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Trick or Treat : Cirque du Soleil / Criss Angel Believe

By Chuckmonster on Wednesday, 29th October 2008 1:59pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 4


Criss Angel Believe

Two years and tens of millions of dollars later, the premiere performance of Criss Angel / Cirque du Soliel's Believe is here. Reviews of 'previews' haven't been too kind, neither have been the ones posted by VT readers, which offer a sampling of viewings from the first previews to shows from last weekend.

Expect... the unexpected... because this show... is beyond my wildest fantasy... is beyond anything that I can comprehend. This show is an experience that is unlike anything the world of entertainment has ever seen. Believe.

Criss Angel is a polarizing figure, you either love him or you don't. Perhaps its his penchant for hyperbole that deepens the chasm between, a phenomenon which I've come to term The DuBrow Effect. In 1983, fresh off the smash success of their debut LP "Metal Health," Quiet Riot's lead singer - the late Kevin DuBrow - engaged in a series of boastful interviews with the rock press wherein he derided many of the popular musicians of the day with shrill constancy, in the hope of drumming up hype for QR's coming LP "Condition Critical." By the time the recording came out, QR had alienated all but the most hardcore fans and destroyed whatever credibility that DuBrow had built in the metal community. "Condition Critical" tanked, as did everything else they released for the next 20 years.

Steve Wynn is equally as polarizing. He's a master of the tenor steveaphone, and toots it loudly and proudly whenever a microphone is near. Even his detractors will admit his mastery of resortitecture and ability to thread the needle of grandiose pronouncements with silken smirk.

It's too early to know if Criss Angel's "Mirage" will succeed beyond existing contractual obligations. If Angel continues to engage The Loyal - and the simply curious - enough to put seats in the seats, then yes. If the teeter-totter of sales rely on the dedicated support of extended basic cable Angelists, Believe's days are probably numbered.

As for the previews... this is what VT readers have been posting since previews began:

Posted by chrism on Tuesday, 30th September 2008 - 11:37 pm

I attended the show this past Sunday (3rd show) and was quite disappointed. The story line is very dark and hard to follow, and really doesn't make much sense. The Cirque Du Suleil performance was equally bad. No acrobatic moves, just dancing. I think Criss should stick with illusions and magic, since this is his forte and leave the acting to others. It is definately not a family show, which is disappointing since many children follow Criss and are huge fans as well. I'm glad I didn't pay full price for the tickets. Also, checking cell phones and cameras was a huge hastle. BELIEVE me, there was nothing spectacular to take pics of.
Posted by brians on Saturday, 11th October 2008 - 2:22 pm
Do not waste you money on this terrible show. If you are into old school magic with criss angel pulling pigeons out of his sleeves and dancers dressed up like bunnys and moles doing simple three step moves, than this might be an OK show for you to see. Really surprised that Cirque Du Soleil actually put their name with this show. We had people leave early during our show and only 5 people (most likely family and girls in front row who have a ulterior motive) gave him a standing ovation. This is nothing like his TV show....Mindfreak. He levitates 4 times during the show and gets pulled apart once but besides that their is NO magic and only boring dances. We had 4 out of 5 of us fall to sleep during this show. We feel sorry for the people who are going to pay full price for this show. If you have a choice please see KA, O, Love or Zumanity (we have seen all of these and they are nothing less than fantastic).
Posted by Gypsieheart on Friday, 17th October 2008 - 4:52 pm
I saw the pre review show on Tuesday ,I'm sorry but I really didn't like it. You could tell when they put the wires on Chris, when he exchanged places with a look alike, and that the legs on his cut in half trick were fake. I really wanted to like it, because I like Chris Angel but I expected better from him. It was a little to bizzare and hard to follow. I thought his illusions would be less predictable. I think people just expect a better show from him .
Posted by rockstar on Saturday, 18th October 2008 - 10:32 am
Initial impressions were great. The theater is absolutely beautiful in a classic style, with elements of the macabre scattered throughout.

