer's Room where I was working and he picked up several items from the Steven's Booth.

Tho' he wasn't present in the Dealer's Room when he was there, I did notice that Criss was checking out Bill Smith Illusions booth quite a bit. No idea if he ever spoke to Bill or not about any new ideas for the show...but after reading this, it would make sense?
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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Richard Kaufman » March 6th, 2010, 10:34 am

When the dancers go, most of the supposed story line will probably go as well, leaving us with Criss Angel doing a magic show essentially sans Cirque.
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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby CharlieKab » March 7th, 2010, 10:06 pm

I took in Believe during the WMS. I also saw it when it first opened and there were huge differences. It was pretty full but not packed or sold out by any means.

Basic Line up of effects: (SPOILER ALERT)

Levitation of Criss descending to stage over "Luxor" beam to stage.
Vanish and appearance into audience.
Master Prediction System
Tribute to the rabbits dance
Criss appearance in big mid-evil catapult looking illusion.
Dove act & dove release over audience
Cirque Du Soleil aerial act
Transformation of the aerial girl into a burning tree.
He calls a trick "Kaiala to life". Criss takes a painting of the girl and places it on an open frame table, the canvas stretches and a human form appears and it's the girl from the "canvas" Pretty illusion.

DeKolta type chair and Tip Over Trunk (a credited tribute to Richiardi)
Appearance of large monster/Mascot Moth/Criss appears as monster in costume
Sub Trunk with flames instead of curtain
Levitation walking vertically down a wedding dress train.
Levitation in the rain and Asrah finale..they are drenched during this set.
Sawing in half with a big DC looking Death Saw blade on a motorcycle
A trick he called Enigma where Criss stood on top of a framework box on top of a "6 foot table." The girl disappeared on the stage and a curtain raised up and criss transformed into the girl, the clowns appearing throughout the show were all crammed into the small box as the curtain was raised (funny) and he appeared in the audience and swung by a rope tarzan syle to the stage over the heads of the audience.
Final disappearance off a table with his assistants surrounding it.

Perceived changes: The Tesla Cage is gone. Swearing is gone. The Interlude trick is gone (but was told it's coming back) The levitation/asrah was new to me and he put the girl in the sawing table instead of himself. The Enigma trick was new too. An usher told me that they are rehearsing and putting in new stuff weekly and there was a new relaunch of the show planned. The story seems to be the leader clown is an aspiring magician and he tricks always fail. Criss is his mentor and he finally gets his final illusion right.
I do have to say that the show was better than it was when i first saw it. The dancing seems to have been replaced by more clown numbers which were pretty darn good!

sorry for the spoilers.

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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Richard Kaufman » March 8th, 2010, 12:49 am

Thanks for the details!
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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Bystander » March 10th, 2010, 11:00 pm

Thanks for the update. I saw the show in September. I have to agree with the changes being implemented regarding less dancers. From the description above, I will definitely check the show out again later this year. The canvas to life sounds amazing.

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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby skeptic555 » March 19th, 2010, 9:52 am

I first saw the show just after its formal opening, and as most here know, it was uncomfortable to watch. Bloated, pretentious, arrogant, and not amazing or funny. Applause cues were met with awkward silences. It was bad. Really bad. Most blamed it on two very control-freaky entities clashing over artistic direction, but I saw it more as Criss putting "proving" he was different and awesome rather than just, well, putting on a show that was different and awesome.

Based on Charlie's note (and the news about the dancers), and armed with a 35% off coupon, I was able to score first row while in Vegas last week.

And you know what? While not a cant miss show, its really quite good these days. As charlie notes, the bloated storyline is gone COMPLETELY gone. No more stuck in a dream in Criss head while he is in a coma theatrical conceit. And Criss, while not exactly polished, comes across a LOT more sincere (or hes learned to fake it) and dare I say it - funny. Its the kind of self-deprecating humor that you can really only pull off if you are comfort able and confident in yourself. Of course, its also now much more like a traditional magic show in structure (you know, the format that's proven to work for AGES).

