Chicago Magic Lounge revitalizes Chicago-style magic
A night with the Chicago Magic Lounge offers a unique, fun, unconventional evening of relaxed enjoyment. The Lounge’s goal is to bring back the kind of close-up magic experience that was popular in our city in decades past, and this experience is certainly one worth having.
In the Uptown Underground’s cozy red speakeasy cabaret, performers walk right up and show off their card trick skills while you sip a drink at your table. The atmosphere is lively, friendly, and intimate, even with a big crowd. Come as you are and be welcomed into the fold: this makes for both a great date night or activity with a group of friends and family.
Each Thursday show consists of table magic (get there at 7:30, not 8, to catch this), a feature act, a bar set, and a headliner. On the night I was there, Luis Carreon opened the stage show as feature act, making jewelry disappear and giant cards appear as you genuinely ask yourself, “how did he DO that?”
Audience participation is key; reserve seats in the first two rows if you want the best chance at being truly in on the action.
Justin Purcell was at the helm of the bar set, engaging the crowd gathered around the bar with his gregarious personality and his ability to make a $100 bill emerge from the inside of a lemon.
The real star of the night, however, was Mark Toland, a mind reader with seriously impressive abilities. Toland correctly identifies audience members’ birthdays, pet names, and specific memories, and produces exact replicas of drawings they create on the spot. (“You have got to be KIDDING!” whispers the woman behind me).
How does he do it—intuition or years of studied people watching? I don’t know, but that’s what makes it magical.
Recommended for: First dates, subsequent dates, group dates
Not recommended for: Anyone under 21 must be accompanied by their legal guardian.
Ongoing, Thursdays at 8pm and Saturdays at 7:30pm
Stay late for the 10pm bar set.
Courtesy of Magic Lounge
Susanna Hostetter is a dancer and teaching artist, exposing hundreds of Chicago Public School students a year to dance through renowned dance education organizations. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology and Dance from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, and is an avid attendee of Chicago theater, music, and cultural events.