Moving right along with my goal to see a new show every trip to Vegas, we bought discount tickets to Criss Angel's Believe at the Tix-4-Tonight booth. It was the day after Christmas and quite frankly, Vegas was a ghost town, making it easy to find good seats for most shows.
I donned my leather jacket and we headed to the Luxor for Believe. Thinking that alcohol might be necessary to enjoy the show ( hey, we saw David Copperfield earlier in the year and he was dreadful), we got a giant margarita.
Big Mistake. Huge.
My bladder was absolutely bursting for the entire performance and there was no easy way to exit the theatre from our seats. Life lesson = no major consumption of liquids before a live performance.
PLOT - Believe is written and directed by magician Criss Angel, but it is also a co-production with Cirque Du Soleil. I've seen many Cirque Du Soleil shows and truthfully, I'm not a big fan. I often catch myself working on my grocery lists during the shows. Luckily, in Believe, the Cirque parts are limited to a few creepy and comedic characters. They are secondary, with Angel and his female assistant, the stars of the show.
The ambiance begins as soon as you enter the theatre. The lobby is filled with props, including a large display of Angel's motorcycles. If you're quiet, you can hear Angel whispering phrases as you walk near the motorcycles. Make sure to arrive early or leave time after the performance to take a close look at the lobby, there is so much to see.
The stage is quite elaborate and reminded me of Alice in Wonderland or something concocted by Tim Burton. It's whimsical and slightly eerie. There is an old-fashioned music box on stage that plays a discordant melody.
Angel performs several tricks, the most impressive is one where he just appears in the middle of the audience, within a row of seats. I was left mystified. He also has an audience member pick a motorcycle from the lobby and he has it appear on stage, with his assistant sitting on top. This is definitely more of a magic show, than a cirque show. Although there are the cirque characters, the show does not have an overriding story or theme. About fifteen minutes of the show is dedicated to Angel showing clips from his childhood and various televised stunts. I've never seen any of his shows, but this caught my interest, especially the one where he cuts people in half on Mind Freak. I know they're illusions, but I'm baffled by how he does it!
LIKE - Angel makes the show. The impression that I had of him going into the show, based on other people in the media making fun of him and his overall image, is that he is completely full of himself. The vibe that he gave off during the show was completely the opposite. He seemed humble, happy to be performing and like he is a genuinely nice guy. He has fun on stage and it made me have fun in the audience. Most of his tricks were mind blowing and I left the show feeling dazzled. I even enjoyed the cirque characters.
DISLIKE - My only complaint is that there were not enough tricks. If he had added two or three more tricks and removed some of the unnecessary cirque clown action, then I would have walked out of the show feeling completely happy. Believe could have stayed the same length, just with more magic.
RECOMMEND - Yes, absolutely! If you're a magic fan, you won't be disappointed. This isn't the best representation of a Cirque Du Soleil show ( see Love, it's brilliant), but if you've seen other Cirque shows and want something new, give Criss Angel's Believe a chance. It's a worthy contender in the plethora of vegas shows competing for your vacation time and money.