I personally loved the bit with the teenaged volunteer as again it allowed Criss to be a little edgy and poke some gentle fun - at himself as well as others.

The show was pretty close to full, too, on a Tuesday 7pm show. It wouldnt be the first Cirque show I recommend to people (thats Ka, then O, then Mystere, then BeLIEve, then LOVE) nor the first magic show (thats Mac King, then Penn and Teller, then Copperfield if hes in town, then Lance) but a HUGE improvement and a gamble thats paid off, I think.

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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Bystander » March 19th, 2010, 7:31 pm

Skeptic..did you notice any additions of pryo? I had read awhile back special permits were being obtained.

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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby skeptic555 » March 19th, 2010, 8:23 pm

Only one time (and don't remember if it was also featured 2 years ago) which was during Metamorphosis. Still uses the smoke instead of the cloth, but there is also a line of flame lengthwise across the stage further obscuring things.

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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Bystander » March 20th, 2010, 9:33 pm

Very cool. I read all additions are not quite in place. 100% by next month. I really enjoyed your play by play Skeptic. I wish you would write for the LVRJ.

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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby MattSchick » March 23rd, 2010, 8:05 am

I too saw the show right after WMS and there have been a ton of changes since I first viewed it last year. While I agree that Criss came across more sincere and likable, he cursed about 7 times in my show (possibly because it was the late, 9:30 show) and it made a lot of the parents sitting around me uncomfortable.

In addition to this, the show as a whole seems to have much less structure and flow now. Before, there was a storyline - a mediocre storyline, yes, but it had something. Criss stepped into the Tesla Coil, died, and the rest of the show was based off of that. Now, most of the production is Criss standing on stage and screwing around with the clowns in between the sets. There is no more Tesla Coil (thank god), no more straight jacket escape, and no more quick change routine (which was actually one of the highest points in the show before.)

Many of the illusions mentioned above not longer serve the purpose that they did when the show had a storyline. For example, the Catapult-like illusion used to make sense because Criss "died," his skeleton was placed into the contraption, and it turned into his body, alive. Now, Criss walks off stage and one of the clowns says "Where is Criss?" and the massive contraption is then moved on stage. A skeleton is placed into the illusion but left me thinking What was their reasoning behind this? Maybe this was only apparent to me because I saw the show when it made sense

Both the night I attended and the night my friend attended, Criss TOTALLY messed up the Asrah levitation, both flashing the method and sending the frame crashing to the ground. It was a terrible end to an attempt at a graceful routine. Perhaps a bit more rehearsal was needed before throwing it into the show.

As an experiment, my friends and I stood outside the theater after the first show and asked about 20 people what they thought of the show. 7 people said it was "great," 8 people said it was "Eh, so so," and 5 people told us it was a "complete waste of time and money." The show is definitely heading in the right direction, but it is obvious that we saw the show in the middle of a transition period. I look forward to seeing Believe next year once all of the new illusions are added.

-Matt

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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Richard Kaufman » March 23rd, 2010, 9:41 am

Uh ... how many years does it take to get the show "right," when you've been charging people $100 a seat for all that time?
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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 23rd, 2010, 10:01 am

Maybe a little more time would have saved the Henning show Merlin.

I hear there's a new release of MS Windows for cell phones due out later this year.

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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Bystander » March 24th, 2010, 6:59 pm

In all fairness, it has been one year not years.

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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Richard Kaufman » March 24th, 2010, 8:39 pm

Okay, if it makes you feel happy, then how many tens of thousands of people do you rip off for a crap show that didn't get a single good review until you fix it?
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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Bystander » March 24th, 2010, 9:58 pm

And how many tens of thousands actually enjoyed the show, but unfortunately haven't been as vocal or have the public mouth piece to voice their opinion? I have read many blogs since the opening and for every 1 bad review I have read a good one. Yet, to hear LVRJ and apparently Genii as well, those good opinions are conveniently ignored and do not exist. Why?

