Archive for the 'Criss Angel' Category

Angel Back Performing One Day After ER Visit

Posted by Michael on March 11th, 2017

Criss Angel was taken to the emergency room after losing consciousness during an upside down straightjacket escape Friday night. TMZ reported on the incident Friday night and reported he walked out of the ER about 10 PM; Saturday morning tickets were still on sale for for the night’s shows.

At time of posting, it is unclear whether or not Saturday’s shows were performed but tickets for the 9:30 PM Saturday performance of Mindfreak Live! were still being offered on the Luxor’s ticketing page at 7:00 PM Vegas time.

Magic Martial Arts Fight? Chinese Now You See Me? More! [Magic Bulletin]

Posted by Michael on July 18th, 2016

First up is a story that we didn’t quite believe at first… but the video above of Brett Daniels challenging Criss Angel to a MMA fight is legit and from the Las Vegas Review-Journal YouTube page. We aren’t taking sides and iTricks doesn’t even condone this but if anyone needs a trainer or corner man, I’ve got experience. Just sayin’ is all…

Is there going to be a Chinese language, Chinese co-produced Now You See Me spin off? It certainly looks as though that may happen! The Hollywood Reporter details known plans between Lionsgate and Chinese production company Leomus to produce a spin off of Now You See Me specifically for the Chinese market and possibly cooperate on Escape Plan 2, a sequel to the Sylvester Stallone film that I am pretty sure no one in America bothered to go see at the theaters! There is also coverage of the planned production in the Hong Kong website for The Standard (it is in English).

I am by no means an expert on the Chinese film industry, but I have spent a fair amount of time researching and reporting on the Chinese film. I would not be surprised to see not a spin off but a wholesale Chinese language remake, something like the 2011 Chinese version of What Women Want with Andy Lau and Gong Li, which remade the 2000 Mel Gibson/Marisa Tomei film but was marketed in some countries as a sequel. No direct knowledge, just an educated guess as to how this might all play out.

Don’t forget that the Master Magic Summit we reported on last week, the free online magic seminar, starts today! You can stream all of the talks from well known performers free (and purchase access to downloadable versions) at the Master Magic Summit website.

Closer to home (literally, for some of us) the Branson Tri-Lakes News has all the details about Steve Wyrick’s new show at the White House Theater.

Proving that things are the same all over the world, The Shillong Times talks to Karan Singh and finds that men ask the magician to make their wives disappear all the time…

Finally, The Londonist takes a hard look at Impossible in their new review of the West End magic show.

Looking Ahead To 2014

Posted by Michael on December 30th, 2013

Michael Lauck is a columnist for iTricks. His work appears on Mondays.

2014 should be a great year for magic.

Magic is coming off a big year and should only do better in 2014. There are several major television and film projects that will keep magic in public consciousness throughout the year.

2014 is shaping up to be an incredible year for the magic industry. 2013 was a truly great year with magic projects popping up on television, the stage and even the silver screen. It has been a while since there was so much magic news. Over the last few years there have been so few major magic projects that actually forgetting something at the end of the year would have been impossible. This year was so chocked full of magic that several great shows, such as Travel Channel’s Magic Outlaws and the live shows Nothing To Hide and Play Dead, were inadvertently left out of last week’s 2013 retrospective and I apologize. There were so many stories that there simply was not a noticeable hole left in the article. Best of all, signs indicate that 2014 should be even bigger. Magic is finally back in style.

The best part about magic being popular is that it will trickle down to everyone. Magic fans will get plenty of opportunity to see the top magicians on television or live shows as well as get the chance to see new performers. This popularity will keep magic on the minds of people looking for entertainment locally as well. Bookings should rise for magicians as people planning birthday parties, corporate events, weddings and other events will consider magic (possibly for the first time).

For magicians, the biggest event in 2014 is arguably the combined SAM and IBM convention in St. Louis. Not only will this be the national convention for magic’s premier organizations in North America, it will also be the North American championships for FISM (Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques). This means that the convention will select the acts representing North America in the FISM World Championships of Magic in 2015. In addition to the high standard of competition, the convention will feature a selection of Korean magicians, The Fat Brothers and German magicians. The combined convention is centrally located on a holiday weekend, so it should be easy for many to attend. All of this means that the 2014 SAM/IBM convention should see even more great magic and product releases than normal conventions.

Of course, the convention is a magicians only affair and most magicians will not even be able to attend. Luckily, the silver screen will continue to keep magic in the public eye. Although the sequel to Now You See Me will most probably not make it into theaters until 2015, it is scheduled to begin filming in the early part of 2014. Internationally, Dhoom 3 (which also features a magician as a bank robber) will continue its run and should get even more attention when released on home video later in the year. Smaller films, such as New Zealand’s Everything We Loved, will also bring magic to filmgoers throughout the year. These smaller releases include the horror movie Phantasmagoria, which features a Southern plantation once owned by a 19th century magician, and the documentary Magic, Magicians and the Movies which will get some attention because Scorsese, Woody Allen and JJ Abrams are among those featured.

