Las Vegas Shows and Entertainment:
David Copperfield Show Tickets and Reviews
Reviewed October 7, 2002
by Ted Newkirk
I’d like to call David Copperfield a living legend. If you are old enough to gamble you have seen him do everything from walk through the Great Wall of China to make the Statue of Liberty vanish on his famous television specials. However, I won’t. “Living Legend” sometimes connotes a respected performer, past their prime, churning it out for the buck. Mr. Copperfield is still very much at the top of his game.
He’s either a great actor or still loves what he is doing (probably a bit of both) because from the minute he hits the stage, he’s having fun and that makes you want to like him. He could be a nobody just starting out and you would like him. But he gets right into it with an illusion that has him floating upwards through a plate of steel.
I was lucky enough to get some pretty nice seats and was close enough to the steel to see how solid it was when both Copperfield and a couple of audience members banged and beat on it. I was close enough but at just enough of an angle to see how thin the performance table was, and that there was no escaping out the back or room to slide aside. Through the steel he passed.
Naked magic just feet from the audience on a very bare stage. And that was the first of many illusions that truly still have my head spinning. I’ve given up even trying to conjecture on how he pulled most of these off.
We have all heard about magic shows rigged with audience members to pull off the gags. To insure us otherwise, Copperfield twice used very, very random methods for picking out audience members. For one segment, he tossed numerous Frisbees out at random. OK, so maybe he is a champion Frisbee thrower and manages to perfectly hit his audience plants (highly unlikely).
These show goers picked lottery numbers at random only to have them not only appear from a sealed box (“predicted” before the show — the box was hung high above the stage right before the show started). This segment included the appearance on stage of a full size vintage 50’s convertible as part of a story line about Copperfield’s grandpa who would play the lottery in a quest for his dream car. The car appeared so quickly on a
spacious stage with full sight lines above, below and to the sides and audience members standing behind. Remember, these were audience members who had caught randomly tossed Frisbees.
For another segment, 13 silver beach balls were hit out into the audience and bounced around until music stopped (although a few kept going a little longer — it was party time). These audience who had them when the music stopped were brought up to the stage, seated in a huge box, and the box was draped with a large sheet. They vanished only to reappear in the back of the theater moments later!
Space does not permit detailing the many other fantastic illusions or the warm, funny, and sometimes sexy humor. But the show is called Portal because of one singular illusion that is worth the price of the show itself:
We are shown a live video feed from a beach in Thailand. Surf, sand, water and some of Copperfield’s people whom he interacts with are on the beach live. Could be a prepared video, but the interaction includes some random specific conversation pertinent to the evening. Audience members sign and hold a huge postcard on stage, with a Polaroid taken. Copperfield chooses an audience member who had written him a heartwarming letter (you guess this guy is part of the show, but it doesn’t take away from the illusion). Another audience member chosen at random writes two letters on Copperfield’s arm, letters chosen at random from another member.
Copperfield and the audience member who wrote the letter are then whisked away in a blink of an eye to appear on this beach on the other side of the world. In their possession is the Polaroid and the people in it are still standing on stage for comparison. The letters are on Copperfield’s arm. They are kicking around in the sand and the audience member who had just been on stage in Las Vegas is running around in the water.
You know what? I don’t want to know how any of this was done. I barely scratched the surface of how deep and spectacular this show was because words can’t describe it. If you watched a couple of “Fox Magician” specials and think you can figure out any trick, I challenge you to see a Copperfield show. If you just want to be amazed by a legend and a show you will truly never forget, you must see David Copperfield.