Friday, May 2, 2008

David Copperfield Brings Illusions to Philadelphia



Imagine if you could win the lottery, travel to your perfect place in the blink of an eye, own your dream car, turn back the hands of time or reunite with a lost loved one. It all becomes a reality, every night when David Copperfield appears in Philadelphia at the Academy of Music on May 16 & 17.

Part of the Cadillac Broadway Series, tickets ranging in price from $26.75 to $68.75 are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-731-3333, online at, at the Kimmel Center box office, Broad & Spruce Sts (open daily 10 am to 6 pm) or at the Academy of Music box office, Broad & Locust Sts (during performances only). Groups of 15 or more should call 215-790-5883 or 866-276-2947. Performances include: Friday, May 16 at 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm; Saturday, May 17 at 2:30 pm. 5:30 pm and 8:30 pm.
True to its title, “Grand Illusion” is the logical, and incredible evolution of this conjurer’s art. Copperfield’s goal in “Grand Illusion” is to take one’s dreams (and maybe a few nightmares) and make them become reality using his state of the art wizardry.
“For magic to be relevant,” explains Copperfield, “it has to evolve so it keeps up with, or even surpasses, the best film and theater. I want to base my work on what people really dream about. Most of us don’t dream of pulling a rabbit out of a hat. But what affects people is realizing personal dreams, dreams almost everyone shares, that they thought were impossible. In the cinema the audience watches the characters’ dreams come true.”
Copperfield adds, “In ‘Grand Illusion,’ the audiences get to watch their dreams come true, live, before their very eyes and in three dimensions. It’s an interactive experience of wish fulfillment. Nothing like it has been done before. ‘Grand Illusion’ deals with real people who dream of being reunited with a loved one they thought they’d never see again and making it happen, instantly, in front of three or four thousand people who witness the event and see that it’s real.”
Expounding further, Copperfield says, “Grand Illusion” was partly inspired by an unfulfilled wish of my grandfather’s that a lot of people share: winning the lottery and finally owning that one special thing you always dreamed of. We call it an ‘intimate’ evening of grand illusion partly because it’s interactive. In one of the pieces, for example, the audience discovers how to predict lottery numbers that will come up that night. They get to participate in illusions that blur the line between magic and reality.”
Show highlights include:
In an “unplugged” moment of pure sleight-of-hand Copperfield performs “close-up” magic with a lethal black African scorpion. One of the most original, startling—and dangerous—effects ever, this unforgettable display of sleight-of-hand presents Copperfield with a true challenge to his will and dexterity, in a test not to be tried at home.
Here a member of the audience takes the trip of his or her life. In “Reunion,” a person who has longed for reconciliation with a loved one realizes their dream, through one of the most startling, affecting illusions ever devised. While standing on a crane arm with Copperfield, suspended over the heads of the audience, the person vanishes impossibly, only to reappear moments later in the freely selected location of their dreams. From Hackensack to Honolulu, the person’s “dream” location is where they magically arrive. “Reunion” is an illusion so challenging, that Copperfield employs proof that would make F Lee Bailey envious.
Copperfield takes liposuction to a whole new level as the six foot one “King of Magic” gets squeezed into a bite-sized piece that could fit into a Prada shoebox.
Inspired by David’s grandfather’s unfilled dream, “The Lottery” is an astonishing epic of brain-busters. Copperfield involves the entire audience, and shares his secret technique for predicting the winning numbers of “The Lottery.”
David walked through the Great Wall of China. This time, he’ll do it a little slower. Instead of walking, he floats through solid steel, proving that dreams can dissolve barriers.
One of Copperfield’s most heavily-requested creations, thirteen audience members chosen entirely at random vanish, leaving friends and family wondering whether to applaud or put their loved ones’ faces on milk cartons. Their fears are allayed as the thirteen reappear, instantly, in the most surprising of places.
“David Copperfield: An Intimate Evening Of Grand Illusion” is an affecting, life-changing event that reaches into the audiences’ minds and hearts and takes them on a feast of wish fulfillment. Displaying his off-the-cuff brand of humor, Copperfield breaks new ground in “Grand Illusion” and takes his art to a grand yet intimate, personal yet universal dimension for an evening of wonders that will never be forgotten.
The 2007-2008 Cadillac Broadway Series marks the first full season of cooperation between Kimmel Center, Inc. and Shubert Organization, Inc., where theatrical presentations in Philadelphia will be presented at the Academy of Music and the Forrest Theatre. In addition to David Copperfield, the 2007-2008 season includes: Gypsy (May 9-11); Oprah Winfrey Presents The Color Purple (June 17-July 13); Mamma Mia! (July 15-27); and Monty Python’s SPAMALOT (Aug.14-31).
All performances of the Cadillac Broadway Series are supported by Cadillac, CITI, Target, WPVI-TV 6, The Philadelphia Coca-Cola Bottling Company, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Philadelphia Daily News. American Airlines is the Official Airline of Cadillac Broadway Series.

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