Las Vegas Sun

October 17, 2018

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Criss Angel to premiere ‘Mindfreak Live’ on Nov. 13 in Dubai


Tom Donoghue /

Tom Green and Criss Angel arrive at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, May 18, 2014, in Las Vegas.

Criss Angel in Times Square for Spike TV

Criss Angel in Times Square in New York for his Spike TV series “Believe.” Launch slideshow »

Criss Angel’s ‘Believe’ on Spike TV

Criss Angel’s “Believe” on Spike TV.

Launch slideshow »

For the first time in more than six years, incredible illusionist Criss Angel will temporarily leave his home base on the Strip at the Luxor to premiere a production — first in the Middle East in November and then in other global cities next year.

The Cirque du Soleil headliner at “Believe” has created “Mindfreak Live” that will debut in the 15,000-seat Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Sports Complex in Dubai on Nov. 13. It’s based on his successful TV magic show seen in more than 90 countries by 100 million viewers in its six seasons of 100-plus episodes.

In the Middle East, it’s become the top-rated TV show. Criss’s current 10 one-hour “Believe” specials are seen in 103 countries.

Criss told me: “It’s a brand new show we have created. Some of the new illusions for it are so good, we will put them in ‘Believe’ after the Dubai run. Some of the ‘Believe’ elements are being reimagined for Dubai. We’ve been working on it for over a year because it’s all being built from scratch.

“I have 50 people dedicated to it. It keeps me on my toes and keeps my creative juices flowing. It’s a huge arena, and I didn’t want to do traditional box magic that touring magicians perform, so this is all new and all different. It presents a lot of logistical challenges that we don’t face in the more-intimate Luxor theater.

“I’m thrilled to have developed it and honored to have its world premiere in Dubai. It’s been over six years since I have performed live outside Las Vegas and have never toured before. This is the first opportunity to spread my wings on tour outside the Strip. It’s very exciting.

“I’m ensuring that it’s a one-of-a-kind experience with original music, lighting, special effects and spectacular original illusions all woven with a cast of multitalented artists. The scale of this simply would not have been possible previously without the unprecedented support of the Dubai arena. It’s the first live entertainment ever staged there.”

Criss will continue with his 400 “Believe” shows annually selling more than 500,000 tickets, but on his breaks he will now present “Mindfreak Live” at several worldwide venues and follow with “Criss Angel Presents: Magic” with other artists.

That’s the show that filled in at the Luxor with Nathan Burton, Banachek, Jason Byrne, Russ Merlin and Krystyn Lambert when Criss was recuperating from shoulder surgery this year.

“We have been building and fabricating the illusions over the past year, and rehearsals have just begun at my facility here,” Criss told me this morning. “I’m looking forward to meeting fans from other parts of the world who haven’t been able yet to come to Las Vegas to see ‘Believe.’ ”

Thomas Ovesen, COO of Done Events, who made the unprecedented deal said: “To lure Criss Angel, the biggest name in magic who singlehandedly brought in $150 million to the Luxor in one year, out of Las Vegas not only to perform in Dubai but also to launch a completely new show with us is a real coup.

“It highlights the increasing global stature of the entertainment industry here in Dubai.”

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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