By Markos Papadatos, Contributing Editor
On January 23, world renowned magician Criss Angel performed a spellbinding magic show at The Paramount, as part of “Mindfreak Live!”
His show opened with a witty comedic set by two of his assistants, and he took the stage following their act. “Long Island,” he shouted. “I’m back home. Are you ready?”
Angel began with his transparent chamber trick, where four of his female assistants appeared in the chambers in a matter of seconds. Then, it was followed by his “metamorphosis” trick, which he holds a world record for. This was quite the spectacle.
“Long Island. I’m in town. This was 18 years in the making,” Angel said, and subsequently kissed The Paramount floor. He noted that he would play in clubs in Huntington, and to now have four sold-out shows is very flattering. “Thank you all so much from my heart,” he told the Long Island audience. “To the skeptics out there, what you see is what you get.”
Angel interacted well with the crowd, and asked three different fans to randomly provide him with several pieces of information (name, favorite color and number), and all of the details that they mentioned to him turned out in a locked box that was lowered from the ceiling, due to a “premonition” that he had prior to that performance.
It was followed by a neat sword-fight magic scene, and he had a 15-year-old boy named Nick volunteer to be a part of his “Houdini’s cups and balls” trick, which he modeled with real-life cups, however, instead of balls appearing underneath each cup, he had female assistants. To express his gratitude for volunteering and as a “parting gift,” Angel gave Nick a free copy of his magic kit.
His follow-up trick where he swallowed five razor blades was impressive, and he warned all audience members to not try that at home. His quarter trick on a table in front of the audience was pitch perfect as well, since he was able to make them multiply right in front of the people’s eyes, and make it seem effortless.
A highlight moments of the event was when he chose a male and female volunteer, brought them onstage to select their favorite stuffed animals. Towards the end, just when the audience thought that Angel’s trick failed (since the volunteers chose different stuffed animals), he proved them all wrong again. This is one trick that fans need to see in person to believe.
As the evening progressed, his tricks became more elaborate and complex. One could hear a pin drop at The Paramount. He had a “Lord of Illusions Death Premonition” trick, where falling swords were bound to impale him (and stab his heart), yet he was able to triumph. To prove that the swords were real, he modeled the trick with a watermelon, which ending up being sliced, and he handed that watermelon to an audience member as a souvenir.
He was able to saw one of his female assistants in half, with a gigantic electrical saw, in one of the most grotesque scenes of the show, yet he warned anybody who was squeamish to not watch, since he had people faint in previous shows while watching that scene.
“I remember playing in clubs and the loudest sections were in the back. Is that still the case?” he asked, prior to going into the audience.
One of the most moving moments was towards the end, when he sported a jacket that displayed the American flag and Greek flag, showcasing the pride of his heritage.
Angel noted that he feels blessed and that it took him 18 years to become an overnight success. He shared that he played 400 shows in Vegas and he inquired as to whether or not any of his high school friends were in the crowd tonight. To his surprise, he saw many familiar faces, prior to noting that it was a “reunion” for him at The Paramount.
Overall, Criss Angel’s show at The Paramount was captivating and superb. He proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is the best in his craft worldwide. His crew and his assistants were exceptional as well. He deserved the standing ovation he earned from his hometown crowd. Criss Angel is worth seeing live whenever he is in the area. His “Mindfreak Live” show garnered 5 out of 5 stars.