The star of Believe will put the show on hold for three months in 2014 to have surgery on damaged tendons in a shoulder. He tore the tendons two years ago and put off surgery at the time to film his new series for Spike TV and performing at The Luxor.
The tendons tore a second time whilst performing an upside down straight jacket escape in Times Square. “There is no alternative. It’s three times as bad now,” Mr. Angel told The Las Vegas Sun. “I have to go under the knife. There is no other choice. I’ve already put it off far too long.”
To do otherwise risked permanent damage that would end his performing career.
The doctors will begin their work in January and he will host a show featuring other magicians in February and March before returning to the stage in April.
At one time, we thought Criss Angel was doing great things for Magic and while we were not big fans of hanging by meat hooks as performance art, we respected his willingness to try new directions.
We were psyched he hired so many talented magicians as he readied his Mindfreak show. Johnny Thompson, Banachek, Steve Daly, Milt Larsen and others. They were the real deal, folks who know our art and have experience in big theaters and small close-up venues.
Yes, Mr. Angel’s use of the camera trickery was unfortunate but to paraphrase Chinatown, “It’s Hollywood, Jake.” We pretended not to care. Still, Houdini did not use camera tricks – even when he was filming his own stunts for the Houdini Motion Picture Company. There is no evidence that Robert-Houdin used video editing either.
There could be an argument made that David Copperfield has used cameras in a less than transparent manner, but his choice of a camera’s point of view or field of vision pales in comparison to the Criss Angel method.
Richard Abowitz has a remarkable take on the Criss Angel – Perez Hilton skirmish in the Los Angeles Times. We use Mr. Abowitz’ column to revisit the whole frakis and consider Norm Clarke’s perspective.
Initial reviews were almost universally bad. Undaunted, Criss Angel and the Cirque du Soleil geniuses have worked to improve the show but according to Mr. Abowitz and Perez Hilton, the work has been in vain.
We, in turn, bring news from The Post-Intelligencer that Criss Angel is finding solace from the slings and arrows launched by theatre critics in the arms of Hugh Heffner’s former girlfriend.
None of the news has anything to do with the beautiful and talented Stephanie Courtney, currently appearing on television as the spokesperson Flo in the very creative Progressive Insurance advertisements. We love Flo and we are not alone. Check out The Strange Allure of the Progressive Insurance Chick.
The second-hand nature of this report perhaps reveals the value Inside Magic places on the story.
The critics have been harsh on Criss Angel’s Believe.
Fortunately, there seems to be an almost endless supply of potential girl friends to buoy his name in the press.
Holly Madison is dating closer to her own age bracket. People magazine reports the former girlfriend of 82-year-old Playboy founder Hugh Hefner has been the arm candy lately of Las Vegas illusionist Criss Angel, 40.
Apparently fans of magic and Playboy magazine should be happy or impressed.
The Los Angeles Times hoped to have an interview with Criss Angel either before or after the Halloween debut of his new hundred million dollar show, Believe.
Their entertainment writer was relatively certain an interview could be had.
After all, Mr. Angel has not been shy in the past.
He takes pains to share intimate details of his love lives and his party goings-on go on-and-on.
Richard Abowitz writes:
But when I contacted Angel’s representative, I was told by e-mail: “We aren’t granting one on one interviews with Criss for the forseeable (sic) future.” I asked if there was an explanation for this change in policy, and the reply was simply: “No.”
Criss Angel and his people believe it is the press that has brought the negative vibe to his new show. Rather than improve the show or work to smooze the press, they decided to freeze them out.
“Ultimately it’s up to the public, and the public has spoken,” the Mind Freak star pronounced.
Criss Angel says advance ticket sales make Believe the “number one best-selling show in Vegas.”
Yes, but what about the critics and the preview audience?
“I mean no disrespect to the Review-Journal,” he said, referring to some critical accounts of preview shows. “But it doesn’t really matter what you, the Review-Journal, Criss Angel or (director) Serge Denoncourt think.”
The public is all that matters, he said. “They’re the ones that made me the No. 1 show on television and made me the No. 1 Cirque show in Vegas.”
Unfortunately, Inside Magic’s Theatre Reviewer, was not invited to the previews and cannot not weigh in on whom to believe.
The Review-Journal ‘s Doug Elfman found two die-hard Criss Angel fans who flew from London to attend the preview. Their report is discouraging:
“We were hysterical about coming. We came. It was a waste of time,” Jordan Wilson said. “The magic’s not even magic.”
They complained they could see wires and stage holes used in unconvincing acts.
“Belief was not suspended once,” said Steve Moffett, who called the show a “dead end.” “They fake an accident at the beginning, and it sets the tone of the rest of the show — fake.”
“David Copperfield is better, and he’s a boring old” guy, Moffett said.
Wilson said it should be called “Criss Angel — Don’t Believe.”