Saturday, July 2, 2016 | 11:54 a.m.
To the right was Tony Orlando. Behind him, Andrew Dice Clay. A few rows below, actor Gary Oldman.
To the left, having the time of his life (so says the ever-present necklace-clock), was Flavor Flav.
This was the partial list of celebs who turned out for Criss Angel’s premiere of “Mindfreak Live!” at Luxor. Angel certainly draws a vastly disparate collection of stars, and all of these gentlemen have been friends of his over the years. Clay, for example, invited Angel to guest-star on his recent Showtime series. Orlando usually hits the show at Luxor at least once when he is headlining at South Point Showroom.
Angel’s magician brethren turned out, too. Lance Burton; The Amazing Johnathan (whose former sidekick, Penny Wiggins, co-hosts with Mateo Amieva’s Maestro in the show); his wife, Anastasia Synn; and Fielding West checked out the new show. Though not every pro magician is a fan of Angel’s — he has sparred publicly with Vegas headliners in the past (especially David Copperfield at MGM Grand) — the turnout showed Angel does enjoy some strong support in our community of illusionists.
Thus, the night served as a soaring celebration for Angel, who put together a show that is undeniably powerful in every capacity. A full account is posted in a separate column, but the production of “Mindfreak Live!” is topped by a levitating act at the end, in which the show’s star steps along a ladder in a most uncommon manner and also dips into a circular cage — totally suspended.
Months in development, this act was only added to the show about a week before previews. It is further evidence of the blend of Angel’s artistic vision, his ability to motivate those around him to put something groovy onstage, and his own skills as a showman to actually execute the act. In a show full of high-volume, visually bracing moments, it stood out.
The new show serves as a reminder that it has been a long ride with Mr. Angel, believe it, since he opened at Luxor. In the fall he is to star in an A&E special, titled “TRICK’D.” The magician’s evolution is one of the great success stories in Las Vegas. Don’t take my word for it; ask Flavor Flav. During the show’s signature act, he rose from his seat, arms stretched skyward, as if being levitated himself. There is no higher praise.