4* Review David Copperfield MGM Grand

Review David Copperfield MGM Grand Las Vegas….

There is no denying that after Houdini, there is no bigger name in international magic than David Copperfield. As a little boy I was mesmerized by his brilliance.

From walking through the Great Wall Of China to making the Statue of Liberty disappear – he’s done it all. Well in 2019, despite generating $4 BILLION – he still chooses to perform a ludicrous 16 shows in Sin City.

Those illusions however can not be performed or re-created in a theatre, so how does he fill 90 minutes with mind blowing magic at the MGM Grand?

David is truly a master magician who could never be criticised for his remarkable work ethic or devotion and dedication to his craft.

He is also one of the richest Stars in the world, and has been for nearly 40 years – he even owns an island – so why bother performing more shows than any other Star in Sin City – a ludicrous 16 shows a week?….

Ego? Money? Principle? Attention? Pure demand?

Well, we went to The David Copperfield Theater to find out if he’s still worth the sell-out $130 ticket hype?….


David Copperfield MGM Grand Review Las Vegas 2016
mgm-grand-entertainment-david-copperfield review

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David performs more hours on stage than anyone I’ve ever met. But why? Does this make you great – no. Just tired, late and irritable….well he certainly was tonight.

Tonight Copperfield had a sold out crowd in the relatively intimate ‘DC Theater’ who waited 20 minutes for the 9.30pm show to begin.

There are four bits of breathtaking AMAZING magic that are worth the ticket alone, however, I just wish we didn’t have to waste an hour to get to it.

The 2019 version of the show is awfully repetitive relying on tired / forced ‘mind reading’ which take zero skill in my view. To me this is worst way to pad a show – especially for the grand master.

What shocked me about David tonight was his energy. At times, especially in the beginning I could barely understand a word he said as he was so marbled mouth and not present.

David-Copperfield Review MGM Grand
David Copperfield Review
David Copperfield Criss Angel War

Hear David’s life story talking to Alex Belfield in 2010, 2011 & 2012….

David is a master magician of epic proportions. He’s a technician, respected and a man who has devoted his life to his craft. He’s seemingly become more of an ‘artist’ than magician of late with more script, story and visual than magic now in the show.

The majesty though of seeing ‘The Star of Maddison Square Garden’ in a 700 seater showroom at MGM is still exciting.

Copperfield’s new ‘box levitation’ is quite brilliant but, like everything else, takes a lifetime to get to the gold dust. It’s hard to get excited about the other illusions I’ve seen many times before. It’s been three years since I last saw the show.

I realised the MASSSSSIVVVVEEEE problem with David’s show. Most of the audience seemingly do not speak English – yet he won’t stop talking. As he proved again tonight, the four people he tried to speak to – ‘selected randomly’ – on stage could not understand him.

Surely, with so much experience you’d change the act, have an out after sooo many years of the same mistake. I seriously wonder if the Japanese man sat next to me understood one second of the 25 minute finale. He clearly didn’t even understand ‘turn your phone off’.

At times it’s simply convoluted, confusing and verging on ponderous….but nevertheless hugely clever. I suggest this is a major error for the easily distracted Vegas punters.

I have to say the spaceship (I can give it away as it’s 10 stories high on the MGM building) is truly one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen in a theatre.

This is magic. This is grand illusion and this is what you expect from David Copperfield. Quite brilliant.

This show, especially in the second half is more of a Broadway production than a Vegas spectacular.

These acts would kill in New York or London but somehow the Vegas crowd have less patience and emotional investment for such worthy art. What Copperfield is trying to do though is inspired.

Here’s David with Alex back in 2013…

David Copperfield Alex Belfield MGM Grand Interview Review

My biggest criticism with David is that he can appear to have a little robotic in delivery which is only saved by his technical prowess and perfect pay-off’s. “Jesus Christ” he said six times in the first 20 minutes through pure exasperation of his audience. Not really acceptable.

Mind you, he hasn’t had a day off in months so it must be testing to appear excited about anything night in and night out. That’s not our problem though at $120 a ticket.

When a billionaire chooses to perform this many shows back to back you simply have to question their mental health and well-being. It makes me incredibly sad.

He should do the Barry Manilow style of Vegas. Come in once a month for 6 shows happy, excited and rested – then knock ’em dead….leave and repeat! I just don’t get David’s obsession to perform.

The way he uses the theatre, stage and space is inspired. This show is immersive, 3D and interactive. The light show, sound and screens are outdated and incomparable to his biggest competitor.

Some could argue his audience interaction use is over-board with endless ‘stage witnesses’ & helpers used throughout which take forever. Is it padding or necessary distraction / approval?

The use of technology is clever in  the show. He tells us 25 times to turn our phones off, then asks us to turn them back on and email him….and expects people who don’t speak English to understand. More distraction from the ushers.

Copperfield’s show has a sentimentality which is endearing yet frustrating in equal measure. Maybe I’m just old and cynical. Most American’s do seem to love it.

It’s unfortunate during these moments that it is lost on so many of the crowd who simply don’t understand or have given up caring to understand.

His ambition, creativity, imagination and drive is undeniable as these new scenes prove.

David Copperfield Theater Review 2016

There’s nothing new in Copperfield’s show, despite his claims, but the finale is worth the money and reminds why David is so revered globally.

In all honesty David brings a class but the show feels tired and outdated. When you compare it to Criss Angel at Planet Hollywood next door, Criss wipes the floor with energy, speed, remarkable technology and simply the number of illusions you get to see.

I’ve never felt more downbeat and depressed. I love Copperfield but I simply cannot understand him.

Review by Alex Belfield for Celebrity Radio 14th May 2019.

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