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David Blaine Is Bringing His Magic Show to Las Vegas’ Strip for the First Time

The Hollywood Reporter logo The Hollywood Reporter 5/21/2022 Melinda Sheckells
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Diversifying its resident show roster, magician and stunt artist David Blaine is joining the pantheon of performers (Katy Perry, Carrie Underwood, Michael Bublé and Luke Bryan) who call Las Vegas’ Concerts West / AEG Presents Resorts World Theatre home.

The illusionist tells The Hollywood Reporter he will launch his first show on the Strip beginning Sept. 30, 2022.

Chatting over the phone from his home in Paris, he says David Blaine Live will bring new magic and some of his classic repertoire to audiences on six dates through the end of 2022.

“A lot of the show will be brand new things that people haven’t seen. There’ll be some of my favorite pieces of magic and then the interactive part where I go into the audience and do magic for people up close and bring people on stage and interact with them,” says Blaine.

This will be the first time the state-of-the-art theater, which opened in 2021, will be used for magic, taking cues from the interactive sets, pyro and dynamic staging used by the musical acts that also use the room.

“I took a visit to Resorts World and the theater was under construction — and I walked in and looked at the room and said, ‘This would be the most amazing place to build a show,'” says Blaine. “The ceilings are 85 feet tall. The stage is high-tech. I fell in love with the room. It allows me to do things I’ve never done onstage.”

If anyone can fill 5,000 seats with a magic show, it is Blaine, whose long credential list includes an arena tour, as well as nine primetime specials. He is working on a show for Disney+ entitled Beyond Belief with David Blaine, executive produced by Brian Glazer and Ron Howard and Imagine Documentaries. This documentary adventure series sends Blaine on a global odyssey, interacting with magicians and shamans and other mystics to uncover their secrets.

Some of his most famous feats from past specials have included being buried alive in New York City for a week, encased inside a six-ton block of ice for three days, enduring 44 days inside a transparent box in London on nothing but water, and having one million volts discharged at him continuously for 72 hours from seven Tesla coils.

“After years of failing repetitiously, I eventually started to get an understanding of how to build a stage show. It’s so counterintuitive to how I make television, where I go out, I shoot for a year and I try to find the best reactions,” Blaine says. “When you walk out, there is no editing, what happens happens. It’s all real. Therefore, the feedback from the audience is really exciting. I think they understand that intuitively. They are there with you on an emotional level, which is very different from television.”

His famed sphere-shaped aquarium, which he spent one week submerged in at Lincoln Center, before breaking the world record for breath holding live on The Oprah Winfrey Show, will make an appearance in the Vegas show.

“There is a lift I can use to pull my sphere-shaped aquarium onto the stage, which is pretty extreme. It’s one of my favorite water tanks that I have ever used. I just love that image. It’s like a marble, but it’s an eight-foot sphere,” Blaine says. “It’s very hard to fit into any room, other than an arena. But in this theater, we’re going to be able to use it. And then the other thing is the height. Having such great heights allows me to dream up things that I’ve always wanted to do that I could never do in any theater.”

Blaine frequently visits Las Vegas to hang with David Copperfield, who has been headlining at MGM Grand for decades. He says that the community is very tight.

“There is a group of magicians that I get to spend time with and we brainstorm and create,” Blaine says. “One of my favorite things I’ve seen in Las Vegas is David Copperfield’s museum, which is the nicest magic archive in the world. Walk through there, and you’re just inspired footstep after footstep, and he’s done such an incredible job curating it.”

Copperfield performs around 655 shows a year — one night backstage, he shared with Blaine it takes 500 shows to get a trick right and more than 1,000 to make it “feel good.”

Blaine says he might even incorporate his 10-year-old daughter Dessa into the act. She is already doing magic.

“I support anything that she wants to do and I know her work ethic is way beyond mine. She’s more focused and watching her do anything is magic,” he says.

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