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After injuring mitt, Criss Angel gets hand from other conjurers


Criss Angel has escaped building implosions and hung from helicopters by hooks in his back. So returning to the relative safety of his home stage at Luxor is no problem, with just one caveat:

“I just can’t fall.”

“If I trip or fall I’m really in bad shape,” he says of hosting “Criss Angel’s Majicjam” with his right arm in a sling, held together by several biodegradable screws. “And no one can give me a bear hug.”

That doesn’t keep Angel from using his free hand to put razor blades in his mouth, or overseeing several illusions from his usual “Believe” show in “Magicjam,” which enlists guest performers to offer more of a magic-variety show through March.

Check out Friday’s Neon for a review of the limited-run show that features the comedy magic of Nathan Burton, Jason Byrne and his birds, the close-up card trickery of Armando Vera, mentalist Banacheck, the comedy of Russ Merlin and protege Krystyn Lambert.

Angel hurt himself filming a straitjacket escape in Times Square in October for his Spike cable series, which also was called “Believe.” He was hanging upside down, four stories in the air, with a noose around his neck.

“I felt something,” he says, “(but) because I was so pumped up with adrenaline, I felt it but I didn’t pay any mind to it.”

Angel says he thought of reviving the classic variety format four years ago, and a show called “WymZkal” is still being solicited for next fall on the website of the Parallel 49 talent agency.

But he says the injury created “a great opportunity to feature some of these acts that are just phenomenal and have been doing it so many years and are the unsung heroes. It gives them a platform to do their thing.”

While Cirque du Soleil produces “Believe,” Angel is doing “Magicjam” without the company’s involvement beyond its continuing staffing for “Believe.” However, he says, “Cirque came to see (“Magicjam”) and they were really happy with what they were seeing and hearing in Montreal. Now we’re talking about doing something even further with the show.”

Another touring magic revue, “The Illusionists,” also features Las Vegas magicians who haven’t hit the Angel/David Copperfield level of fame. But so far, that one is concentrating on New York and other U.S. markets beyond the Strip. …

Magician Jan Rouven also had to take a winter break for a less-severe operation, so he turned his “Illusions” at the Riviera over to colleague Spencer Horsman for a spell. But Rouven is recovering as expected and plans to take back his “Illusions” on Feb. 25. …

Speaking of the Riviera, the hotel announced it would sublet its entertainment venues to a third party this past November. But we’ve been waiting ever since then to see what the newly created Red Mercury Entertainment would put in there.

Now, drum roll please, comes the first show announcement from the company headed by Carlos Reynoso and Darin Feinstein: “Men the Experience” will debut March 31 as a roommate to the “Crazy Girls,” thereby providing equal-opportunity ogling.

Gotta start somewhere, I guess. …

Ed Mathews, trusted provider of free afternoon shows for retirees at Sam’s Town and the Suncoast, is getting in on the talent show craze that today’s kids are so wild about.

“Las Vegas Has Talent!” starts Tuesday at the Suncoast and runs at 2 p.m. each Tuesday for 12 weeks. Contestants 18 and older participate in the weekly competition selected from online applications; visit desertproductionslv.com to sign up.

The weekly variety show is hosted by Doug Starks, who is more often seen as Sammy Davis Jr. in Rat Pack tribute shows. …

Finally, Valentine’s weekend will pack a lot of restaurants and shows, but few of them would be more perfectly themed than crooner Matt Goss at Cleopatra’s Barge in Caesars Palace.

It’s not just that the British singer-songwriter encourages everyone who comes Friday to dress up special. Or that he will reward the best-dressed retro ladies with champagne and roses. “I’m a hopeless romantic,” he says.

If you need further proof, Goss this week released a new four-song EP called “I Do,” which preview-streamed earlier this week on sheknows.com. The title mentions “the four words… ‘Will you marry me?’”

If you don’t think that will entice someone to pop the question at Friday’s show, go bet on Denver or something.

Ah, but there is a rival for Goss’ affections. The EP also includes the song “Lovely Las Vegas,” which states flat out that “I’m falling for Las Vegas.”

We all know Lady Vegas can be fickle. But the song has already had an interesting life that will be explored in more detail here on Sunday.

Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0288.