Chris Angel Vegas Show

We decided to go to the Chris Angel show at the Luxor in Las Vegas this week. I am not a big fan, and only knew a little about him, but it’s a popular show and I thought it might be fun. I like magic and I’m impressed by street magicians like David Blaine, but I digress.

While we were in line for the show they made a big deal about “no cameras” and “no cell phones” allowed in the theater. I wasn’t happy about having my cell phone confiscated, but they didn’t take mine away. They did, though, force us to walk through a metal detector, presumably to find any hidden cameras. Okay, so I get it, no photographing or filming is allowed, but I have never seen so much security focused on keeping people from taking a picture during a Vegas show.

At first I thought it had to do with the fact that there is a large gift show and Chris was just trying to protect his image, but as the show was starting I notice lots of badged security folks standing at the end of the aisles scanning the audience intently. On numerous occasions they reminded us that no photography would be allowed and that anyone who takes a picture will be immediately removed from the theater. Really?

After the show was over I thought about it some more and it seems like they went way overboard to make sure that nobody took any pictures. I’m thinking that it had something to do with the flashes that would happen and that they might expose the mechanisms of the tricks, which were mainly someone being here and then poof they are actually there (mis-direction tricks). Or perhaps to ensure the safety of the magician and his assistants?

Overall the show really didn’t impress me, was all the nonsense about not taking pictures to protect the artist’s image or to keep his tricks secret? Anybody know?

All I know is that this is considered one of the worst shows on the Las Vegas Strip - has gotten scathing reviews, and if you do an online search you will find lots of comments from people who saw it and hated it.
There was even a report/rumor that Cirque du Soleil was trying to get out of this mess, but had contractual agreements and couldn’t.
Comments range from “bad tricks” (don’t work, or obvious to audience how he did it), “nasty attitude”, “homophobic asshole”, and other choice tidbits about Mr. Angel.

I have not seen it (nor do I intend to), but just reporting what I have heard here in Las Vegas.

BTW it’s Criss Angel… not Chris Angel… and I didn’t like the show very much. The audience was not engaged and a few people walked out halfway through the show… but given what he charges for tickets there’s a lot of people like me who are interested in seeing what the fuss is all about.

Until one of the professional magician Dopers shows up here are a couple of possible explanations for a strictly enforced ‘no cameras’ policy:

  1. Maybe they want to prevent footage of the show from ending up on the internet. The general consensus seems to be that the show is lackluster; perhaps they are worried that people will see a few minutes and decide to spend their money elsewhere. If it was spectacular, the producers might turn a blind eye towards a few minutes on YouTube because it could encourage people to buy tickets.

  2. Showmanship. Did you actually see them confiscate anybody’s phone? It would be a logistical mess to run some kind of coat-check for phones. They want to make the show seem like a big deal with the clever magician jealously guarding his secrets. Not all that different from shows way back when that made a big deal out of having a nurse on hand to revive patrons who pass out in the aisles. At least I think that used to be a PR trick they used.

Probably #2, but considering I’ve seen numerous examples on the TV show of badly staged tricks where the “HOW” was obvious…#1 wouldn’t suprise me.

One legit point in the ban is to prevent unanticipated flashes (and we know a lot of people don’t remember to turn the autoflash off), which when you’re doing aerialist or escape routines can create a real danger (e.g. LOVE has no magician and does not make a big deal of prescreening, but they also say they will kick out anyone attempting photography).

Aren’t they really just banning phones etc so clips won’t end up on YouTube?