STORY BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
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“Mind blowing” is a phrase often associated with the edgy, theatrical illusions and magic of Criss Angel.
“It’s a spectacle unlike magic has ever seen. I say that confidently because I know what’s out there,” he said in a phone interview. “Your mind gets destroyed. You can’t believe what you’re seeing.”
This is, after all, the one who brought us the A&E series “Criss Angel Mindfreak,” who once spent 24 hours shackled underwater in Times Square and holds several world records because of his act.
He proclaimed “The Supernaturalists” ensemble show — which also features illusionist Landon Swank and escape artist Spencer Horsman, both from “America’s Got Talent,” and members of Angel’s ensemble from both his live shows and television projects — to be “the best of the best.” The Angel hand-picked lineup also includes French card master Stefan Vanel, Spanish street magician Adrian Vega and Colombian dog conjuror Johnny Dominquez. There will be “close up magic,” “grand illusions,” mentalism and escapes.
Show time is 6 and 9:30 p.m. Jan. 16 at Easton’s State Theatre. “I’m basically bringing Las Vegas to the State Theatre,” he said, referring to his residency show for the last seven years at the Luxor Hotel & Casino. “Three buses and four tractor-trailers for a magic show (plus a crew of at least 60 people). It’s the largest magic show traveling right now.”
Ten years in the works, “The Supernaturalists” will have both new and signature Criss Angel illusions.
Angel, who released several albums as singer of the industrial band Angeldust, composed new music for the double-CD show soundtrack for “The Supernaturalists.” He said that he’d be signing copies during a meet-and-greet after the 9:30 show.
Asked who his influences are, besides the legendary escape artist Harry Houdini, Angel mentioned Peruvian illusionist Richiardi (“He created magic out of the simplest household items”), magician Doug Henning (“Without Doug Henning, there would be no David Copperfield”), film director Federico Fellini, surrealist painter Salvador Dali, and Walt Disney.
Angel, who also was the star of the series “Believe” on Spike, talked about the differences between tailoring his performances for TV and for the stage. “I love them both, and I hate them both. In television, there are cameras that can zoom in. In live performance, the camera is the audience’s eyes,” he said. Also, because you can’t edit a live performance the way a TV show can be edited, “you have to keep (the stage show) concise, engaging, powerful, and of course entertaining.”
A new Criss Angel TV production is in the works, he said.
Angel does philanthropic work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He said he had been working with children’s charities since 2001, and has become even more involved since his 20-month-old son, Johnny Christopher, was diagnosed with leukemia a little more than a month ago. A Criss Angel live event later this year will be raising money for his Believe Charitable Foundation. “We have to appreciate the moments we have,” he commented.
“There’s a warm place in my heart for the State Theatre. Thanks to the incredible hospitality of the people who treated my family with nothing but class,” he said.
For more, check out http://thesupernaturalists.com/tour.