MASHANTUCKET, Conn. - Ringo Starr has his All-Starr band and renowned magician/illusionist Criss Angel has a team of nine all-star caliber magicians and illusionists from around the globe.
Angel, celebrating his 48th birthday, and his group, the "Supernaturalists," put on a mind-blowing show Saturday night at the Fox Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino.
The two-hour performance left the audience spellbound from start to finish, questioning what is real and what is not.
Angel says his intention is to revolutionize the live magic experience as Cirque du Soleil did for the circus. And he and his companions - several of whom did some of Angel's original stunts and tricks - pulled it off.
A highlight was the "water torture" trick that had "The Escape Artist," Spencer Horsman, in a glass cube filled with water and spinning and hanging from the ceiling with locked bars on top. Horsman also had to free himself from numerous other locks and chains he was bound with as he held his breath under water for 3 minutes and 36 seconds.
Chloe Crawford of Britain swallowed small blades, showing they were sharp by cutting paper, and finally pulled the blades out of her mouth on a string. She also performed Houdini's stunt of hanging upside down and escaping from a straight jacket.
Angel oversaw a stunt involving a large circular blade that cut a woman in half, complete with blood and sparks, and earlier, in a new trick, made four woman appear in a chamber.
"The Dog Conjuror," Johnny Dominguez from Colombia, turned women into dogs and did other amazing stunts with canines.
"The Illusionist," Landon Swank, made a woman appear in a trunk after having sat in a chair, and shot a tossed deck of playing cards with an arrow, hitting the right one. Swank, from Alaska, was a finalist on the TV show "America's Got Talent."
The lineup also featured "The Manipulator," Stefan Vanel, from France, who made playing cards appear out of thin air in his hands and out of his mouth.
"The Mentalist," Banachek, from South Africa, read what some audience members had written on slips of paper.
And "The Street Magician," Adrian Vega from Spain, did some card and money tricks.
Opening was "The Great Maestro" from Mexico and his assistant, FiFi, who performed comical magic, with FiFi showing the audience how he did tricks.
Just after Angel disappeared from a tall platform and reappeared in the crowd, a large birthday cake was brought on stage at the end of the show. Among those joining him on stage were his mother and other family and friends. It was also with mixed emotions as Angel mentioned his son was recently diagnosed with leukemia.
The Supernaturalists, who made an appearance here earlier this year, wrapped up several performances at Foxwoods this weekend and are traveling around the world. Mentioning Las Vegas, Angel called Foxwoods his second home.