On television, you’ve seen David Copperfield appear to walk through the Great Wall of China and make the Statue of Liberty disappear.
You’ve seen him appear to fly.
You’ve even seen him appear to be severed in two at the waist by the spinning Death Saw, only to reattach himself.
But … how? Indeed, the entrepreneurial master illusionist of our time has mystified millions of fans in live and television audiences for four decades. But he’s far from run out of tricks. In fact, David Copperfield continues to charm, delight and thrill visitors to Las Vegas as one of the most beloved acts-in-residence on the Strip. He performs two shows nightly, plus a Saturday matinee, in the intimate nightclub ambience of David Copperfield Theater inside MGM Grand.
What makes Copperfield’s “An Evening of Grand Illusion” the best of all Las Vegas magic shows? Above all else, the illusions are epic. If you’ve never seen any of the 17 “Magic of David Copperfield” TV specials that earned 21 Emmys between 1978 and 2001, or any performance of his nine world tours, ask someone who has. Or look him up on YouTube. You’ll find many of his greatest illusions. And you’ll gain a better appreciation for why he’s been granted a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Living Legend award by the Library of Congress and knighthood by the French government. You’ll understand his enduring popularity, why his live shows, in Las Vegas and around the world, have outsold those of other entertainment giants like Michael Jackson and Frank Sinatra—why his Broadway debut in 1996 sold more tickets in one week than Cats, The Producers or any other show in history.
But there’s more to appreciate in “An Evening of Grand Illusions” than the tricks. Copperfield may be the consummate craftsman, but he’s also the consummate showman, internationally known for his highly theatrical, storytelling style. A master of timing, he knows how to build suspense and when to employ humor. He constantly interacts with guests, forever between the elegant cocktail tables where they sit and often recruiting audience participants in his illusions.
Just like his flawless tricks, Copperfield’s flawless performance skill is the product of practice and hard work—decades of hard work.
Copperfield grew up in New Jersey. An only child, he entertained himself as a young boy by teaching himself ventriloquism and magic. He soon gained fame as a prodigy—while still a preteen, he was admitted in the American Society of Magicians, the youngest member ever allowed to join that organization.
Before he was of college age, he was teaching a college course at New York University called the “Art of Magic.” At 18, he won the lead in a stage musical that opened in Chicago called “The Music Man.” That success led to his first national television appearance at 19—he performed a levitation illusion among other tricks in a special called “Magic at the Roxy” hosted by Peter Graves (Mr. Phelps from “Mission: Impossible” and headlined by then-popular bumbling comic magician Carl Ballantine (also known for playing Lester Gruber in “McHale’s Navy.”) Barely 21, he hosted his own special for the first time, “The Magic of ABC, Starring David Copperfield.” And then followed annual “The Magic of David Copperfield Specials,” each wowing viewers with never-before-seen illusions, some on a grand scale.
David Copperfield Theater may be more intimate setting for magic than, say, Liberty Island or the China-Mongolia border, but the illusions you’ll see are nonetheless big and bold. And you can make your evening even more memorable by personally meeting Copperfield. Everyone who purchases a VIP ticket to the show is entitled to a meet-and-greet with the star.
When it comes to vacation destinations, “magic” is a description most often reserved for destinations like Orlando or, if you or you or your kids are into chocolate, Hershey, Pennsylvania—not for Las Vegas.
But an evening with David Copperfield at MGM Grand is guaranteed magic.