This is a long over-due review of magician Criss Angel’s show Mindfreak Live, which previously had a long-running engagement at Luxor in Las Vegas ( where we saw it), but has since moved to the Planet Hollywood Hotel. It is advertised as being a new show at Planet Hollywood, but I can’t imagine that Angel has changed some of his signature acts, such as flying in the air, and I’m sure the show still takes on a similar tone of being at a rock concert.
My husband and I had seen Angel’s previous Luxor show, Believe, in which he had created in partnership with Cirque Du Soleil. It was incredible. Angel is a very talented performer. What impressed us the most, was his high energy and gratefulness towards the audience. Even though he has been performing for decades, you still get the feeling that he loves his job and not only that, but he wants to put on the best possible show every night. We saw David Copperfield’s show at the MGM Grand and we were left disappointed at Copperfield’s lack of enthusiasm and rude behavior towards audience volunteers. Admittedly, Copperfield could have had an off-night, but it was such a left-down, that we would never pay to see him again. Two shows in and we would definitely pay to see Angel for a third time!
We took the kids to see Mindfreak Live. At the time, my step-daughter had just turned ten and my step-son was nearly eight. Parts of Mindfreak Live ( sawing a lady in half with spurting fake blood, Angel swallowing razor blades) were just creepy enough to have them squeal and bury their heads into our shoulders. Angel has a semi-devilish persona that he really plays up. It is all done in good fun and the kids were old enough to understand that it is all just an illusion. There were plenty of kids in the audience.
Speaking of kids, Angel has founded a pediatric cancer charity called Heal Every Life Possible (H.E.L.P.). During a very emotional act in his show, Angel opens up about his young son’s battle with Leukemia. He then segues into his flying act, which is nothing less than astonishing. Even knowing that it is an illusion, it is mind boggling. He soars around hoops that are suspended and gracefully “walks” in the air. The dazzle of this act combined with his emotional situation actually made me cry. I surprised myself to be overcome with emotion during the show, but I don’t think that I was the only one in the audience with tears.
We had no idea in advance, but we visited on a very special day. Earlier on the same morning, Angel had been in Los Angeles to accept his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. After Mindfreak Live ended, Angel came back on the stage with his theater family to reveal this news and Luxor presented him with a cake. In the lobby, the audience was treated to Criss Angel Walk of Fame cupcakes as we exited!
As I previously mentioned. Angel gave 110% during his show. As he thanked the audience and his team for their support and spoke about the honor of receiving a star, he mentioned that he had not had much sleep in the last few days. He was utterly exhausted, running on empty. Yet, as an audience member, we would never have known. Angel is a true professional and fabulous performer.