Published in The Vancouver Province.
I really wished I hadn’t sat in the front row at David Copperfield’s “An Intimate Evening of Grand Illusion” at the Vancouver Centre of Performing Arts. If I’d just been sitting a few rows back I wouldn’t have seen the wires that controlled the singing and dancing tie, or the slightly concave bottom of the magical “shrinking table”, or the girl that appeared & disappeared in the “reserved” seat next to me wearing three different outfits, or Mr. Copperfield’s caked on make-up and spray-on hair. Ouch. That was a low-blow.
Maybe I’m just too cynical or I’ve seen “The Prestige” one too many times to be impressed with a duck being tossed on stage from behind the curtain. In Copperfield’s defense, his show was very entertaining, and face-paced enough to keep me off my iPhone for an hour and a half. There were great moments too. He is an incredibly skillful showman, and irritatingly charismatic, even when he made a sexy Eastern European girl shove her hand down his pants to make sure there was nothing in his pocket; not once, but twice. Charming.
I feel a bit naive for expecting to be completely wowed. But I just couldn’t get past the worn, cheap-looking props, the massive amounts of noxious smoke blown into my face, the planted audience members who could hardly manage a smirk at his rehearsed one-liners, and the cheesy-kitchyness of it all. I was far from amazed and bedazzled by the appearance of an old car on tall pillars in the middle of the stage. Because from my angle, I could see that it was a shell of fake car and that DC was fake driving it and the illusion was marred.
How he does a lot of his illusions still remains a mystery to me… mostly. Ok fine. The duck told me. And all it took was an Oh Henry’s bar.