David Copperfield at Essar Center Review - "An Intimate Evening of Grand Illusion"

Some of us are firm believers in magic.  We enjoy the art of trickery and we like the idea of turning impossibilities into reality.  Rather than look for reasons to cast doubt on any event that trancends everyday understanding, we look forward to the experience of illusion.  David Copperfield, also known as the "Master of Illusion", has spent the last forty years creating illusions and sharing them with his audience.  His latest tour entitled "An Intimate Evening of Grand Illusion" is truly an extraordinary experience.

On Saturday, October 11, 2008, Copperfield brought his intimate illusions to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario's, Essar Center.  Prior to the show, a large screen projected Copperfield's career accomplishments, while automated messages reminded the audience that all cameras and video recorders were strictly prohibited.  As soon as the lights went out another video began to play which highlighted Copperfield's name in countless television moments such as "Friends", "Late Night with David Letterman", "Oprah Winfrey", "Conan O'Brien", as well as major motion pictures such as  "The Nutty Professor" and "Night at The Museum".   As the stage curtain drew open, a group of assistants wheeled in a large box that was empty, then closed the box with thin white walls and turned the box in a complete circle.  The front of the box was then dropped and Copperfield appeared atop a Harley Davidson motorcycle.  From that point forward, Copperfield dazzled the audience with a series of illusions that lasted over 90 minutes. 


Copperfield's talent for comedy was also revealed throughout the set.  To assist in the humor department, a magical sidekick named Webster the duck, frequented the stage, sprayed the audience with water on more than one occasion and participated in a few tricks himself.  Copperfield spent a lot of his performance in the audience and constantly left the stage in search of willing volunteers for his magical acts.  He performed sleight-of-hand tricks on the main floor, such as vanishing a diamond ring from a lady's finger and using a lethal black scorpion during a card trick.  He also had a volunteer levitate and move a piece of tissue paper up and down her arms.  He then moved to the stage where he used a red tie, taken from the audience, and made the object perform as a dancing snake which included the tie singing to the tune of Harry Belefonte's "Angelina"Copperfield also stunned the audience by shrinking himself to about two feet in length while lying in a box.  

As the night went on, it became very clear that the best was yet to come.  Each illusion became that much more grand and the audience could not take their eyes off the man who has earned the name of "Magician of the Century".  During the show Copperfield shared a personal story about his early childhood and his close relationship with his grandfather.  He told the audience that his grandfather was afraid of Copperfield pursuing magic as a career but that he had quietly supported him along the way.  David did not find out about his grandfather's support until after he had passed on.  As a tribute to his grandfather, Copperfield created a grand illusion centered around winning the lottery, a life-long wish of his grandfather.

The illusion began by selecting three random members of the audience and having each of them pick two numbers.  Copperfield spray-painted the numbers on a large screen and then revealed a locked and sealed box containing his previously conceived predictions as to what the winning number combination would be.  Of course, he was able to perfectly guess all of the chosen numbers and showed this to the audience when the box was finally opened.  The illusion ended with  Copperfield making his grandfather's dream car appear and the numbers on the license plates were identical to the random numbers selected by the audience.

Copperfield concluded his show with a brilliant vanishing act that included thirteen audience members.  Various audience members were involved in this part of the show.  Aside from the thirteen people who sat in a jury-style box, there were others who acted as witnesses to ensure that every part of the act was legitimate.  All thirteen were given flashlights to illuminate the inside of the box while it was covered with white cloth.  After a brief moment of hesitation, Copperfield ripped away the cloth and all thirteen audience members vanished.  Or so we thought.  About 5 seconds later, the 'Thirteen' were all flashing lights at the back of the arena.



So what might you expect at a David Copperfield show? If you are looking for the secrets behind the fascinating illusions, you will not find them.  What you will find is an atmosphere that is built on dreams and there is absolutely nothing wrong with wondering outside the house of everyday, ordinary, if only for an hour and a half.   David Copperfield is an expert at the art of the extraordinary experience.  He not only creates the illusions, but he relates to his audience and joins them for the ride.  Be sure not to miss out on this experience; you deserve it! 

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