Chicago is a wonderful city with a lot of marvelous sights that you shouldn’t miss if you’re ever visiting the city. In the bustling city of nearly 3 million people, there’s a long list of things including events, festivals, tours, attractions, shopping malls, fine dining, sports, arts, music, comedy, nightlife and magic. While Chicago isn’t particularly known for their magic attractions compared to a venue like Vegas where David Copperfield performs, the Chicago magic show scene is particularly popular among the area and the residents there.
From bar magic performances to theatrical performances, there’s something to be desired by people of all magical tastes. We’ll take a look at some of the top magic shows Chicago has to offer.
#1 – The Magic Parlour
Not feeling like going out to the bar or is this rowdy loud bar crew just not your scene? The Magic Parlour is an upscale magic show that isn’t your typical show. Dennis Watkins is dubbed by The Chicago Sun Times as the official magic man of Chicago. Dennis Watkins has performed over 21 productions and likes to personally connect with his audience. He’s recognized by the International Brotherhood of Magicians, the Society of American Magicians, Desert Magic Seminar and the Texas Association of Magicians.
The Parlour was founded by The House which features storytelling and stagecraft. The House is for people looking for a high class of art and theatrical performance. You want to be sure not to miss Dennis Watkin’s biggest hit, “Death & Harry Houdini” in a death defying stunt.
#2 – Chicago Magic Lounge
Back in the 60s and the 70s, it wasn’t uncommon to see bar magic being advertised everywhere. It was all the rave and you’d see top names like Schulien’s and Little Bit O’ Magic. This era of magic brought in what’s known as close up or bar magic. It was different at the time because stage performance was common but no one was doing a style of magic that was up close and personal. The clubs and magicians of Chicago wanted to do something different. They wanted to invent a style of magic that would actually involve the customers and even have them assist with the tricks.
While some critics say the bar magic era of the city is dead, the Chicago Magic Lounge is hoping to bring that back. You must be 21 years old to attend the shows and shows are every Thursday/Saturday night. Saturday night however excludes bar magic.
#3 – Magic Chicago
While it’s a simple name, Magic Chicago is one of the longest running magic shows in Chicago with over 10 years of performance arts. Magic Chicago features four talented artists: Benjamin Barnes, Bill Cook, Jordan Wright and Luis Carreon.
Benjamin Barnes – He can be seen in Hollywood’s critically acclaimed Magic Castle and is the producer of the longest magic show currently running in Chicago.
Bill Cook – Bill can hold his own in not only Chicago but on the grand stages of Las Vegas where he’s a three time award winner. Some of his peers have even given him the name “The Young Master of Magic”. Bill Cook isn’t an unfamiliar face to many magic enthusiasts as he’s been featured on almost every single major cable TV network including Fox, ABC, NBC, CBS, Showtime, SyFy, Telemundo, The Today Show, Wizard Wars, Mario Lopez and the Movie Channel. He also starred in a 2010 documentary named Make Believe that was the Los Angeles Film Festival Winner for the Best Documentary produced.
You can expect a lot of audience participation and comedy when Bill takes the stage. He’s the closest current living magician to David Copperfield as you can get. You’ll also save quite a bit of money in the process.
Jordan Wright – The story of Jordan Wright starts out rather sad as he was an orphan in the streets of London. His foster parents had forced him at a very young age to go to Tibet in a summer camp to study the art of silence. To this day, the knowledge he gained from that summer camp stays with him as he always tells people to think before they speak and ask themselves whether it’s an improvement upon being silent. For 15 years, Wright has been all around the U.S. and has performed at locations such as Las Vegas, Atlanta, Los Angeles and now Chicago. He even performed at a grand stage of 6,000 live people in the Orleans Arena.
Mr. Wright isn’t just native to performing in the U.S., he’s also performed in exotic areas such as Italy, China, Taiwan and Canada as well. He dubs himself Mr. Right as a character that was created by a few different filmmakers. He took such awe and inspiration from them that he decided to create an entire persona out of them for his own shows.
Luis Carreon – Finally we have Luis Carreon who is not only a magician but a mentalist as well. He started practicing magic at an early age of 10 years old. His grandfather was his initial inspiration as a circus clown that mainly traveled all over South and North America. After High School, Carreon decided that he knew his profession would be magic and to this day, he likes to appear at corporate events, social events and stage performances. Magic show in Chicago is indeed famous and people who tend to watch these magic shows always wanted to go there again and again.
#4 – Magic Cabaret
Specializing in the act of comedy magic, The Magic Cabaret is one of Chicago’s premiere magic shows. It’s been going for 9 years strong and has critical acclaims from the Tribune, Chicago Reader and other top critic sources. Tickets start at just $20 and over 10,000 guests in the past 9 years have been amazed by the comedic styles of Joe Diamond and David Parr. Joe Diamond while a seemingly normal looking fellow, actually got into magic because of his fascination with the paranormal. He was one of the youngest people ever to win the Close-Up Magic Classic experience.
Chicago is full of mystery and culture. If you come to or live in Chicago, you should check out every magic venue that you can. With so many locations to choose from not covered here like LaVilla, Mike Ditka’s, Pepe’s Restaurant, Fox’s Orland, O’Donovan’s and more, you’ll never run out of places to patronize for your magic needs.