tampabay.com

Dangling in a cube with 24 hours to escape

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published May 24, 2007


Magician Criss Angel plans to hang in a cube encased in concrete and suspended 40 feet above the ground near Times Square next month in a stunt that will test his Houdini-like ability to escape. If he doesn't make it out within 24 hours, the cube will come crashing to the ground. Angel's stunt, beginning June 4, is being done to promote the third season of his A&E network TV show, Criss Angel Mindfreak, which debuts the next day. A&E is taking over a parking lot, where passersby will be able to watch and hear him work. The illusionist will be manacled and placed in a glass box 4 feet high, wide and deep. About 3 inches of cement will be caked around the cube before it is hoisted into the air.

Stunt survival

If all goes well, Angel will use a rope to lower himself to the ground. If not . . . "If you're not scared of death, what is there to fear?" Angel said Tuesday. He has already survived hanging from a helicopter from fish hooks embedded in his skin and having a steamroller run over his body. "I always try to do things that have never been done before, " Angel said. "I was in the water for 24 hours in Times Square for Good Morning America, doing it in 2001. Later somebody else tried to mimic me." It was an unsubtle reference to a competitor, illusionist David Blaine, who was featured in a prime-time special last year trying to set a record for holding his breath underwater. Blaine didn't succeed.

'The best in the world'

Angel doesn't spend any time looking over his shoulder. "I am, in my opinion, the best in the world today, " he said. The Times Square cement stunt (actually, at 46th Street at Eighth Avenue), will be filmed by A&E for a future episode of Criss Angel Mindfreak. A 24-hour live Webcast of the stunt will be available at the network's Web site. Angel said the stunts are satisfying to him for what they mean for an audience. "If you have that emotional connection, it is the truest form of magic; if you're giving people hope, " he said.

Cancellation

The Funniest Damn Comedy Tour Ever, which had been scheduled for Sunday at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, has been canceled. The cancellation was announced after today's Weekend was printed. Refunds are available at the point of purchase.