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Forums > Social Discussion > Believe- Cirque Du Soleil's first big bomb of a show

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:So, I've been following this production.
I love magic. I can not stand Criss Angel. He is *no* magician.
I simply adore Wade Robson, the Emmy winning choreographer brought into this show.
I give CDS alot of props for theatricality, always have.
I haven't been fond of all their shows, and some I have down right disliked but even then the production quality was undeniable.

And yet, the jury is in and neither CDS or Wade have been able to save Criss from himself.

Here's the article from a Vegas paper. I've read from the LA Times, a few papers in Vegas, one from San Fran, and a few from Montreal. All of them review it horribly.
On the magic forum I'm on one of the guys who works Vegas said that the Luxor marketting group is thinking of canning it already. D-A-Mmmmmmmn!

Just thought some of you might want to read this.

Here is a review of "Believe" by Joe Brown, of the Las Vegas Sun newspaper.

"Title: Illusion is Elusive in Angels Believe
by Joe Brown

No wonder.

That among its many, more obvious failings is the fatal flaw at the heart of Criss Angel: Believe.

Theres just no wonder in it.

In fact, theres shockingly little magic to be seen in this much-anticipated Cirque du Soleil spectacle constructed around a celebrity magician. No shock, no awe, precious little surprise, even.

Cirque throws everything in its considerable arsenal of stage genius at Angel the expected array of lush, loud music, expert dancers and aerialists, lavish settings and boundary-breaking special effects, all intended to amaze.

The single most amazing thing about Believe is that its still so boring.

For a reported $100 million, Cirque has bought itself its first bona fide bomb.

Angel, who is signed to a 10-year contract, hasnt managed to make all that money vanish completely, however. Cirque makes everything look and sound sumptuous, of course. The 1,600-seat purpose-built theater at the Luxor makes a promising first impression, with its gilded rococo proscenium arch and decadently luxe crimson curtains.

After the customary preshow clowning, the show kicks off abruptly with an intentional false start, a very loud video infomercial for Angels A&E TV series Mindfreak. And then Angel materializes, descending slowly from the ceiling in Jesus pose. (Hes been outdone by Cher in the Big Entrance category).

Angel romps through the audience, shrieking Mindfreak! and Im tellin you, this is gonna be CRAZY! and I swear to you, this is just nuts! in his Lawn Guyland accent, slapping hands and accepting gifts, including lots of stuffed animals and a homemade banner with ironed-on images of Angels cat Hammy and other significant Angel icons on a white bedsheet. (This turns out to be a rather obvious plant.)

The video run-through of Angels greatest stunts being crushed by a steamroller, cutting himself in half, etc. serves only to show up how puny and paltry his stuff looks on stage. Hes got nothing without postproduction editing.

Believe contains very few of the sort of extreme stunts and illusions Angel made his name on. At one point, he invokes his beloved late father, and then taunts death. What youre lookin at is 6 million volts, Angel shouts, and, costumed in skintight reflective foil, he tosses a baked potato into an enormous, buzzing and hissing Tesla coil to demonstrate its deadliness.

BOOM! Blackout. Cut to video of Angel, gruesomely burned, one-eyed, his face bubbling like bacon, being wheeled away on a gurney as actors scream in horror offstage.

Then Angel and the show plunges into fever dream, an enactment of Angels interior Inferno.

His delirium involves ascents and descents and births and deaths, depicted by squads of dancing bunnies and moles. And theres a continual struggle over his usually shirtless bod between his stage assistants, Kayala, an angelic ever-receding woman in white and Crimson, a devouring, demonic black woman.

(Not even going there.)

Angels near-death fantasies are dominated by bunnies (a wink to rumored girlfriend Holly Madison?). Big bunnies, small bunnies, robot bunnies and giant puppet bunnies, good bunnies and bad, bad bunnies. The shows single most memorable image involves a giant severed bunny head that rolls over and tap dances on its ears.

Theres also a gorgeous scene in which a field of giant red California poppies gradually gathers, floating down and sprouting up and putting his demons to sleep. An onstage tornado blew away.

