Believe: Cirque show or Angel show?

October 9th, 2008 | Joe Hadsall | Filed Under Criss Angel, General
Photo courtesy L.A. Times

Photo courtesy L.A. Times

The bad reviews keep coming in for Criss Angel’s “Believe,” his collaboration with the Cirque Du Soleil — although they aren’t actual reviews. Producers have asked for no reviews during the first few days, while the show works out the tweaks and kinks before its Halloween debut.

Agreeing with that detail, Mike Weatherford of the Las Vegas Review-Journal was allowed in to see the show. True, he didn’t review the show. But he did dish about some of the effects, and that the show has a long way to go toward living up to promises that it would reinvent magic. From his column:

Weatherford suggests that Cirque’s production approach might be the problem, in that they didn’t go to the right illusion builders. Weatherford’s biggest beef is that he didn’t see any illusions he hadn’t seen before.

That seems to be confirmed by a story in the L.A. Times, which states there is a disconnect between Angel and Cirque’s developers about what “Believe” is supposed to be. According to this quote from Gilles Ste-Croix, Cirque’s senior veep for creation:

“It’s a Cirque show where he is the main character,” Ste-Croix said by phone from Montreal last month. “We used this man who has the following of a star, but in our scenario. It’s not MGM with Criss Angel, it’s MGM with Cirque du Soleil. Because he is the main artist, we had him participate with input.”

Angel’s response in the story to the notion that it’s a Cirque show, not a Mindfreak show, is chilly:

“That’s not the case,” he said, looking to a coterie of managers, publicists, lawyers and illusion specialists in his room for confirmation. “We need to have a conversation with Mr. Gilles Ste-Croix.”


  1. Glad to see the ego-maniac be part of something thats getting bad reviews. Theres countless complaints from people that have seen this show. Maybe this will humble him a little…doubt it, but maybe.

  2. Wow…talk about obsessed! I never said the guy wasnt good. I said he’s an ego-maniac. Criss is good. He’s alot better at Stage magic than close up, which is why his show is so full of stooges and editing. He did keep magic in the spot light after David Blaine, and I thank him for that. The guy is just too arrogant and he has negative impact on young magicians attitudes…. which is proven in the above comment.

  3. Ok, just so everyone doesnt think Im talking to myself…a comment I was replying to was… Anyway… I am really shocked that this show is getting negative feedback. Cirque is amazing and Criss is so creative on “stage”. I cant BELIEVE (pun intended) that those 2 minds couldnt create one of the most breathtaking shows ever. No matter my opinion of Criss…he has a great stage presence and has had some incredible stage shows….”HAD” being the key word.

  4. KingOfNynex2003 on:

    Who really cares if he uses stooges or camera editing in his tv series? It doesn’t make the actual tricks any less entertaining for laypeople and he isn’t an ego maniac I met him on Friday night and he’s probably the nicest guy I’ve ever met he didn’t talk about himself in third person dialect and he didn’t say anything like, “I’m the best magician in the world and all of you will never be as good as me.” As for the show it was really good and the illusions even though I’ve seen him peform all of them on his tv show they were still really well done and for the people that have said he used camera tricks when he went into that robot in season 4 is all false he did an exact replica of that trick in the BELIEVE show and he couldn’t have used camera tricks and it really was him in the suit and him running around the theatre.

  5. OK, I have not seen Believe, but I have seen Criss perform, and I have seen Cirque perform…..

    Now this is really weird that I’m about to make this statement, but:

    The way I see it is that you have a circus type act and a magician working together, this does not mean there has to be a certain criteria that they both have to meet to entertain everyone in order to be what they are. Believe is exactly what it is – Believe! Criss and CDS joined together to create something different, even if he repeats most or even all of the material that he has previously shown – then that’s apparently what the 2 teamed up to show! If they are in disapproval of what they have created then it’s up to them to change it by the deadline or go with it they way that it is…..

  6. @Kingofnynex

    “Who really cares if he uses stooges or camera editing in his tv series?”

    Well, I think it is unfair to those who actually do have skill and talent rather then editing skills etc.

    I dont quite know how to explain it with a good example but try picturing a guy bowling, wouldnt it kind of cheapen the game if the pins didnt have any weight to it?? They would always be strikes! Kind of ruins the game doesnt it?

  7. Luxor boss believes in ‘Believe’ | Ellusionist Magic News on:

    […] things were in turmoil: The previews got bad reviews from early audiences, and there seemed to be creative differences between Angel and the Cirque du Soleil folks. Now that the show is three days away from opening, Luxor […]

  8. Angel to critics: ‘Believe’ is real | Ellusionist Magic News on:

    […] writes his column poetically about Angel, but doesn’t reveal any new news about the confrontation between Cirque officials or the nature of the show’s upcoming break. But, Angel does say that, despite critics […]

  9. Rumor has it the show is taking a break in January. Mr Angel needs a vacation. Wish he’d take one all the way through the taping of Mindfreak season 5! Id rather see Johnny Thompson as the star..
    Anyway… for those that said the show got bad reviews from EARLY audiences… The show is STILL getting hammered!
    On my way to vegas in a few weeks. Ill pay my respects to the death of believe while Im there.