ENTERTAINMENT: Angel out to make you "Believe"


  The Criss Angel and Cirque du Soleil collaboration now has a name, “Criss Angel Believe,” and a date of Sept. 1 for its first ticketed preview at Luxor.
  Tickets go on sale today, but they are available only to members of three fan or rewards-card groups: Criss Angel Loyals, Cirque Club and Luxor Insiders. Ticket prices range from $59 to $150 before taxes.
  Just as a show built around one personality is new for Cirque, so is an early announcement of the name. Previous titles such as “Ka” and “Zumanity” were revealed only in the final rehearsal stages. The Angel show just started rehearsals this week.
“Criss picked it,” Cirque spokeswoman Anita Nelving says of the name that refers to Harry Houdini’s death bed instructions to his wife; the word “believe” would be his code word to authenticate communication from the afterlife.
  “(Angel) knew he wanted it to be the name of the show for a long time now,” Nelving said.
  The release announcing the show comes with other details, which — intentionally or not — help quell rumors that the show was in trouble and/or that Angel and his Cirque collaborators weren’t getting along. (Rumors were fueled by delays on remodeling the venue into a 1,533-seat theater).
  Perhaps the most surprising revelation is that Angel won’t host the show as himself in David Copperfield or Lance Burton manner, but will play “a surreal, enigmatic Victorian Noble (sic),” according to the release.
  The show also seems to have something of a linear storyline; more like “Ka,” less like “Mystere.” Here’s how the release, which we did not punctuate or attempt to edit, explains it:
  “Along a path of imaginative exploration, he encounters Kayala and Crimson, two women who represent different aspects of femininity, four bizarre Ushers, who will introduce the audience to the baroque theater of Criss’s mind and a high-energy troupe of characters and dancers who mix a multitude of styles into a high-energy visual feast, punctuated by moments of grace and sensuality.”
  Finally, the release points out that the illusions won’t be stand-alone feats, but will be “interdependent components using heightened imagery, fantastical creatures and impossible feats of legerdemain, all of which will be integrated into the dazzling, colorful fabric of the story.”
  Cirque launches have a habit of falling behind schedule, but Nelving says the Sept. 1 date is firm, as is the official gala premiere on Sept. 12; any additional previews will be added on the front end of the previews.
  Cirque’s first show entirely dependent upon one person also raised questions of how many shows per week Angel will perform. The preview schedule jumps right in with a full 10 per week; 7 and 10 p.m. performances Fridays through Tuesdays.