The entire hallucination sequence is a Frankenstein quilt of undigested chunks of Donnie Darko, The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, and even Pink Floyds Animals album. At one point, after rising from his gurney, Angel actually says, And you were there, and you were there and you tried to kill me. And (to the audience) you were there!

Camp followers the types who relish gems of unintentional badness like Showgirls and well, Springtime for Hitler are advised to get tickets soon.

As I said, magic-lovers are shortchanged. We get a remote-writing trick involving a suspended locked box, a flock of doves that appear and fly above audience, some piddling flashpaper fire-work, lots of clever screenplay, with Angel popping in and out of the projected images, and an enjoyably gory set piece with Angel sawed in half by a chainsaw-wielding bunny.

All his illusions are obscured by flashing strobes, clouds of fog and other standard methods of distraction and misdirection. The Fright Dome Halloween haunted house at Circus Circus employed many of the same effects, to better result, for $35.

A charmless mook, Angel is a rudimentary stage performer hes barely believable playing himself. But those who are hoping for an in-person look at his gleaming tattooed torso will get their moneys worth.

Many of the Cirque set pieces seem familiar by now: Theres a scaled-down version of the vertical wall-walking from Ka, and the onstage rock guitarist and drummer, too. A quartet of frantic clowns serve as Angels bumbling Ushers, and a pair of grotesque living dolls are tarted up like Victorian prostitutes. Aerialists sport angel wings, and the squad of dancers is ingeniously costumed as bunnies, rats, moles and spiny reptiles, although their stiff-legged, copy-Cats moves suggest seizures in progress.

The music, usually an enchanting, unifying element of Cirque productions, is a disappointment, a banal, bombastic mishmash of Carmina Burana melodrama, mix-tape exoticism and mock-rock opera.

The incoherent evening is haunted by a recurring Magritte-like image of an empty gilded picture frame. And that, finally, is the truest metaphor for Criss Angel: Believe: a gorgeous golden structure surrounding a void. "


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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ElectricBlue
GOLD Member since Feb 2002

ElectricBlue

Now with extra strawberries
Location: Canberra, Australia

Total posts: 810
Posted:Shudder..
I can't believe they ever thought that it would work.
Chris angel makes me feel physically sick and he is nothing with out tv special effects and a whole cast of plants.

I suppose it will will probably get a bit of a crowd for a while considering he has a pretty massive 'screaming teenage girl' fan base though it's not like many of them will be able to afford the cost of a cirque ticket easily.


I {Heart} hand me downs and spinning in the snow.<br /><br />

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MRC
SILVER Member since Jun 2008

MRC

Funky Blessings Daily
Location: , USA

Total posts: 215
Posted:That sounds horrible.

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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali, Australia

Total posts: 4030
Posted:Never heard of him. So I looked at his website. Good grief. Loyalfest?
Personally hand signed by?
Weird. I know people who have been signed by Cirque and let go because they were 'too unique' and couldn't be replaced if they got hurt or whatever. This guy must give good head. Um family show. THis guy has a good haircut.


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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duvan


duvan

ancient oachkatzlschwoaf
Location: germany

Total posts: 249
Posted:omg who came up with that idea? criss angel and cirque du soleil? I could have told em that wouldn't work out grin


Non-Https Image Link


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railspinner


railspinner

journeyman
Location: canada

Total posts: 99
Posted:maybe this will lead towards the end of angels career.

That would be nice.


The less people know the more they believe

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Puff
SILVER Member since Jun 2007

Puff

The Magic Dragon
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Total posts: 134
Posted:Originally Posted By: railspinnermaybe this will lead towards the end of angels career.

That would be nice.


Oh please please please please


Let my words, dear friends, be treasures. Weightless golden butterflies that hang before your eyes for seconds, then are gone. But the dust of truth and beauty that their wingbeats leave behind will settle on your soul and make you happy. - Edward Monkton

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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear,...

Total posts: 4693
Posted:sounds terrible.

used to watch a few clips of him years ago. i put a lot of his tricks down to editing and plants and by the sounds of how bad his Cirque show is i was right. thank god. complete git.


