David Copperfield

Like many successful entertainers, David Copperfield's show was worth checking out not just for the magic, but also for the entertainment. His show included a standard fare of tricks as well as some quite spectacular illusions.

After a fairly standard fair of tricks, including one where he was sawed into pieces but wasn't really harmed, he launched into his most elaborate trick, where he narrated the story of how he got into the magic business. He told us about his father who was disabused from going into show business by Copperfield's grandfather, and that Copperfield refused to let his grandfather do the same to him. Copperfield's grandfather, who played the same lottery ticket numbers yearning for a vintage Chevrolet convertible (whose license plates he had made with those ticket numbers in anticipation of hitting the jackpot), then died without a resolution of this conflict.

His act featured six numbers selected by random members of the audience, some pieces of information (like "red boxers" or the number of hours since an audience member had had sex), and a birthday. He then made these numbers appear on a piece of paper in a locked box. The numbers, the birthday, and the item were played back (in Copperfield's voice) on an audiotape that he had previously recorded that was in the box. Finally, he pulled out two license plates from the box -- which turned out to be imprinted with the same numbers chosen by the audience. To top it off, he then made a Chevrolet materialise on stage!

He then performed a trick that was mostly humourous, where a duck (Webster) was rematerialised from one place to another. He was then asked by a "heckler" to repeat the trick in slow motion, which he did. Even though the humour was at times cheesy, it definitely enhanced the show.

The next tricks he performed involved the transportation of a person to Phuket, Thailand. The person being transported was preselected based on a letter the person's father had written to Copperfield requesting a re-unification with his son in Thailand. The person (who looked surprisingly tanned) and David then entered a cage, disappeared, and were shown on a camera in Thailand. A Polaroid shot of a drawing made by randomly selected audience members taken by this person was shown.

The final trick involved disappearance of thirteen audience members chosen randomly from the audience, and reappear at the back of the theatre.

All these tricks were impressive, at first, but after more thought, I figured out ways in which they could be done. This doesn't detract from the quality of his performance, which is what it is. The members of the audience who helped were chosen randomly, either by the throw of a frisbee or by musical "chairs" involving large bouncing balls.

David Copperfield is a safe bet for any evening out. I highly recommend checking him out if he's in your area, of if you're in his.

Play ram-blings || Ram Samudrala || me@ram.org || December 28, 2002