The Magic Café
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » 2 Shows, One night....Burton vs. Copperfield (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2~3 [Next]
View Profile
Special user
Toronto, Ontario
533 Posts

Profile of RSD
I just came back from Vegas. I had checked into the MGM Grande, and to my surprise Copperfield was there. It also happened to be his last night. I managed to get tickets for his 7:30pm show. I watched the show, then quickly ran across the street to the Monte Carlo to watch Lance Burton's 10pm show. Very interesting to see both shows back to back. I figure I would just give a show review of the two performances and a few notes.

Please note: Though I will not be giving away any secrets in this posting (obviously), I might ruin the surprise. If your planning on seeing any of the two shows stop reading now.

David Copperfield: A Night of Grand Illusion.
Running Time: 1 hour, 11 minutes.
Cost: $101
Seats: Second last row.

1. David opened the show with a video montage of "Dare to Dream".
2. David does a Motorcycle Appearance.
3. Penetrates a steel wall (vertically).
4. Montage of applicants for Reunion.
5. "Gets an Audience Member Pregnant". For lack of better words.
6. Squeeze Box.
7. Lottery Prediction. Note: There was no appearance of Grandpa's car at the end.
8. Webster the duck routine.
9. "Killer", the scorpion routine.
10. "Reunion"
11. "13"

Lance Burton Master Magician
Running Time: 1 hour, 37 minutes.
Cost: $79
Seats: Third row centre.

1. Opens with a video of his Rollercoaster Stunt.
2. "Shadow Appearance"
3. Opens with his award winning Candle/Dove routine.
4. "Flight Control" - To introduce his 5 assistants.
5. Floating/Vanishing Dove cage.
6. I call the next one "Robe Vanish". This is where he opens his robe and his assistants vanish behind it's cover.
7. ??? - Cant remember!!!
8. A newer version of "Interlude". His assistants appear out of his midsection. Big illusion with a sci-fi look.
9. Appearing Corvette.
10. "Miser's Dream" with a child on stage.
11. Disappearing Corvette with above child in it.
12. "Intermission" with juggler/comedian Michael Goudeau
13. "Princess of Air - 360". Without a base or stairs.
14. Disappearing Dove Cage with 12 kids on stage.
15. New version of "Backstage with the Magician".
16. "Transposition" with a giant Phonograph.
17. Sword box escape with an assistant.
18. "The Magic Zone"
19. "Steel Chair" levitation. Done with an audience member, and uses stools instead of chairs.
20. "The Masked Ball"
21. "Floating Corvette"
22. Quick goodbye with a "Boomerang Top Hat".

So in David vs. Lance the winner in my mind this night was clearly Lance Burton.

David's show seemed to lag at some points and some things just went on for too long. The dialogue that he uses with "volunteers", in my opinion, has become to scripted and obvious.

Lance's show was quick fire and non-stop. There was never a dull moment, and he amazed me at every turn.


1. Being majorly fooled for the first time since becoming "smart" to the industry by Burton. I was sitting 3rd row centre. During #6, his assistant walks out on stage wearing a gown. She smiles at the audience and walk with her back towards us over to Lance. He then immediately pulls her gown away, and she has vanished. Incredible! I didn't see it coming. Now get's the best part. After this illusion he got a huge ovation. He smiles and jokingly asks "Any Questions?". A little kid next to me, (whom I know wasn't a plant), asks "Can you do it again?". After the laughs, and debating he communicates with his tech guys, and stage manager for the reset and does it again! He amazed me twice! Wow!

2. Interesting moment I wont forget. During the Ball routine one of his Ducks slipped and fell of the stage. He immediately stopped the production. Asked someone to raise the lights. While he went down and got his duck out of the audience. It was obviously hurt. He picked it up and brought it backstage, then unpaused his illusion. This just showed me what a pro this guy is. It also showed the audience his true side, and what he is like out of "character". I could see Lance was upset, and genuinely concerned for the duck's well being. Just a real moment that the whole audience shared.

3. Copperfield's Reunion/13. He just flows from one to the next so smoothly. The amount of people, timing, and all the other things going on to make these two work back to back is simply magic.

4. Copperfield's Improv. skills and presentation. His unscripted shtick was hilarious. His quick come-backs and wit were amazing.

Overall, I was treated to two of the best magicians of our time. A night that won't soon forget.

If anyone has any questions or comments please feel free to post them.

Just a quick question. I have seen Burton on TV before, and he seemed to have a wonderful speaking voice. However, seeing him live, he seemed to have some sort of speech problem. A few times he was hard to understand, and he seemed to have "lock-jaw" where he couldn't open his mouth all the way. At first I thought he had something hidden in his mouth. Was he involved in some sort of accident that injured his jaw/speaking?
View Profile
New user
24 Posts

Profile of i-o-f
Now you got me suprised !

