Few magicians – or illusionists – can boast of the passionate fan following that

Few magicians – or illusionists – can boast of the passionate fan following that Criss Angel has developed in recent years, but judging from a couple of the early reviews of his latest show in Las Vegas, he may need all of their support to ensure a hit.

The multi-million-dollar production, called “Criss Angel: Believe,” opened in previews this past Friday, September 26, at the Luxor Hotel. But, even though ticket sales are brisk, according to TicketNews’s exclusive Top Events ranking, audience reaction has been mixed. However, since the Cirque du Soleil-produced show is booked for an extended run at the Luxor, expect Angel, best-known for his TV show “Mindfreak,” to retool the show if he deems it necessary.

Reviews of the show in both the Los Angeles Times and the Las Vegas Review-Journal said the weekend performances were not well received by audience members, some of whom angrily complained outside of the theater after the shows.

Reporter Doug Elfman of the Review-Journal claims to have interviewed more than a dozen people after the Friday and Saturday shows, and apparently none of those interviewed liked it.

In his review of the show, Los Angeles Times reporter Richard Abowitz said it “has serious challenges that are impossible to ignore,” but also added that the show could be improved with some work.

The show, which according to the Web site officially debuts in just over a month, is an extravaganza that is considerably more than a traditional magic performance. “The stunning illusions in CRISS ANGEL Believe will not be presented as standalone elements, but as interdependent components using heightened imagery, fantastical creatures and impossible feats of legerdemain, all of which will be integrated into the dazzling, colorful fabric of the story.”

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