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Thursday, January 29, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 27.0° F  Overcast
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David Copperfield reappears at the Overture Center
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David Copperfield: An Intimate Evening of Grand Illusion
David Copperfield: An Intimate Evening of Grand Illusion

David Copperfield can make the Statue of Liberty disappear and walk through the Great Wall of China. What he can't do, as we learned on April 26, is control the airline traffic at O'Hare.

The magician's plane arrived in Madison late, delaying his 5:30 p.m. set by almost an hour. He finally appeared on the Overture Hall stage -- only to disappear, repeatedly.

Last time he was in town, Copperfield made a green Cadillac materialize out of nothing, pushed through a steel plate, and teleported himself and an audience member to a tropical beach. Those tricks are hard to top, and Copperfield didn't even try -- he did them all over again.

Yes, it was the same show, with the same scripted patter and the same silly jokes. But who cares? The guy is so charismatic, and the magic so amazing, that I felt just as happy as I did the first time. Just as baffled, too.

This time I sat in the first row and watched the tricks very closely. And I still couldn't figure out how he did them. I mean, Copperfield stood on a platform that jutted out over the audience and vanished into thin air. As far as I could see, there was nowhere for him to conceal himself. He just? vanished.

It occurred to me that perhaps there was no David Copperfield. Perhaps he was just a very realistic hologram. That explained everything, and I felt pretty pleased with myself -- that is, until the final bow. I jumped up for the standing ovation, and the hologram reached out his hand to me from the lip of the stage.

I shook it. Damn. Copperfield was real.

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