I was at one of Lance Shows one year ago, and the same thing happened: One duck got off the stage, he stopped the Show and picked it back up with the assistance of the audience. I also thought that was not planned, but now it seemes that this happens to create a special moment wich connects to the audience. Anybody else who was at the show and has seen this happening?


View Profile
Elite user
456 Posts

Profile of MCM
From the "Animal Magic" shows I know that Lance cares for the animals, and one of the "tricks" he uses is to see what they will "naturally" do in a situation, and integrate it into the act. Building the illusion around the animal instead of sticking the animal into the illusion. My guess is that there was a minor acccident one day during a show or practice, he found the duck was fine, but it naturally acted in a certain way, so he integrated it into the act.
View Profile
Regular user
Virginia, USA
173 Posts

Profile of magia355
Not to discredit David Copperfield. In my opinion he is not only a great Magician but also a great performer. I too watch his show here in the Washington area not long ago. It was the same as you mentioned above. Now, I tell you, I was a little bit disappointed in the overall performance, and you are right about the audience participation. I felt that he lacked energy that in my point of view would of enhanced the show. Overall, like always DC will give you something to remember, but I feel it could have been more.
View Profile
Special user
610 Posts

Profile of Osiris
Keep in mind, David really isn't comfortable working with people (especially strangers)and he's not a "magician" as most of us would view that to mean. He's more of your Mark Wilson variety of magician e.g. he'll learn an effect that requires "skill" if need be, but isn't prone to lots of finger flinging or superfoulus knowledge about such things. HE'S A AN ENTERTAINER & SHOWMAN who just happens to use magic as his platform.

In real life DC tends to avoid magician (with the exception of those that he credits as "knowing something" that's a bit above average.)

He can be a great guy (just don't do business with him on "your new idea"... that's when things get really "tricky"... just ask Kevin James or any number of others that have "been there.")
View Profile
New user
58 Posts

Profile of TinMan4
Actually David is EXTREMELY skilled in slight of hand. Who wouldn't be with Chris Kenner as their right hand man.
Bill Palmer
View Profile
Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
24265 Posts

Profile of Bill Palmer
Let me point out some misconceptions here --
1) David's "Improv" is most likely scripted. If not scripted, at least there is enough planning behind it that it is handled the same way the opportunity presents itself. He makes it look improvised. That's part of the job. He is good at it.

2) The last time I saw Siegfried and Roy, I was sitting next to a fellow who had just enough magic smarts to be dangerous. After the show, he said "I thought I knew how this stuff works. So I sat here so I could see all of the tricks." These guys build their illusions to work on THOSE STAGES under THOSE angle conditions. There won't be any place in the theatre where you can see the gaffs. If there were, the seat would be moved somewhere else.

You did get a good deal, though. The tickets are costly, but you got to see some real masters in action.

Lucky You!!!!
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."
View Profile
Special user
Toronto, Ontario
533 Posts

Profile of RSD
1. I agree with you regarding David's improv. However, there were some things that he could not have set up, or pre planned, and he shined in those moments too.

2. You are so right! Even sitting at the back of the Hollywood Theatre my angles and sites were amazing. I never missed a thing. The cool thing about being back there, was sitting next to one of his "hecklers". That was fun.

3. Stting third row and Burton was totally incredible. Expecially when he comes into the audience for his close-up routine. I was lucky to see his routine right under my nose!
View Profile
Regular user
118 Posts

Profile of J.S.llusionDesigns
I have seen both shows with in 2 weeks apart. Lance Burton's show is a lot better. There are more illusions done is why I like Lance's better. But you have to know that Copperfield is on tour so his show travels. So he does not have as many illusions. Lance's theater was built for him and how he wanted it built. So no Grandpa's car if the place he is touring at is not suited for it.
Joe Smith Illusion Designs
View Profile
Special user
595 Posts

Profile of Bradacal
Hey there,

I have seen both shows live. I love Burton's act, and being a dove worker and seeing that live in front of you, it gives you a great appreciation for what he has done for manipulation and magic. I did notice his speech too, On TV he is as smooth as butter when he talks but live he has a slur or something, but who cares, great show.

DC when I saw him was on his UNKNOWN DIMENSION tour(I think they are all relatively the same tour). A couple of different things however. I do agree that they those moments are somewhat scripted and the things that aren't, and he is quick witted all comes from being in every possible situation and knowing what to say from experience. His show was awesome though, he did some wicked things, things that weren't described above, and things that were.

