Illusionist Criss Angel Will Make the Impossible Possible on Broadway
Angel brings an Unplugged version of his classic Mindfreak show to the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.
From Doug Henning to Penn and Teller, magicians have a long history of performing on Broadway. Next in line is one of the world's most beloved illusionists, the Mindfreak, Criss Angel. Angel will bring a stripped-down version of his ongoing show at Planet Hollywood Las Vegas to the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre for a brief run, July 2-7. Here, Angel tells us what to expect from Criss Angel Raw — The Mindfreak Unplugged.
Mindfreak started out as an off-Broadway show in 2001. How did you develop that show, and how has it grown and evolved through the years?
My live shows are always an evolutionary process. Times change, I change, and the things I want to challenge myself to figure out how to accomplish change. I'm very blessed to have the success that I have, which allows me to create things that have never been done in a certain way before. It doesn't hurt that I have the only facility — like, my 60,000-square-foot studio — where we develop the future of magic today.
How does Criss Angel Raw — The Mindfreak Unplugged differ from your ongoing Mindfreak show in Las Vegas? What can audiences expect from the Broadway run?
This show is so much more intimate and "raw." It takes some of my favorite — and fan-favorite — illusions and demonstrations and strips them down. Much more "up close and personal." Things people always say that I can't do live, that it's just effects for TV: Well, come see it with your own eyes!
Those tricks…How do you do that? But seriously…when someone asks you to explain how you did an illusion, what's your answer?
Lots and lots of hard work, and a fantastic team that helps me bring my creative visions to life.
On a technical level, what kind of work goes into developing an illusion like the "18-years-in-the-making" finale of your show, which will be seen on Broadway in full?
Well, 18 years of work! That particular illusion is so challenging to do in a way that's never been seen. Even if you think you know how it's done, you still are left with your mind blown, fans and magicians alike. It was just named as "The Greatest Illusion of All Time" by the largest magic publication, Vanish Magazine.
You're following in the footsteps of your hero, Doug Henning, who did a magic show at the Lunt-Fontanne in 1984. What does that history mean to you?
Being on Broadway, and especially in a venue that Henning performed in, has been a dream of mine for years. I am so grateful, and blessed, that I have the support of my fans to be able to accomplish my dreams, and I hope that inspires them to accomplish theirs. I have never — and will never — take any one of them for granted. Without their love and support, none of this would have been possible.