'Framed' - Channel 7 on Christmas morning
Another Magical Ripoff

Worst review of 2008?

This year we've seen some magic shows both here and in the USA get shocking reviews. Some of the reviews have been deserved, but this one - posted on Shawn Farquhar's blog - is perhaps one of the harshest press reviews I've read all year!


Duck! It’s David Copperfield

By Lisa Bettany

Saturday, October 25, 2008

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 for 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 and disappeared in the “reserved” seat next to me wearing three different outfits, or Copperfield’s caked-on makeup 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 defence, his show was very entertaining, and fast-paced enough to keep me off my iPhone for an hour and a half.

There were great moments, too. He is an incredibly skilful showman, and irritatingly charismatic, even when he made a poor 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, and the massive amounts of noxious smoke blown into the audience, and the planted audience members who could hardly manage a smirk at his rehearsed one-liners, and the cheesy kitschiness of it all, to be amazed and bedazzled by the appearance of an old car on pillars in the middle of the stage. Because from my angle, I could see that it was a shell of fake car 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 bar.

© The Vancouver Province 2008