Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Day in Long Beach (long and silly)

I'd been going back and forth all week about whether or not I wanted to make a trek down to Long Beach to see David Copperfield. I didn't get interested in magic because I dislike watching it performed. Plus, how often do you really get a chance to see one of the biggest names EVER in magic perform? So, I broke one of my rules, and used the credit card to buy the ticket as an early birthday present to myself.

However, John was most definitely against it, and that was a big deal for me. He gets compared to Copperfield a lot (they look eerily alike - John is cuter - and, after watching the show, they do have similar styles), so it's a bit of a sore spot for him. A long, rather hilarious text conversation ensued on the drive down (I got called a traitor, a Copperfield lover, and one of "those Chicago people!", and accused of plotting to run away to join Copperfield's show - all in good fun, though) and even as I sat in the theater waiting for the show to start. ("Just admit it, Katie, you feel like you're about to watch me for the first time live! lol!") Of course, it didn't stop there, either. I sent him a text as I was standing up from my seat after the show and hadn't even gotten to the theater door yet:

Thinking to myself, "Just sent the text, and 5...4...3..."
"Hello, John Gabriel..."

I literally was not even out the door of the theater when he called, and we spent the next two hours on the phone discussing the show. And, yeah, it was good. I mean, it's David Copperfield - he didn't get to where he is now by being a terrible performer. He's so famous because he IS one of the best. Unfortunately, he doesn't let you forget that fact. The preshow video? A montage of all the awards he's won and titles he's been given. THEN a video about "Copperfield in pop culture" - various cartoons, tv shows, and movies his name has been mentioned in. THEN a video about how he always wanted to be able to travel at whim (I have YET to figure out how that tied into the show at all). No magic, not even any reference to magic. Just ten minutes (not counting the preshow looping montage) of literally nothing but "see how famous I am?!" It was very off-putting. I'm really anti-video intros anyway - John uses one for the smaller shows and I HATE it - so that was a big turn-off. My vote is always "screw the video and show me what you've got now!" (And yes, I've told John that, too. He doesn't use it for big shows, though, luckily.)

The magic itself - once we finally got around to it - was, of course, excellent. He did his signature appearance on the motorcycle, pushed his way through a steel panel, made a guy's tie dance and sing (such an old trick, but it IS pretty funny), a prediction, made a really pretty green old Lincoln car appear onstage (that would be the car I wanted), used a scorpion to figure out what card a lady picked from the audience (John is never ever allowed to use scorpions. EVER. Ick!), made a duck translocate ( the duck, "Webster", would also waddle across the stage to the tune of "Shake Your Tail Feathers" occasionally throughout the show), walked through a fan and appeared in the back of the audience (sans the dancing girl - video is in Spanish, but magic is pretty universal), did a dancing tissue paper/floating rose trick that I've seen before (same deal with Spanish as before), and, of course, made 13 people disappear on stage and reappear in the back of the house. The dialogue in most of the videos is exactly the same as it was last night, but I can live with that. After all, the dialogue in a play or musical doesn't change from production to production, and 90% of the audience has never heard it before. It's merely a way to keep everything going in order.

He seemed to have fun with the audience, although there was rarely ever any "reason" to do the tricks. It always had a kind of "and this is what's next" feel to it, no stories or history to anything except the car appearing and the prediction. I did like the overall style of the show - very urban. The crew (at least four guys and two girls) were probably my age or slightly younger, which I thought made him look older, personally. The audience clearly had fun, though, which is honestly the most important thing (it was nowhere near sold out, btw). Like I told John, I enjoyed the show and am really glad that I went. (Penn & Teller now remain the only modern illusionists that I would really love to see live but haven't.) It was fun. I would go again, too - if someone else paid. And the resulting phone call afterwards was worth antagonizing my favorite boss ;-)

Oh, and since I actually didn't get down to LB in time for the 5:30p show, I ended up with some time to kill before the 8:30p show. I decided to spend it here:
The historic ship (now turned hotel) the Queen Mary. (That's a Russian submarine there in front of it.) I've never really been around cruise ships before, so the sheer size of it was a bit overwhelming. I'm wondering what boggles the mind more - that 757s can actually fly or that these monstrosities can actually float. Seriously. (My maternal grandfather, an airline pilot, always said that planes don't really fly - it was all done with smoke and mirrors. Between him and my dad, I didn't have a prayer of not being interested in magic OR aerospace!)

It's also, of course, supposed to be severely haunted. I didn't go through any of the tours or anything, just kind of wandered around on the upper decks for an hour or so, but I can certainly see where people could get the impression of ghosts. For one thing, it's very open and empty, I'm assuming particularly in the off-season.

The deck wood is quite uneven and creates a little bit of a "fun house" effect. There is an air circulation system that creates a steady "whooshing" and "whirring" sound, not to mention all the creaking and groaning of a ship in harbor. Again, though, I only stayed on the upper decks. I saw a sign for their audio tour going downstairs to the isolation wards of the hospital and started down, but I think a combination of mild claustrophobia and a simple fear of getting lost (there was NO ONE around) in such an unfamiliar place made me want to leave after only a few steps down the hallway.

But I did get a shot for Mom:
So they aren't magical Disney pelicans, but they look pretty happy to me...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great rundown and terrific descriptions of LB!


Long Beach Apartments