Case in point. Skeptic and Matt above. Fair reviews that were met with sarcasim and dismissed. I don't understand.

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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Raleigh » March 25th, 2010, 1:44 am

While I was watching Believe I could not " Believe " they charged money for this ...... I agree with Richard Kaufman while others may not.

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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Richard Kaufman » March 25th, 2010, 2:55 am

Not one genuine media outlet gave Believe a good review. All reviews were consistently awful. I'm not counting all the people who just blog away on the internet, but genuine critics who have some background and credentials for the jobs for which they are hired.
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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Bystander » March 26th, 2010, 7:38 pm

Without specific names, I cannot BeLieve such a blanket statement of the bible of "genuine" critics. Even so, critics will not keep a show open nor close it. Its the people who like the show, blog about it to their friends and return over and over. This has happened and will continue to happen with BeLieve.

So, I just ask that you, Genii and all the "genuine" critics with their big credentials not forget who really counts, everyday people. And maybe the next time a bystander comes around who happens to disagree with their gospel truth of BeLieve stinks, to please take into consideration that ALOT of people really do like the show.

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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Greg Phillips » March 26th, 2010, 8:53 pm

Thanks for your input Criss...
He's Funbelievable!

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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Bystander » March 26th, 2010, 10:12 pm

Flattery will get you nowhere :)

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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 26th, 2010, 10:49 pm

Somewhere between Sylvia's Mother Says and Mommy Dearest we need some common sense. Care to proffer a credible review URL?

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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Bystander » March 26th, 2010, 11:25 pm

I will hold, thank you, and raise. Care to offer yours?

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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 27th, 2010, 11:29 am

Bystander wrote:I will hold, thank you, and raise. Care to offer yours?


Chris did get some good parody reference in the last episode of Ugly Americans so IMHO he's not a total washup. Just needs some good solid quality performing time. Might even be able to turnaround his rep the way that guy from the English boy band did a few years ago. Just my opinion.

BTW I do appreciate the "bystander" userid. :)

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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Bystander » March 29th, 2010, 11:12 pm


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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Richard Kaufman » March 29th, 2010, 11:15 pm

Good for you ... one positive review.
Sheesh.
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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Bystander » March 29th, 2010, 11:47 pm

Thank you. I know Richard, such a shame his career is in the toilet :)

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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Richard Kaufman » March 30th, 2010, 12:03 am

I'm glad you believe everything you read! That's a real trick.
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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Bystander » March 30th, 2010, 12:24 am

Touche my friend...touche

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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Master Payne » March 31st, 2010, 11:52 am

Even regular Joe's are still continuing to pan this show. Every so often I scan Trip Adviser to see if the reviews from everyday non-magician audiences are getting any better. they're not. the site rates BeLIEve #506 out of 587 attractions to see and do in Vegas. The free show at TI gets a higher rating than Chris, as does the Hartland Wedding Chapel.
so it seems to deserve its current rating of Worst show Ever in Vegas.

Read 'em and weep

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserRevi ... ml#REVIEWS
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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Bystander » April 2nd, 2010, 12:37 am

Seems like the regular "male" Joes are the most vocal, but are not the ones buying tickets week after week...lol.

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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 2nd, 2010, 9:26 am

I did not figure CA's show as a draw for irregular Joes... but to each their own.
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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Brandon Hall » April 2nd, 2010, 10:05 am

I think he's talking about "Josephina's" and we all know how much women love magic
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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Richard Kaufman » April 2nd, 2010, 12:29 pm

Brandon, my experience is that most women do indeed enjoy magic greatly. It really has to do with the specific performer.
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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Dustin Stinett » April 2nd, 2010, 12:40 pm

I have only had two women turn their nose up at my magic in 40ish years. One because she thought I was the devil (I bent a key for her and she ran away screaming that I was Satan) and the other because she is a very analytical person as well as a control freak: Her brain simply cannot handle the concept of magic as a performance art (but she loves theater and dance). To her, magicno matter how well doneis just a series of frustrating puzzles.

