Criss Angel and Franco Dragone Team Up to Create Something Special with ‘AMYSTIKA’

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(Photo courtesy of APWI)

Acclaimed illusionist Criss Angel (“MINDFREAK”) and director Franco Dragone (Cirque Du Soleil’s “Mystère” and “O”) have been revolutionizing the entertainment scene in Las Vegas for years, but on March 11, they’ll begin preview performances for their most ambitious project yet: “AMYSTIKA - The Secret Revealed.”

A prequel to Angel’s immensely successful show “MINDFREAK” at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, “AMYSTIKA” tells the story of how Christopher Sarantakos became Criss Angel. The history-making collaboration between Angel and Dragone aims to create an immersive spectacle that Angel notes “even the Entertainment Capital of the World has never seen before.”

“People probably wonder, ‘What do Franco Dragone and Criss Angel have in common?’ A lot,” Angel said. “We both work at a feverish pace to try to create something unique. I think this is the first time in Vegas history that you have to see both shows (‘MINDFREAK’ and ‘AMYSTIKA’) to really get the full impact, the full experience of what the journey was and what the destination is.”

While Angel describes “MINDFREAK” as a rock concert for magic, “AMYSTIKA” is more of a theatrical journey that takes audiences “down some deep, dark paths, but ultimately ends up in light and positivity.”

As viewers experience such jaw-dropping moments during the family-friendly show as a firestorm engulfing a performer’s body and hurricane-like winds raging through the theater, Angel hopes they realize that there’s still magic in the world and the ability to make the impossible possible.

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Criss Angel and Franco Dragone
(Photo By Denise Truscello)

“With ‘AMYSTIKA,’ Franco and I kind of pushed and pulled each other to create something that moved us out of our comfort zone and brought us into a space where we’re not just repeating what we’ve done in the past,” Angel said. “People are going to see things they’ve never seen before. For example, there’s a huge garage door on the back wall, and when that garage door opens, you’ll be looking out at Paris Las Vegas and see this character floating outside four stories above the ground. The character will then float onto the stage, land and walk forward. So, we have all these crazy visual effects that tie together with these beautiful tableaus that Franco’s famous for.”

Despite its story coming first chronologically, Angel joked that “AMYSTIKA” is sort of like the “Star Wars” prequels and will run after “MINDFREAK,” performing Wednesday through Sunday at 10 p.m. As for whether Angel will be doing double duty and starring in both productions, the magician known for wearing his heart on his sleeve and “not having any secrets in a world of secrets” kept that answer, well, a secret.

“I don’t know whether I will be in the show or not, but I can tell you that there’s a very ominous character named Amystika who pops up,” Angel teased. “People will just have to experience the show to find out.”  

By Heather Turk, Vegas Guide Writer