Criss Angel: Believe / Cirque du Soleil : 3 of 5

Although I've never really watched a complete episode of Mindfreak, I've seen many of magician Criss Angel's illusions on YouTube, and while his unorthodox style isn't my favorite type of magic, I wanted to see his Las Vegas show at the Luxor since it's a collaboration with Cirque du Soleil. Believe is definitely an entertaining and spectacular show, but ultimately Criss' streetwise, brusque manner doesn't really mix well with Cirque's artsy, sophisticated visuals, so overall the show didn't really "work" for me. However, there are some fantastic illusions, many of which involve instantaneous vanishing and reappearing at some impossible location in the theater, always leaving my parents and I completely awestruck. One of the more beautiful moments was during a long sequence of making doves appear from thin air, when a huge video screen showing a flock of birds flying in the distance suddenly flew off of the screen and became hundreds of real doves right over the audience! Because Believe is a Cirque du Soleil production, the theater is huge and filled with all kinds of bizarre ornaments and props, and of course the cast includes clowns that mess with the audience and continue as characters and assistants in the show. Unfortunately, they become a little annoying as the night goes on, especially when you just want to see what the next illusion will be! The huge stage allows Criss to do some tricks with large apparatus (although they seemed like overkill every now and then), as well as a version of his famous vertical surface walk, this time down a billowing curtain. There was quite a bit more audience interaction than I was expecting, and I was pretty surprised when Criss started casually talking to the crowd, which was another element that just seemed a little strange when combined with the Cirque trappings. Overall we definitely enjoyed the show, but I would recommend it mainly for fans of Criss Angel, especially since there are so many other Cirque du Soleil productions (as well as other magic shows) in Las Vegas!