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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jojodijojo


stranger


Total posts: 13
Posted:I have to admit I got sick of Cirque a really long time ago- they have an awful urge to repeat themself. I wonder if they just got too big and glossy- it looks good, but there's not so much content.

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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali, Australia

Total posts: 4030
Posted:Plants in a magic show eh. Who'd have thought it! I was put off right from the beginning of Dralion, the last Cirque show I saw (and the last one I hope I ever get sucked in to seeing, or at least paying for) by their blatant use of a plant- the 'local guy everyman' who was 'chosen' despite his (fictitious) reluctance to 'interact' with the clowns. It was lamely obvious, even before he read the sponsors names out. There are not many locals in Brisbane with French Canadian accents, so perhaps we weren't even supposed to be fooled.... so what the hell was it all about? Lame.

The production was an insult to the really GOOD circus performers who were surrounded by drippy/dreamy gaggles poncing about, things coming and going for no reason (they wheeled a German Wheel on and straight off again... um... what?) zero-value add (oh sorry, boobs are always valuable, yawn) dancers, costumes that were more interesting than the ideas, endless pretentious wailing music, augh. Cirque. SOOO up themselves. SOOO over them wink


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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DaG
GOLD Member since Jun 2005

DaG

Golf buggie driving instructor
Location: Brisvegas, Australia

Total posts: 156
Posted:Originally Posted By: newgabePlants in a magic show eh. Who'd have thought it! I was put off right from the beginning of Dralion, the last Cirque show I saw (and the last one I hope I ever get sucked in to seeing, or at least paying for) by their blatant use of a plant- the 'local guy everyman' who was 'chosen' despite his (fictitious) reluctance to 'interact' with the clowns. It was lamely obvious, even before he read the sponsors names out. There are not many locals in Brisbane with French Canadian accents, so perhaps we weren't even supposed to be fooled.... so what the hell was it all about? Lame.

The production was an insult to the really GOOD circus performers who were surrounded by drippy/dreamy gaggles poncing about, things coming and going for no reason (they wheeled a German Wheel on and straight off again... um... what?) zero-value add (oh sorry, boobs are always valuable, yawn) dancers, costumes that were more interesting than the ideas, endless pretentious wailing music, augh. Cirque. SOOO up themselves. SOOO over them wink
YES! I give this post 5 old men! old old old old old




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natasqi


natasqi

addict
Location: Perth

Total posts: 489
Posted:I would have to say that Dralion was a bomb.

Just because I can say "I can do that, I can do that"

Maybe it was exciting for "lay people" but for spinners I thought that the tricks were pretty simple.


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_Clare_
BRONZE Member since Oct 2002

_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK)

Total posts: 5967
Posted:Hmmm.

Haven't seen Dralion or BeLieve, but, I did see my first ever Cirque show (Quidam) the other week - and I thought it was amazing.

Really enjoyed it, and it was great to see what can be done with lots of cash...
x


Getting to the other side smile

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_khan_
SILVER Member since Nov 2004

_khan_

old hand
Location: San Francisco, California, USA

Total posts: 768
Posted:I haven't seen Dralion or Believe either, but I can't stand Chris Angel. There is only one word for him and I don't think it's family-friendly, but it begins with a "d" and is the name of a feminine hygiene product. So I have no desire to see Believe.

However, O & KA are fantastic, Corteo & Kooza have their moments. I didn't much care for Mystere though.


taken out of context i must seem so strange
~ ani di franco

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Dom
BRONZE Member since Dec 2001

Dom

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bristol, UK

Total posts: 3009
Posted:This is a shame to hear as Wade Robson really rather good at choreography, so there was some potential there. But Cirque performers probably aren't the best professional dancers, they're just very good at big, expressive movements in fancy costumes.

Cirque performances are great, there's a lot of eye candy & spectacle for your money, which is what I'd now go expecting. It's like the Hollywood film switch you need to have in your head for such entertainment: suspend normal brain operation and enjoy. In return there'll normally be one of two really impressive & fun acts to watch.


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