THEN, the show begins, and it goes downhill from there. The faked "accident" at the beginning is just laughable and ridiculous. The inspired costumes, machines, and artwork are amazing, but as one writer has already posted, the trapdoor effects just get plain old...and the rest of the "magic" is just as cliched...
I would HIGHLY recommend that Cirque/Criss go back to the drawing board on this one. I kept wondering which investors kept allowing this one to go on and get to this stage. It should've not come to a "preview" with "tweaking" and a 10/31 opening date, that needs to be held off "until the show is READY for prime time"...it is a long way off right now.

The main problem is that this is one schizophrenic show, marred by Angel's awkward, annoying monologue throughout. It would be much better if he just simply did not talk at all. That said, the show cannot decide whether it's a Cirque show, a magic show, a horror show, or some sort of macabre art display. The problem is, it succeeds at NONE of these, mainly due to the lack of unifying theme, Angel's inability to carry a live audience this large, and the lack of any truly creative "magic"...

I really wish I had had my money and time back. I had seen Carrot Top earlier in the day, and was thinking that I felt sorry for him (before I saw the Believe show) being upstaged so much---however, after seeing the Believe show---umm, I ain't worried about Carrot Top getting upstaged.

If you go to the Luxor, do yourself a favor and don't buy into the hype. Look at the programs to see pictures of the wonderful "Believe" set, BUT save your money and go see some better shows instead...maybe the producers of "Believe" will make wholesale changes sometime soon and delay the official opening, but unless they do, this show is doomed from the start...
Posted by dialdui on Sunday, 19th October 2008 - 8:42 pm
I saw the first preview show. Both myself and my wife were excited to be there, because we enjoy his tv show. But the show was the worst thing I have seen in years. The 'tricks' were boring, unimaginative, and dull beyond belief. You could tell when they used mechanical dummies, etc. When we left, all of the other people who saw the show (and I assume most were loyal fans since it was opening night) agreed that it sucked.
Posted by pftrpa1 on Saturday, 25th October 2008 - 2:30 pm
I just returned from Vegas and saw Criss Angel's new show "Believe". I was anticipating a great, typically professional Cirque show, and have seen Criss' TV show. It was a great disappointment. The "magic" was stuff I had seen on TV twenty years ago; there were no "oohs" or "aahs"; it was easy to see right through all the so-called illusions. The music was canned, the dancing was second-rate MTV choreography. I felt ripped off for $225.00. All the other Cirque shows I have seen, Ka, Mystere, Zumanity, La Nouba, and Varekai, were mind-blowing experiences. I find it hard to believe that the Cirque people would put their name on such a lame production. Don't see it.



Comments & Discussion:

There is always a possiblity that the show will develop a 'train wreck' following. It seems to be working with Carrot Top. The ad campaign could be 'come see what may be the worst show in town and decide for yourself'.

Beyond his wildest fantasy?? Gross no one needs to hear about Criss Angels fantasies (barf). Those dancers aren't really dancing, just twitching around looking like idiots who've taken one to many hits off the meth pipe.

I saw it on 10/25 RUBBISH!!!!

How can Cirque even put their name on such a worthless show? I have seen every show they have put on in Vegas and this one is so bad i feel like i was robbed. They should do the Cirque name a favor and abandon ship now before they ruin their reputation.

The 4 clowns pre show were very good. I cannot name one good thing about the rest of the show.

I wrote to Cirque and this was their reply:

Thank you for you interest in Cirque du Soleil Matthew. We appreciate all comments and feedback and are forwarding them to the creative team. As with all of our Cirque du Soleil shows, CRISS ANGEL Believe is evolving into its own element. It is a process that Cirque du Soleil is working diligently on. My apologies if offense was taken.

OFFENSIVE there is the word I was looking for. Save your cash you will thank me later.

levans, this may be the most meaningful suggestion i've seen on these reviews: "The ad campaign could be 'come see what may be the worst show in town and decide for yourself'. " I mean, honestly. The show is dreadful, to put it lightly. What an embarrasment for the whole Cirque corporation.

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