East Penn Press

Thursday, June 20, 2019
CONTRIBUTED PHOTOCriss Angel, center, first row, “The Supernaturalists,” 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Jan. 16, State Theatre Center for the Arts, Easton CONTRIBUTED PHOTOCriss Angel, center, first row, “The Supernaturalists,” 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Jan. 16, State Theatre Center for the Arts, Easton

The Grand Illusionist

Friday, January 8, 2016 by DEB BOYLANSpecial to The Press in Focus

Criss Angel returns to State Theatre

with new show: ‘The Supernaturalists.’

If last year’s appearance by Criss Angel at the State Theatre Center for the Arts, Easton, is any indication, his first feat will likely be making tickets to his 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Jan. 16 shows there disappear.

When Angel, whose given name is Christopher Nicholas Sarantakos, brought his popular “Mindfreak Live!” show to the State Theatre for two dates last January, it quickly sold out.

This time around he has a new show, “The Supernaturalists,” which features an ensemble of some of the most talented up and coming illusionists.

“I created this new show, which features nine mind-blowing magicians from literally around the world,” Angel explains during a phone interview.

“[They are] from Paris, France, South Africa, Mexico, Spain, Columbia, the U.S.A., and I put the best of the best together in this incredible show called ‘The Supernaturalists.’

“[The audience] can expect the most mind-blowing magic spectacle ever to be performed on stage on a tour,” he says when asked about the content of the show.

“I don’t say that to hype people. I say that completely sincerely.

I spent ten years creating, evolving and developing the show, looking for the best of the best all over the globe, award-winning magicians, each in their respective disciplines.

“For the Pennsylvania State Theatre shows, I’m going to be actually starring in the show so it’s very exciting,” he adds.

Angel is no stranger to the Lehigh Valley and although he grew up on Long Island, N.Y., he still has family in Easton and the Lehigh Valley and spent much of his childhood visiting relatives on weekends. “Every other Saturday we would make the journey to Easton or my relatives would make the journey to Long Island.

“Easton is very near and dear to my heart,” he mentions when asked about his deep ties to Easton.

“For one, my dad grew up there as a kid and I grew up coming there literally every other weekend because my dad’s brother, mother and my cousins were all from that area so I would spent much of my time with my family, with my uncle and his family and my relatives that are from Easton.”

Angel also mentions his cousin Billy Kounoupis, owner of the wildly popular Billy’s Diner chain of restaurants. In fact, last year Angel was spotted at Billy’s Downtown Diner in Bethlehem posing for photos with fans and signing autographs.

The Mayors of Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton jointly designated Jan. 19, 2015, to be “Criss Angel Appreciation Day,” and Angel was presented with a proclamation from Allentown’s Mayor Ed Pawlowski. Pawlowski quipped that Angel could return at anytime and by presenting the proclamation, Angel could order whatever he desired from Billy’s menu.

This year, be on the lookout again for Angel because he may make an appearance at one of Billy’s locations.

“We have a lot of family there and I used to spend, much, much time there. I dreamt about playing in the State Theatre because I used to pass it all the time,” he says.

“It’s such a quaint, historic theater and town. It’s just amazing to be able to come back there and perform there,” he adds about Easton and the State Theatre.

“That whole area, to me, especially around Christmas time, it feels like a Norman Rockwell painting. With the snowfall, and when you come into Easton and you have that circle. I remember the snowfall as a kid. To me it’s a very magical place.

“My dad actually went to school there and my grandfather had a restaurant right across from the State Theatre [The Crystal] back in the day. I have a lot of roots there.”

Family, friend or fan, Angel promises you will not be disappointed at his State Theatre show and will witness unbelievable feats including a dog driving a car on stage that eventually floats in the air.

“My goal was to create the show from scratch and that’s exactly what I did over the course of ten years. It’s very diverse. There’s something in the show for everyone, whether you’re young or young at heart. It’s exciting. it’s dangerous. It’s scary. It’s sexy. It’s funny.

“What you come away with is a night that will blow your mind unlike any magic show out there. I’m very excited to bring it to Easton. It’s just a fun, exciting show that’s very family oriented. People of all ages just have a blast watching it.

“I’m so excited to see the people’s faces in Easton when they see the show because that’s a special place for me.”

Tickets: State Theatre Box Office, 453 Northampton St., Easton; statetheatre.org, 1-800-999-STATE, 610-252-3132