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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Brad Henderson » April 2nd, 2010, 3:55 pm



This is a positive review?

"their Joe Pesci-voiced rockstar-y Goth-dripping New Yaawk-bred cult hero"

"a few stock Copperfield-esque audience participation tricks"

"the usual saw-in-half illusion, which could be so wonderful as updated to feature dripping tendrils of intestines hanging from Angels two wriggling halves as though it were from some original movie on the Sci-Fi Channel, was ruined by the fact that the body parts were separated and spun around before the chainsaw ever hit the box"

" all fairly standard illusions."

" the overall feeling remains that well this show will be absolute dynamite a few months from now when it cures and ages and grows into something even more individually spectacular."

(in other words, it sucks now.)

"One of the things still needed in the fine tuning of Believe is coaching for Angel himself, a guy whos obviously a major, major player as a showman but not yet someone who has found his sea-legs as an actor."

(apparently someone doesn't know that showmanship and acting go hand in hand. I think the word he meant to use was 'marketeer.')

"when the magician claims Believes obviously well rehearsed illusions are spontaneous and unplanned, one cant buy it for a second."

"Angel seems to be a duck out of water. His heavily Lon-gah Island-tinged accent becomes even more strident, coming off not unlike classic Tony Curtis pointing out Yondah lies da castle of my fadda as it lingers and echoes smackdab in middle of the gossamer Victorian filigree motif that weaves throughout the show."



The review is predicated on the assumption that if people saw Believe without preconceptions or expectations they would think it was great.

That's true.

I expected a Las Vegas show to be good. Had I gone in without that expectation, I am sure my experience would have been profoundly different.


The one moment of magic that has received any critical acclaim is the dove act. Of course, it's basically exposure of the most literal kind as he removes each part of the costume (donned for this particular act) once the birds have been produced from that area.

There were exactly three moments in the show of any interest.

1) the dove flight/projection combination at the end of the aforementioned routine

2) the moment the mean lady jumps out at the audience via the projection

3) the poppies floating to the stage during the spanish web routine.

as to the magic - like his tv series - the camera tricks were still the best stuff.

The night I saw it (one of the nights Criss claimed on Larry Kind to be over 100% sold out), we were the only people in our 9th row seats.

The only people who stood to applaud at the beginning were the girls paid to hand Criss the banner.

At one point he actually called us a "bunch of [censored]" and demanded we applaud more.

Later, he even threatened not to perform his closing effect unless we maintained applause at the level befitting his ego.

The audience seemed ok with leaving early - many walking out before the final bows had even begun.

There were two or three 40 something women in various swaths of spandex and a handful of still sad looking 15 year olds who were standing and applauding.

Most people just left silently, eyes to the ground, feeling dirty. I have been to funerals that had happier processions.

It remains, quite possibly, one of the worst theatrical experiences I have had the misfortune to witness.

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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Dustin Stinett » April 2nd, 2010, 4:16 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:(apparently someone doesn't know that showmanship and acting go hand in hand.

This is not necessarily true. There have been (and are) countless great showmen/women who are lousy actors. In magic, one can start with Houdini and Doug Henning.

Dustin

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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Brad Henderson » April 2nd, 2010, 4:22 pm

If we restrict acting to the ability of pretending to be someone else - I would agree. But the ability to project an idea, create an emotional hook, hold an audience, and convey a feelingful response is essentially acting - in that our daily selves are not nearly that dramatic.

besides, yelling at me through the camera that what I am about to see is 'sick' or 'off the hook' or 'dangerous' is hardly showmanship - it's yelling at me through the camera.

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Re: Criss Angel Believe

Postby Dustin Stinett » April 2nd, 2010, 4:26 pm

Okay, I can buy the first part.

And I agree with the second.

Dustin


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