reno
reno
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December 5th, 2019 at 5:47:58 PM permalink
I saw David Copperfield perform at 7pm at the MGM Grand last Saturday, 11/30.

SPOILER ALERT: Stop reading now if you don't want a few surprises in the show to be ruined.

First off: he put on a great show, I enjoyed myself. My only complaint is that there was some emotional drama added (David reminisces about his relationship with his father) and this melodrama felt forced, contrived, and cheesy. Also, an annoying space alien (a small puppet that looked like Yoda) appeared on stage but this puppet wasn't any more interesting than the animatronics at Disneyland. Nevertheless, many of the magic tricks were exceptional.

I would divide the magic tricks into 2 separate categories: visual illusions and premonitions. The visual illusions (for example: giant objects magically appearing out of thin air) were terrific. In fact, I won't spoil them here, because it helps to have an element of surprise.

However, the premonitions were initially impressive as I watched them... but then as the show wore on it became obvious how he did those tricks: he used shills (actors posing as audience members.)

The first trick of the night (7:05pm) was to ask everyone in the audience to send an email using their smartphone to David Copperfield. At 7:20pm, David replied with an email to every audience member. Embedded in the email was a photo. We were not permitted to use our smartphones for the rest of the show. But when the show ended, we all opened the email and viewed the photo that contained text describing events which hadn't happened yet.

So how could an email sent at 7:20 include information about events that occurred at 8pm? Actually... it's possible to upload a new photo into an email that has already been sent. I know this because at 7:05pm Tuesday (not Saturday) I re-sent my email to David, even though I was hundreds of miles away from Las Vegas. At 7:20pm David responded, but the photo in the email was vague; no details. I waited until 9pm Tuesday and re-opened the same email... and sure enough the photo had changed! The new photo had all the premonitions.

An "audience member" selected at random (she was a paid shill) had been asked to name a celebrity, and at my Saturday show, this person happened to pick Brad Pitt. Interestingly, the "randomly selected audience member" on Tuesday night also happened to pick Brad Pitt. (Here's the email photo from a 2018 performance, and you'll notice that the "randomly selected audience member" also happened to pick Brad Pitt. Wow what an amazing coincidence!)

I was sitting behind this Brad Pitt-loving shill at the Saturday show, so after the show I attempted to talk to her. A stagehand intervened and whisked her away before she could answer me. She was a good actress, but there were just too many tells.

So these premonitions weren't impressive, because the only magic in the trick was "selecting them at random." (David threw a ball and instructed whoever caught the ball to re-throw it to a different part of the auditorium, and the ball was thrown 3 times, ensuring that the final volunteer was random. I actually don't know how this part of the trick was done, because even professional MLB or NBA players occasionally screw up an easy throw or easy catch. The actress' "husband" caught the ball, and in doing so he knocked a middle aged woman on to the ground. I presume that the middle aged woman wasn't an actress.)

So if you go see the show, have fun, and be prepared to watch some actors and actresses pretend not to be actors and actresses.
Ayecarumba
Ayecarumba
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December 6th, 2019 at 12:09:23 AM permalink
Thank you for the spoiler alert. May I ask how much the ticket was?
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication - Leonardo da Vinci
billryan
billryan
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tringlomane
December 6th, 2019 at 7:11:10 AM permalink
Fifteen years ago, give or take a few, I was seated in the outdoor bar at Harrahs when Mac King was hawking tickets to his show alongside two beautiful showgirl. I went over and introduced myself, telling him I'd seen his show a half dozen times. We chatted for a minute and I offered to buy him a drink. He demured and said he would buy me one instead. With that, he reached into his jacket and pulled out a cold Michelob Light.
Either he walks around with different beers in his jacket on the off chance someone offers to buy him one , or I was somehow set up, or......
beachbumbabs
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beachbumbabs
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December 6th, 2019 at 8:09:35 AM permalink
Saw David Copperfield 15-20 years ago. Figured out maybe half of his tricks, but as you say, he was pretty good.

The one that still bugs me is the dancing handkerchief. He was standing 3 feet from me, as it's close-up magic, and I could see the mechanism. If it's close-up, it shouldn't be so damned obvious, but maybe it was an off night for him. Idk.
If the House lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game.
Ayecarumba
Ayecarumba
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December 6th, 2019 at 8:34:53 AM permalink
Quote: billryan

Fifteen years ago, give or take a few, I was seated in the outdoor bar at Harrahs when Mac King was hawking tickets to his show alongside two beautiful showgirl. I went over and introduced myself, telling him I'd seen his show a half dozen times. We chatted for a minute and I offered to buy him a drink. He demured and said he would buy me one instead. With that, he reached into his jacket and pulled out a cold Michelob Light.
Either he walks around with different beers in his jacket on the off chance someone offers to buy him one , or I was somehow set up, or......



Hehe... better a cold beer than a live goldfish...
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication - Leonardo da Vinci
TigerWu
TigerWu
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December 6th, 2019 at 9:56:57 AM permalink
I saw Lance Burton back in the 90's. I knew how almost everything was done since I was hardcore into magic back then, but it was still a good show. Half of his schtick was card manipulation, which is still unbelievably impressive even when you know how it's done. We met him after the show and he was a pretty nice guy. Actually took a few seconds to talk to each individual person with a smile on his face as he was signing autographs.
reno
reno
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Ayecarumba
December 7th, 2019 at 10:35:48 AM permalink
Quote: Ayecarumba

Thank you for the spoiler alert. May I ask how much the ticket was?



I got 2 tickets for $173 with fees/taxes ($87 each). While shopping for tickets I noticed that www.vegas.com and www.tix4tonight.com had significantly lower prices for the same seats than the MGM Grand website. At the MGM Grand website, those same 2 tickets would have cost $232 ($116 each).

Copperfield is staggeringly wealthy: net worth $875 million. (He owns 11 islands.) His annual income is about $61 million, though I don't know how much comes directly from MGM and how much comes from private appearances at corporate events & Bar Mitzvahs. Assuming MGM pays him $1 million per week, my guess is that the casino loses money on ticket sales.

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