“Criss Angel Has to Go!”

Don't Twitter in TheaterRichard Abowitz has a remarkable take on the – Perez Hilton skirmish in the Los Angeles Times.  We use Mr. Abowitz’ column to revisit the whole frakis and consider Norm Clarke’s perspective.

Criss Angel’s $100 million magic show has been running, or according to critics, stumbling at the Luxor Hotel and Casino for the past few months.

Initial reviews were almost universally bad.  Undaunted, Criss Angel and the Cirque du Soleil geniuses have worked to improve the show but according to Mr. Abowitz and Perez Hilton, the work has been in vain.

Mr. Hilton’s visit to the Criss Angel show has been well-documented on the web but let us summarize the most salient points here:

  • Perez Hilton gets free tickets to see Criss Angel in  on Friday night.
  • Perez Hilton says he has enjoyed “all of Cirque’s other shows in Vegas and therefore ignored the reviews and was willing to risk Believe.”
  • Perez Hilton sent a Tweet on his Twitter account — reaching more than 500,000 subscribers — with his review shortly after the show started.  ”We are 20 minutes in and Criss Angel’s Vegas show, Believe, is unbelievably BAD!”
  • Specifically, Perez Hilton thought the “performance was a typical one for the troubled show.”  He told his Twitter subscribers that a “technical glitch brought the show to a halt for a few minutes.”
  • Tweeted Hilton, “I would rather be getting a root canal.”

Mr. Clarke is our go-to guy in Vegas for the straight dope and the real skinny on the bird’s-eye view low-down.  He reported the exchange between the audience member and the star of the show in his Vegas Confidential column for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“I have to recognize someone special here in the house,” said Angel, according to a showgoer. “Perez Hilton, please stand up.

“We have the world’s biggest d*****bag a**hole in the house!” Angel said.

Perez Hilton smiled broadly and said, “Thanks for the free tickets.”

Mr. Clarke is done with Criss Angel.

By attacking the audience or even just one member of the audience, Criss Angel has gone too far in Mr. Clarke’s opinion.

Mr. Clarke opined in his April 20, 2009 column, “Criss Angel has got to go.”

Mr. Clarke is not rushing to judgment.  He even shrugged off Criss Angel insults and threat to poke his eye out.  Mr. Clarke has only one eye and wears a distinctive patch over his right eye.

Classy, Criss.

Mr. Abowitz’ take on the whole episode is priceless.

To Angel’s credit: For all his bad judgment, he is not a coward. For him to get into a war of words with Hilton is to enter a fight he is certain to lose.

Being articulate and quick-witted are not exactly Angel’s strengths. But they are Hilton’s gifts in abundance. Already the most ridiculed headliner on the Strip, leading the most reviled show in Vegas, Angel wears a gigantic target with “Believe,” which is totally worthy of nasty satire.

With Hilton he has challenged an expert marksman and dared him to shoot at an easy target. Only pity can save Angel’s show at this point. And, I am not sure if pity is one of Perez Hilton’s gifts.

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