When asked Tuesday night about the magic to song-and-dance ratio, Angel said there are more illusions in the show than most people realize. By his count, the show has about 25 significant so-called "mindfreaks" in the 90-minute performance.
"I never set out to try to fool anybody. Those people are hanging from a line," Angel said. "They’re not supposed to be levitating or flying. They’re hanging from, you know, a typical Cirque rig."
“Yes, you can see the line! I’m not trying to hide a line. The line is like this big,” he said, laughing as he held his fingers and inch or two apart to show the line's diameter.
He cracks jokes as he discusses the ups and downs of the creative process. Still, he said there’s a lot that remains to be done before the show opens next month.
“Is the show done? No, it’s not done,” he said. “We have a lot to do in the weeks coming.”
He said two or three illusions have yet to be worked into the show, while other aspects still need tweaking.
“We have work to do but it’s not unexpected,” he said. “We need a period of time to evolve and develop and to perfect and to utilize the audience as a barometer to be able to go through that process.”
Once it opens, "Believe" will be performed twice a night, five times a week for the next decade, if not longer. For now, however, there is just one show a night, at 7 p.m., allowing the production team time to evaluate audience reaction and the performance itself and make changes as needed. And changes are needed.
"People are having a very hard time responding to me getting cut in half because, you know, they’re applauding my death and they don’t want to do that," he said. "I’m going to come here tomorrow at noon and … I will work with the director and try to kind of change the routine a little bit."
Without going into details, Angel acknowledged one of the show’s major illusions still needs work. He said Tuesday marked the first time he felt he pulled it off sufficiently, and even so, it's nowhere near where he wants it to be.
“I’m very, very excited about where we’re going and by Halloween … we’re going to be 110 percent perfection,” he said.
“The skeleton for the show is in place," he said. "Now we just have to put meat on the bones." Angel said there are several things, both big and small, that need work.
"A major thing would be it rains in the show, and unfortunately, we couldn’t stop it from raining in the show (on Sunday and Monday),” he said. On Tuesday, the waterworks seemed to be in order and the rain machine stopped when it was supposed to.
He said the show is falling into place for the Halloween night debut.
"I think we’re in really good shape," Angel said. "People don’t stand (and applaud) if they hate something. People don’t stand if they feel that they didn’t get their money’s worth."