We have just returned from a weekend in Las Vegas with Dan's parents. The trip had been planned for several months and we had purchased tickets to see Le Reve at the Wynn on Saturday night. Just before lunch on Saturday, we headed over to the box office to pick up our tickets to discover that the performance was canceled due to technical difficulties.
Disappointed, we took a full refund and raced across the street to the Tix-4-Tonight booth at the Fashion Show Mall. Most of the shows that we wanted to see were not currently running, so we ended up getting tickets to see David Copperfield at the MGM Grand.
I love magic shows and I was very excited that we were able to get tickets for David Copperfield. He's a legend and this was my first time seeing him live. In our group, Dan was the only one who had already seen his show.
Our first clue should have been the unenthusiastic faces of the people exiting the early show. They spilled out from the show room and into the casino with bored faces. We watched them pass as we had pre-show drinks in Whiskey Down. I didn't let it throw me off, I was still hyped to see Copperfield.
Our seats were located in the front of the second half of the theatre and at the discount Tix-4-Tonight rate, they were approximately sixty-five a piece. Far cheaper than what we had paid to see Le Reve at the Wynn rate and that assuaged some of the disappointment we felt towards the canceled show. We had a clear view of the stage, even if we were a bit far back. The seating was on a padded bench with a table in front for cocktails. We were fine, but we saw some larger audience members having trouble with the seating arrangement. It's a tight squeeze.
No doubt, Copperfield is a great illusionist. Many of his tricks were mind boggling and astonishing.
However, overall, I didn't enjoy the show.
I'm hoping that we caught him on an off-night and that this was not indicative of his normal demeanor, but he came across as a complete jerk. Many of his tricks involve a random selection of audience members to participate and several times he mocked or made disparaging remarks towards those selected. He meanly made fun of a guy who didn't speak English and he told an overweight female to "suck it in".
Dan is convinced that the audience members were actually plants and that it was all part of the prearranged script. Maybe. I'm not sure. Even so, it wasn't very funny and didn't give me a very good impression of Copperfield. If it was completely scripted, he needs better writers.
Beyond his mean spirited comments, he didn't have a lot of stage presence. He seemed bored and as though he was going through the motions. He didn't command the stage and often mumbled. He didn't seem to be enjoying himself, which as an audience member, made me not enjoy myself.
Most of the tricks were very impressive, especially if you go along with the idea that the audience members were selected at random. In particular, I really enjoyed one of the earlier bits where he took a number and fact selection from three different audience members and then their answers appeared on a piece of paper that was locked in a box that had been on stage from the beginning of the show.
He used a live duck for a trick and even though the trick was really cool, I cringed seeing the duck being manhandled. He must have enough tricks in his repertoire that he should not need to have to resort to using a live animal in his show. It was uncomfortable to watch and I would imagine it would be upsetting to most animal lovers.
He tried out a new trick on us and made the audience vow to not reveal it or review/blog about it. Fair enough. Although, I think that I can say, since it doesn't give away specifics, that it was the worst part of the show. He obviously spent a lot of money on it, but it had a bizarre theme and a weird bit of over-the-top sentimentality that came across as extremely cheesy. We were trying not to laugh, as were many people sitting near us. It just didn't work with the show. As it was a bonus piece and a work in progress, I need to look at it as something extra and in that respect, it's always cool to see something experimental. I hope that he doesn't include it as a regular piece in the show until he has the kinks worked out, not so much with the magic aspect, but with the story and scripting.
I wouldn't pay money to see Copperfield again. I enjoy him better when he has his hour long television specials. If anyone reading this is looking for a great magic show in Vegas, I highly recommend Penn and Teller. They are far more entertaining and they know how to engage the audience. They also have better tricks!