There are also still reports that Warner Brother’s version of Mandrake the Magician will make it to the screen in late 2014. Given the rough journey the project has had so far, a Mandrake film finally appearing might be the greatest movie magic trick of all. Other magic related film projects still in development include The Stooge and adaptations of Carter Beats the Devil, The Houdini Box and Marvel’s Doctor Strange. Even if none of these films make it to theaters in 2014, the reports of their development will continue to keep magic in the entertainment news.

Television is the probably the most important media, despite the rise of the Internet, and magic is going to be well represented in 2014. America’s Got Talent has been a mixed blessing for magic over the years, but it has undeniably been a platform for a few magicians to enter the public eye. It will return in 2014 with the same panel of judges, probably the most magic friendly to date, as last year. Another returning face will be Justin Willman, who will continue to be seen on Cupcake Wars. He will also start hosting a Disney revival of the 1980s game show Win, Lose or Draw.

Also returning to television after a bit of a hiatus will be Masters Of Illusion. The show started back in 2000 on the PAX Network (now known as ION). It lasted only a single season but was revived on MyNetwork TV in 2009 for another single season. In 2012 several syndicated specials were released but in the summer of 2013 it was announced that the CW Network had picked up the series for a run starting sometime in 2014. When it does air, it will bring several top magicians into the homes of viewers each week. Both stage and street styles of magic will be included in the new series.

Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne will be premiering in January of 2014 on the A&E Network. Its prank and revenge magic will vary greatly from the more traditional magic featured on Masters Of Illusion. Hopefully, this will help all audiences find their preferred style of magic on TV. A&E has a long history with magic, stretching back to documentaries on the history of magic and their first magic performance series, Mondo Magic with JB Benn and Chris Korn. Best of all, the network has prominently placed Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne spots on their highest rated show Duck Dynasty (which is one of the hottest shows on all of television).

Speaking of JB Benn, he is slated to star in his own Fox special, tentatively titled Unreal, at some point in 2014. Benn was seen earlier in 2013 on the Travel Channel show Magic Man (which may even continue into 2014… Travel Channel is not always the easiest network to follow). Another important special will be History Channel’s two part Houdini biopic starring Adrian Brody. The History Channel (which is owned by A&E) has had some success with this type of programming lately and will undoubtedly rebroadcast several Houdini and magic related shows in support of the film.

All of this activity on the big and small screen will generate an untold amount of publicity that, at least tangentially, keeps magic in the public eye. There will be entertainment news visits to sets, interviews with stars which include demonstrations of magic they have learned and more. There will also be many talk show appearances by magicians and local news segments on area magicians.

Despite the importance of all of the movie and television projects mentioned, magic is best enjoyed live. It seems that there may be a few big live shows in 2014. There are reports that the original line up of The Illusionists is heading to the United States (possibly Broadway). Criss Angel has also announced his own tour of the “world’s greatest magicians” titled WymZkal. Given the return of Masters Of Illusion to television, it is only natural to expect that the live tour connected with the show should have a big year. Of course, if magicians do well on America’s Got Talent then they will secure a spot on that live tour, too.

2014 is shaping up to be one of the best years in recent memory for magic and magicians. Given the number of television projects alone that include magic, the public profile of magic will be raised. Hopefully, the industry can turn this into continued success by generating interest in more live magic as well.

Looking Back At 2013 (July – December Edition)

Posted by Michael on December 23rd, 2013

Michael Lauck is a columnist for iTricks. His work appears on Mondays. The first six months of 2013 where covered here.

Magic had a great year in 2013.

There were ups and downs, of course, with new triumphs and lost friends. All things considered, though, magic raised its profile in 2013.

After the first six months of 2013, magic was in an interesting position. The Magic Castle was celebrating its 50th year and Genii was entering its 76th! There had already been two big screen projects featuring magic and on the small screen, America’s Got Talent was just kicking off. It really looked like magic was making a comeback.

July kept the momentum going. Although it had already run in Europe, Dangerman: The Incredible Mr. Goodwin made its US premiere on BBC America. Of course, America’s Got Talent was still moving along and featuring several magicians. The CW had already announced that it was reviving the series Masters of Illusions and it began taping the large scale stage magic segments. On the street pieces would follow. The documentary Magic Camp, which had been seen in limited release and festivals, was finally widely available through video on demand services.

The magic community also lost a few members in July. Among them were one time SAM Magician of the Year Jack Bridwell and Albert Ching Jr. (left). Probably best known as a restaurant owner when he dies, Ching had used the GI Bill to attend the Chavez School or Magic and went on to a very successful career in New York, even appearing on Ed Sullivan’s show, before moving to the West Coast.

August also saw the loss of a few interesting characters. On the 3rd, intelligence analyst and magician Bart Whaley passed away. When he was not designing high level military simulations the Magic Castle member was writing books on Erdnase and Orson Welles. At the end of the month, Mandrake the Magician ended its decades long comic strip run. Even though he was fictional, Mandrake spawned a real life magician (Leon Mandrake).