All in all, those two have different styles and are the best these days.
View Profile
Regular user
Knoxville, TN
124 Posts

Profile of GreatWizardoftheEast
David Copperfield used to tour with an enormous illusion show, so the traveling part has nothing to do with it. I saw his show a few months ago. He connects tremendously with the audience. He limits the use of 'box' style illusions, and that's a good thing. There are a couple things in the show that are weak, the scorpion being one. But overall, David always does a solid show.
Harold White
View Profile
New user
22 Posts

Profile of iamthegoat2003
As a magician I appreciated Lance's work a little more than David's.
The mind is too complicated to read,
but who is to say it can not be summarized?
Brent W
View Profile
Regular user
123 Posts

Profile of Brent W
Just a few things... first off, the Hollywood Theater stage is very small compared to stages DC works on tour, so several larger pieces cannot be performed. It is like going to see a major star in a Vegas showroom, you do it to be close and be entertained. Although it is not up to par with his touring show, it is still a good nights entertainment.

Second, DC is VERY good at sleight of hand, and lives and breathes magic, from his vast collections of props, books, and posters from the past to his constant need to create new illusions and improve the old ones.

I have seen both shows many times in Vegas, and have seen Copperfield on tour in several cities.

Lance Burton performs his illusion show in such a way it makes you think about the greats of the past..Thurston, Richiardi, Blackstone..etc
The show is very modern but has that old time full evening show feel.

In my opinion, both men are great entertainers and perform fantastic shows.
View Profile
New user
24 Posts

Profile of i-o-f

I saw David last year in the MGM Hollywood Theatre, and he did all routines, even the big ones:
Motorcyle Appearance, through Steel, Thirteen, Hawaii and the Car at the end of Lotto.
I really wondered how they managed the big props in this quite small theatre.
So he must have left out the Car appearance for some other reasons....


View Profile
Inner circle
1351 Posts

Profile of reedrc
Well the "workings" of the car may not have had much space for IT backstage the way it works......
Kind Regards

Ryan C. Reed
Founder, Illusion Entertainment

designer, director, theatrical consultant, digital wizard, magic impresario, wonder aficionado, Illusioneer & dream architect.

View Profile
Regular user
195 Posts

Profile of Gracy_hm
I have great respect for both but I feel that Copperfield comes off more professional and to the laymen because of his dramatics which as a whole I feel are less forced then those of Lances (Though Lance is still AMAZING!) his magic will leave a stronger impact on them. I feel its quality vs. quantity Lance has a brilliant act but I don't think it would work anywhere else like in Vegas. David's act works with more universal themes and so reaches a broader market.

Thank you for posting reports.

P.S These are two of the best in the business and nothing I said is intended as malice or rude I respect both of these men and wish I could be 10% the magician either of them were. I simply have always felt a strong love for Copperfield's magic and he is a magician I do not agree with anyone saying he isn't. He dedicates hours, months , and years, and yes scripts and prepares as much as possible because David is a perfectionist and doesn't just spend big bucks and show his prop off he crafts a story and I feel successfully engages the audience so he is elevated beyond to magician to great storyteller which is what I feel all good magicians are.

Just don't want people to misunderstand. I have great respect for Lances act but prefer Davids. Both are great Lances reminds me of more a classic magic show like from the 40's, and Davids a bit more modern so the styles aren't easily compared nor should they be. I like them both and cannot fairly judge Burton's act because I've never seen it live until then the things said in my first post are not 100% valid...still I love Copperfield's magic so much it makes me just...speachless!

Take care,
Corey K
View Profile
Special user
Rhode Island
503 Posts

Profile of Corey K
As far as David's script goes, you'd be surprised at how much of it really is scripted. I saw his show last August at PPAC. I stayed for both shows the night that I saw the show (thanks Chris Kenner!!!), and needless to say it was very interesting. All of the jokes, one-liners and stuff that you think was improv - all repeated during the second show. I also noticed that David has a little TV monitor in the audience that reads him all of his patter that he uses throughout the show.

The laymen that I was with were a little disappointed after seeing the second show. Made them see that the magic wasn't really...well, magic. But it gave me a whole new outlook on David, and was a very interesting experience to say the least.
View Profile
New user
55 Posts

Profile of Doveman
David is PURE theater at it's BEST!!!
View Profile
New user
89 Posts

Profile of spkrosky
And that's what the illusionist really is, isn't he? An actor using theatrical techniques and a few closely guarded secrets. If that is the definition, yes, DC is the best. He elevates his act to art form.
View Profile
Regular user
195 Posts

Profile of Gracy_hm
Agreed and as has been said for well over over 100 years, we are but actors playing the part of a maician.

Take care,
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » 2 Shows, One night....Burton vs. Copperfield (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2~3 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.25 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL