The Magic of David Copperfield

David Copperfield has made a name for himself with epic stunts. Walking through the Great Wall of China. Making the Statue of Liberty vanish. Levitating across the Grand Canyon.

Yet, in spite of those magnificent illusions, a few years ago, Copperfield realigned his career. His new performance, Grand Illusion, creates more intimate tricks that he hopes will speak to people personally. For example, he promises to transport an audience member to Hawaii! (No word on whether the person will have to purchase their return ticket.) He will also predict lottery numbers, and, he says, "make other dreams come true."

On Friday and Saturday, the grand illusionist will kick off his national tour here at the Keller Auditorium. The Mercury recently caught up with Copperfield.

Phil Busse: Hey. To determine who would interview you, I won a "magic-off" competition here at the office. I folded a toothpick into a handkerchief and had someone come up and crack it. But when I unwrapped the handkerchief, the toothpick was unbroken.

Copperfield: You're a magician who knows his boundaries.

Do you want to know how I did it?

I just told you! Didn't you hear what I said?

What… oh yeah. Oh. We're talking, like, magician's code here. Right?


So, you're coming up to town soon.

Yeah. How's the weather?

It's off and on--rain and sun. Can't you do anything about that? Make some of these clouds disappear?

Yeah, maybe. (Again, silence.)

Sooooo… why the choice to change from epic illusions to having magic that relates on such a personal level?

It's still very grand. I'm producing automobiles. We're traveling to Hawaii. I'm vanishing 13 people from the audience. It's grand and very intimate at the same time.

Is this a new tact for your career?

100 percent. I found rather than doing things that people couldn't relate to, listening to them and using their thoughts and desires is a much more resonating concept.

Are you a magician or an illusionist?

I'm an illusionist. I don't have special powers. Steven Spielberg is an illusionist. Walt Disney is an illusionist. It is taking stuff that doesn't exist and making it very real. My idol wasn't really Houdini. It was Orson Welles and people who took their art form in a different direction and told stories with their art forms. PHIL BUSSE

Keller Auditorium, 1111 SW Broadway, 248-4335, Fri 6 pm, 9 pm, Sat 1 pm, 4 pm, 7 pm, $28.75-66.25

Lovelab Game Night

Few things in this world are more romantic than blasting the shit out of space debris in Asteroid or chomping through mazes as Pac-Man. God bless the Mercury's Lovelab and Old Town Arcade, then, for putting together a videogame party for both Mercury personals members and finger-twitchin' joystick jockeys! Singles--and whomever else might be interested--can meet, greet, and play some games with Mercury Lovelab members, and Old Town will be tossing out free admission, free game tokens, free snacks, free jukebox selections, and (almost free) beer!

As if you needed even more fun stuff, there'll be raffle prizes and an air hockey tournament--with the winner facing off against Mercury editor Wm. Steven Humphrey. Seeing as how Mr. Humphrey's infamous for parading around town and loudly proclaiming his "mad a-hockey skillz," now's your chance to take that bastard down--and perhaps meet that special someone in the process. EH

Old Town Arcade, 88 NW Davis, Friday Oct. 1, 7-10 pm. It's free, but space is limited--so either take your chances at the door, or get on the list by RSVPing at

Bush vs. Kerry Cagematch

If it's more fun to watch a football game in a room full of screamy, drunken fans, then why should the Presidential Debates be any different? Sure, you can watch 'em at home, but who's going to hear your snide comments and snorts of derision? Wouldn't you rather watch the debates with a throng of snide-talkin' individuals just like yourself--on a humongous screen television at the Mission Theater, or perhaps Sabala's at Mt. Tabor?

This is the first of four scheduled debates, and tonight's primary topic will be "foreign policy and domestic security"--which means Bush will have to spin some mighty fancy yarns to explain his stance on foreign relations and civil rights.

And since Bush isn't the most accomplished public speaker, there will be plenty of opportunities to laugh and heckle your lungs out at the Mission with your host the Mercury's own Phil Busse. Or if you're really feeling wild and unruly, truck on down to Sabala's where booze, screaming and games will be on the menu, including the very fun sounding "Pundit Bingo." WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan, doors 5:30, Thursday, Sept. 30

Sabala's at Mt. Tabor, 4811 SE Hawthorne, 6 pm, Thursday, Sept. 30