Haven’t We Seen This Show Somewhere Else?
Does this even deserve an explanation? Why is it everything Criss Angel touches makes me sad. I’m not sure there could be a more blatant rip-off of The Illusionists Show. I wish I knew the whole story, I know Brett Daniels is involved and he was involved in the original Illusionists Show. I always thought he was the creator of that show, but I’m afraid the history of it seems to be tough to track down. I also know Brett did a show in Branson this past summer called ‘The Revolutionists’.
For the record, The Illusionists is running 3 different (maybe 4) versions of their show. The original cast, which is actually ever changing. The 2.0 cast headed by Luis DeMatos has a more modern and even futuristic cutting edge feel to the show. Then there is 1903, which debuts in January 2015 and which will be more Victorian in style. Brett Daniels was lead performer in the original cast and no idea why he ever left the show. Mark and Jinger Kalin filled that spot for a while, but now they are over in the 1903 show. OH, I said, maybe 4, because the Broadway show that opens very soon is a mix of the original cast, Kevin James, Andrew Basso, Dan Sperry, and Jeff Hobson, and the 2.0 cast, Adam Trent, Aaron Crow, and Yu Ho Jin. A lot more ‘youth’ in the Broadway show, just sayin.
Back to The Supernaturalists though, you can see the group concept and the look of the poster is totally ripped off from The Illusionists. Also, the Illusionists shows refer to each cast member by title, like The Manipulator, The Inventor, and so forth. Well, they are doing the exact same thing in The Supernaturalists. The sad thing, there are some really talented people in the cast, Banachek, Krystyn, and Consentino are excellent. I’m not sure what the hell is up with Brett Daniels hanging upside down like a bat. I saw a right side up version of him in that getup and he looked awful. But that said, Brett is a very talented performer. I’ve seen him many times live and always enjoyed his show.
The multi-person cast thing is not original. There have been shows like that forever. But there are very specific things that make The Illusionists Show unique. From what I’ve seen so far, the Supernaturalists have just stolen those unique elements. For goodness sake, if you want to create something different/unique, why not start with an original design concept for the poster? The way they’ve done it, and the way they did it before with the previous version of this show (yes I remember that also), they look like The Wanna-Be Illusionists. Uggh.
Now let me say something positive. A Gothic Ensemble Magic Show is a great idea! But as I’ve already stated, don’t copy. I also don’t think Criss Angel needs to have a ‘live video’ feed into the show or at least it doesn’t need to be mentioned on the poster. I DO think that his name should be on the poster and the image of his eyes in the background is great. I also like the upside down Brett Daniels from a graphics perspective. I have no idea what he is going to do otherwise because it seems out of character. But I do not like the standard ILLUSIONIST pose by the rest of the cast. Let me say something else positive, Criss Angel has some of the most killer photos and graphics in his advertising in all of Vegas. USE THAT! Dip into that stream because there is great stuff there. I may not be a fan, but I recognize some excellent graphic design and photography when I see it. But don’t copy the other shows design scheme.
By the way, Masters of Illusion is a touring show. They have multiple performers. They have not copied The Illusionists Show at all. They’ve even had some of the same acts as The Illusionists, but they are doing their own thing, and they are doing a damn good job of it too. So it just goes to show you don’t have to steal to have a quality production.