John Calvert turned 102 years old early in the month. Magic Live! was held and included a special Potter and Potter auction which included Cardini’s gimmicked wristwatch. On the more unfortunate side, Paul Daniels was quoted as making a few less than charitable remarks about why there were not more women magicians, which he later maintained were misquotes.

Magic continued to be big business in the entertainment world. The Travel Channel premiered JB Benn’s Magic Man series and A&E confirmed that Adrien Brody would star in its planned Houdini two part movie. Now You See Me continued to rake in the ticket sales across the world, making it the sleeper hit of 2013. A sequel was officially announced in August.

September would be one of the saddest months of 2013 for magicians. Shortly after a false report of his death spread through social media, John Calvert (right) passed away at the end of the month. Not only had Calvert been a successful magician, he had been a world class adventurer who had flown and sailed around the world and even had a film career.

Despite the sad news at the end of the month, September had otherwise been a pretty good month for magic. America’s Got Talent ended. Highly touted teen heart throb Collins Key made it all the way to the end, ultimately finishing 5th. Winner Kenichi Ebina was billed as a dancer who incorporated multimedia, but he also used so good old fashioned magic along the way! David Copperfield was in the middle of a wave of publicity due to his new Vegas contract, which included a new production company and strange claims that his islands contained the fountain of youth. Forbes even placed him on a list of people poised to become billionaires in the coming years. Best of all, though, David Oliver finally returned home after a lung transplant. For the record, David could still use everyone’s help so check out the Do Magic For David Oliver blog.

October was, understandably, overshadowed by the death of John Calvert. More sad news came with the passing of Fantasio’s wife Monica Roucau. There was better news, though, Criss Angel debuted his new show BeLIEve on cable’s Spike Network on the 15th. Just a few days before Ben Hanlin’s Tricked premiered on England’s ITV2. Even though it had just ended a few weeks before, America’s Got Talent was already starting auditions for the 2014 season in Miami. Meanwhile in the mountains, Magic In The Rockies was celebrating its 20th anniversary. Across the pond, Paul Daniels started his farewell tour, although he dubbed it the first of many.

Australian TV was big magic news in November. Self described unusualist Raymond Crowe made a very respectable run on Australia’s Got Talent. He made it into the Top 6 and illusionist Sam Powers placed in the Top 12 (that is Sam at the top of the page). Meanwhile former Australia’s Got Talent runner up Cosentino (left) cha-chaed his way to reality show glory by winning Australia’s Dancing With The Stars. On American television, David Blaine made a triumphant return by messing with celebrities on his Real Or Magic special. On the Internet, iTricks returned to podcasting with a special look at women and magic.

Of course, December is not quite over yet but it has already been an interesting month for magic. Derren Brown found himself in a tiny bit of trouble (or at least embarrassment) after his publicist connected his upcoming art heist themed special with a real life London theft. Art and magic also mixed in Teller’s new documentary Tim’s Vermeer, which was placed on the official short list for an Academy Award earlier this month. The big screen attention on magic continues, too, as we end the year. India’s biggest action franchise released its third installment on the 20th. Dhoom 3 features a magician robbing banks and has already set box office records.

Potential billionaires, breakout hits movies, magic on television… Magic had a pretty good 2013. It seems as if the credibility of magic is on the rise again. There are new shows scheduled, big project planned. We can only look forward to 2014!

First Look: Criss Angel BeLIEve Spike Series Trailer

Posted by Editor on September 4th, 2013

Criss Angel Prepares for 5th Anniversary of Believe

Posted by Editor on July 10th, 2013


Criss Angel Believe at the Luxor will turn five this Halloween as the star of the show completed over 2,000 shows last weekend.

And it almost didn’t happen.

However, at Saturday’s 2,001st and 2,002nd shows, he came perilously close; it took a helicopter flight from Phoenix where he was filming his new Spike TV series to have get him onstage with just minutes to spare before the curtain rose.

VIPs helping him celebrate the 2,000th show included comedian Carlos Mencia, at the show for the second time, and LeBron James’ fiancee, Savannah Brinson, in town with 16 girlfriends for a bachelorette party.

There are few shows as discussed as Believe. The show and it’s namesake have demonstrated tremendous resolve in the face of vitriolic criticism.

Five years would mark the halfway point for Criss’ ten year contract with Cirque. Angel has promised new illusions will debut at the anniversary show in October.

Criss Angel to Vanish 40 Tons of Elephants in Springfield, MO

Posted by Editor on July 1st, 2013


As we speak, Criss Angel is set to vanish 40 tons of elephants at JQH Arena on the Missouri State University campus.

According to the JQH Facebook, here are the details:

“Criss Angel the biggest magician on the planet will attempt a vanish of enormous proportions. Taking place in front of a live audience at Missouri State University, Criss Angel will attempt to vanish over 40 tons of Shrine Elephants. Impossible conditions set the stage as Criss Angel attempts to become the first ever to successfully complete a vanish of such epic scale. Don’t miss the chance to see it live and witness history in the making.”

The stunt will be filmed for his Spike series BeLIEve, set to air this fall.