By Christopher Calicott · 1 Comments · Leave a Comment
Having grown up as a kid in the 1980's, I can recall lots of David Copperfield magic, or illusion, on television (I do not understand why the term magic is a faux pas,) and I remember how big the productions were - it really seemed to me that he was the biggest, most impressive magician in the world. Of course over time things tend to change but I was very happy to be seeing David Copperfield perform at the MGM in Las Vegas for the first time in my seven years of living here.
First of all, I would like to note that I was immediately happy that the Hollywood Theater at the MGM Grand is one of the kind that I like: there are tables for you to enjoy drinks and drink service on during the show. It's tiresome when show theaters pack you in like sardines and have no tables for you to relax and enjoy a drink or two during a performance. This is all too common in a city that used to offer dinner with a show in years gone by. Pleased with the table situation we sat down, ordered a bottle of wine, and waited for the show to begin.
Reviewing a magic show is a bit of a, ahem, trick, because it is difficult to talk about the performance without ruining the surprises for anyone that reads the review and chooses to go to the show. A few thoughts about the overall show and performance follow... Firstly, there were many "wow!" moments in the show. There were some tricks where I just could not imagine how he did what he did without, at the very least, the assistance of the the person from the audience who participated. In fact, noticing one woman from the audience end up in two separate bits seemed a little bit fishy, to say the least, but I was there mostly for fun, and with magic, knowing how it is all done would ruin it, wouldn't it? That having been said, I am a very naturally curious person, and even with front row seats off to the left side of the stage, the tricks were all executed well. There was only one trick - a different take on person stuck in jeopardy in a box - that had a fake quality to it. I had a problem with the feet. I will leave it at that. Secondly, there were some really nice elements of comedy in the act. They say animals or children in a live act is just asking for trouble. There was a goose in David Copperfield's show and it made for some fun comic relief, especially the slow motion "replay" of one trick. Lastly, a lot of readers would probably want to know about suitability of the show for kids. You could very comfortably take children to see the show and I think they would enjoy it along with you.
As far as my overall impression of David Copperfield goes, I was generally happy with the performance. It must be said, however, that growing up with David Copperfield and the impression I mentioned earlier - how he seemed like the biggest magician in the world - had me really expecting more polish, more flash, and more of a feeling of grandiosity of the kind I was used to seeing with him when I was younger. It is understandable that with many shows annually, sometimes more than one show per day, the show's sets have to stand up to lots of use, but there was something a bit overly "functional" about many of the set pieces and the way wires, cables, and things of that nature stretched ruggedly across the stage. It very much had the feeling of a "working magician's" set, overall, though there were definitely moments of flash in some of the tricks. Having performed for as long as David Copperfield has it is also to be expected that not every performance is going to feel as strong as a television special, but there was something a bit too loose and perfunctory about his casual style on stage that night that was slightly disappointing, as well. Though he has no doubt performed these tricks hundreds or even thousands of times it was my first and only time to see them. It would be much more enjoyable if the delivery was as if it was the only time it would ever be seen, thus truly selling the illusion to me, the viewer.