THE BLOG
11/29/2016 04:19 pm ET Updated Nov 30, 2017

Criss Angel's Making Magic Happen In Las Vegas...10 Times A Week

When you think about Vegas magicians, you think about guys with bad toupees in tuxes, wheeling around showgirls past their prime.
Or you think about Criss Angel.
Angel, who is selling out his new Mindfreak Live! show at the Luxor ten times a week, is a magician for our times.
He connects on a heart level with his audiences, while at the same time providing the illusions and demonstrations that make him an object of fascination - and even obsession - for his fans.
Angel is known to millions of TV viewers for his six seasons of Mindfreak on A&E, the longest-running magic program in television history. He's is also the most watched magician in Internet history--a YouTube sensation. His "Walk on Water" clip has generated over 60 million views alone, and all his clips combined have generated more than 300 million views. Criss also has the largest social media following of any illusionist, with six million followers.
He performed his prior Vegas show, BeLIEve, to over a million paying customers and generated over $150 million dollars for the Luxor in one year. He is the highest paid magician in history, and has put a separate troupe of illusionists on the road as well (The Supernaturalists). Angel is hailed by Hollywood elites as the greatest magician alive, and earlier this year was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
But all this pales before what happens in Mindfreak Live!, head and shoulders the best show in Las Vegas, on or off the strip.
Angel is known to be not just a mindfreak but a control freak, sweating the details, even to the point of deciding whether to repair or replace a $250 straight jacket.
But all this attention to detail pays off for the audience, which is consistently blown away by the enormous entertainment value that Criss provides, and regularly give multiple standing ovations during each performanc
Yes, he saws a woman in half.
Yes, he makes birds appear out of nowhere.
Yes, he invites a random audience member to choose one of eight motorcycles, and he somehow makes it appear.
While the illusions, or demonstrations as Angel likes to say, are amazing and compelling, what matters most is the way Angel connects with his audience.
He strides satyr-like on the stage, his edgy and provocative image belying the fact that Angel is, at base, a good guy who wants to love and be loved by his audiences.
And that's exactly what happens.
There's always the excitement and shock of seeing a favorite television star live and in the flesh, and his audiences certainly respond to his physical presence.
But more than that, there's a sense that Angel has been expecting you, waiting for you to stop by his place, even though a celebrity, the kind of guy you could have a beer with.
Perhaps the greatest illusion of all is to establish a sense of intimacy with 1,500 strangers, twice a night, five nights a week.
Yet Angel pulls off that most difficult act with aplomb. He appears to have the Joe DiMaggio attitude that this may be the only time people see him live, and they must walk away having seen him at his best.
Mindfreak Live! offers more than 50 illusions, some of which carry over from BeLIEve, and others which are new to the show - Criss having spent decades to create and them.
How he walks down a tall ladder, his body parallel to the ground and finally rising straight into the air taking one of the cast members with him, is anybody's guess. This levitation is unlike any other ever performed.
He also devotes meaningful show time to his quest to raise funds for pediatric cancer research; his two-year-old son was diagnosed with leukemia in 2015.
Magicians stuck in a time warp with their tuxes, bad toupees, and stale acts may look askance at Angel, who combines skill and showmanship not seen this side of Houdini.
But the audiences love Angel, and Angel loves his audiences.
And that's the greatest magic of all.