The first time that I was introduced to the illusions of David Copperfield was through TV. His specials were fun, amazing and jaw-dropping. The reaction by so many of us was the same, “How did he do that?”
Very few of us of course believed that it was magic on demand. But, the illusions were so stunning that the entertainment was very special. I found myself lingering for a long time, not just trying to figure out how he did something but smiling at the effect.
After years of admiring his work from just the TV screen, Yvonne and I finally chose to see his show in person. We were excited to be there. Neither of us knew which illusions he was going to perform, but we were looking forward to a great evening.
His entrance was spectacular. A large platform raised on a rolling frame was pushed on to the stage by “brutes”. Music played loudly while these strong men spun the platform to show that there was nothing around, under or over the prop. Then, they raised cloth walls on four sides all with flair and well-timed gestures.
Flashing strobe lights dazed us all and then a silhouette appeared inside the cloth box. It was David Copperfield! The walls dropped and he had “magically” appeared sitting on a roaring motorcycle. How did he do that?
Our audience erupted with applause and the Copperfield smile engaged us all. He is more than a showman, he is personal. Casually he talked to us like an old friend when suddenly a domestic duck waddled across the stage to our laughter and David’s chagrin.
He continued his talk while a family walked in late. David tracks with them as do the spotlights. He tells them everything they have missed and they take their seats beet red with embarrassment.
All through the performance he brought audience members on stage to help. He took a guest’s tie and made it dance and sing for us. Bouncing balls and frisbees added chance and numbers predicted in precise detail.
He brought warmth to the show with the stories of a little girl in Germany during WWII and his own family struggle with his Grandfather’s dreams, disappointments and demands. Whether it was the magical appearance of a delicate butterfly or a classic Lincoln convertible, it was all worth the sore hands of a lot of applause. The climax was the disappearing act of 13 audience members into thin air. Amazing! How did he do that?
photo credit: google image