Chicago Magic Lounge Presents HENOK NEGASH: MEANT TO BE Review – A Night of Coincidences

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We sit in the Chicago Magic Lounge’s mainstage theater and our magician, Henok Negash, calls upon random members of the audience to fill in the blanks and guess some things about him. 

What ethnicity is he? 

What’s a common nickname for him? 

How many siblings does he have? 

Each answer seems random. There’s no way any member of this accidentally assembled audience would know anything about him, a perfect stranger. But then he points to a sealed envelope that has been sitting in front of us this whole time. He pulls out a piece of paper, answers already written. He reads them out loud and they match exactly to the answers our audience members have just said. It’s this trick and many others that make us feel like everything about this night was, as the show title claims, just Meant to Be. 

Chicago Magic Lounge’s New Wednesday Night Act

The show starts when we enter a performance space and a few props you’d typically see at a magic show sit on tables in front of the red show curtain. There’s a deck of cards, a clear wine glass, a nondescript black box and a large envelope with a question mark on the front. It seems like a regular set-up, nothing out of the ordinary, we think.

The curtains draw back and Negash takes the stage in a blue suit and bowtie. He welcomes us and immediately starts his act with a joke, claiming to be able to turn a one dollar bill into a one hundred dollar note. He continues the night with this genial air and focuses his attention on bringing the whole audience along with him for this journey. 

Engaging The Crowd

Throughout the night, Negash makes a point to engage with each of us during each of his illusions. For those who like to be more involved, the first row in front of the stage will be perfect for you. But not to worry, during some other tricks he walks through the crowd, perhaps requesting a ring from a few people to create an unbreakable bond with them. 

As he performs each trick, each reveal has us wondering if this audience is sharing the same wavelength or if there's actual plants in the audience because they seem too good to be just a coincidence. He combines card tricks, sleight of hand, jokes, and stories all leading back to how this was all Meant to Be tonight, and Meant to Be in this very moment.

For those looking for a more high-intensity, large scale production with lots of grand illusions, this might not be the one for you.  However, if you’re looking for a chill night out to grab a drink and to be entertained with magic and stories for an hour, Meant to Be might be a good fit for you.


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Thru September 27, 2023

The Signature Show
Thursdays-Sundays at 7:00pm, Fridays and Sundays at 10pm

Family Show
Sunday, July 2 & 16 and August 6 & 20 at 3pm


5050 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL, 60640



For more information and tickets visit the Chicago Magic Lounge website.

Photos by Sarah Elizabeth Larson


Note: Picture This Post reviews are excerpted by Theatre in Chicago.

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Alexis Bugajski

About the Author: Alexis Bugajski

Alexis is a theater reviewer, travel bug, media specialist, and burger & beer enthusiast. During the day she works in the advertising business as a senior communications designer. When night falls, or when she can escape to New York, she’s hitting the theaters to see as many shows as she can. And whenever she’s not at her desk or in the audience, she’s out seeking the best burger and beer offerings in Chicago.

Editor's Note:  Click here to read more Picture this Post articles by Alexis Bugajski

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