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JANUARY 10 & 11

He may go by the improbable name David Copperfield, but behind the new-age pop-metal soundtrack, disguised by the smoke and laser light show, underneath the affectedly-arched eyebrow and overly-piercing stare, is one serious geek. A skinny nerd, a whiny nebbish, the kind of kid who justifiably ate knuckle sandwiches every day at school, and no amount of abracadabra can change that. Overblown hokum like Copperfield’s is the reason we need Penn and Teller. Yet the man has talent—he pulled off the amazing trick of conjuring the affections of the world’s most beautiful girl. The new show, Dreams & Nightmares, inhabits at 5:30 & 8:30 p.m. Friday and 1, 4:30, & 8 p.m. Saturday at George Mason University’s Patriot Center, 4400 University Dr., Fairfax. $29-34. (703) 993-3000. (Dave Nuttycombe)