Showing posts with label Dugan Kenaz-Mara. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dugan Kenaz-Mara. Show all posts

Friday, July 15, 2022

REVIEW: Artist-In-Residence Luis Carreon, La Bestia at Chicago Magic Lounge Wednesdays Through September 28, 2022.

 ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

Chicago Magic Lounge Presents
Luis Carreon, La Bestia
Wednesdays Through September 28, 2022 

Guest Review

by Dugan Kenaz-Mara

Chicago Magic Lounge has once again astounded, mystified, and astonished us with another wonderful magic show by Artist-In-Residence Luis Carreon, La Bestia.

From start to finish, the experience was magical. Even as a returning guest, I enjoyed the lead-in to the main stage area and the history of magic that comes along with it. I could also tell that it was breathtaking for my friend who had never been to the magic lounge before. He was fooled multiple times and was exclaiming about how cool it was the entire way to our seats. 

Once we made it to our places, the staff were incredibly kind and the close-up magicians who came to the tables before the show were also great. The best part is how they were willing to play with us when we engaged them in bits. One table magician, while presenting a deck of cards, told us he was going to perform a card trick. When we responded that calling it a “card trick” was apt and questioned whether he had come up with that himself, he countered by telling us he had a team of writers who came up with it for him. It was fun to joke around with him and better still when it didn’t impede his flawless sleight of hand. 

Then, after already being blown away by the magic lounge’s environment, we were blown even further away by Luis Carreon’s performance. While he has a dramatic flair, his most notable feature is his humor. The show is full of pop culture references and he makes tons of jokes, including ones about his heritage and the stereotypes that come along with it. He engaged the audience throughout the whole show and even played a prank on one volunteer. 

I also loved his ability to improvise with what the audience gave him. Some audience members didn’t play along with his jokes and were contrarian, which he was able to turn into more bits to entertain the rest of the audience. On the other hand, there was an audience member who gave him a small heart-shaped chocolate, which he incorporated into his act alongside other heart-shaped props. 

The use of props was also really intriguing to me. He had some of the obvious magician things, like coins and decks of cards, but he also made use of random objects including a house key from a mesh bag of keys, a cardboard box, a stuffed animal with a sombrero, a picture frame, and a piñata. 

Overall, I would count this experience as a good one and would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in magic or is looking for a fun night of entertainment. 

Dugan is an actor, designer, and photographer studying theatre and psychology at Northwestern University. This summer you can find him on cast at Bristol Renaissance Fair for the 4th season, dancing, singing, performing street theatre, and juggling knives. Contrary to popular belief, he is not a time traveler.

Chicago Magic Lounge, Chicago’s home for close-up magic, continues its Artist-In-Residence series with Luis Carreon, La Bestia, Wednesdays at 7:00pm, July 6 – September 28, 2022. A Chicago Magic Lounge favorite, Carreon showcases his unparalleled skill and mischievous sense of humor in this brand new, Spanish-infused show. Tickets for all Chicago Magic Lounge shows are available at the box office, (312) 366-4500 or online at
What you see is not always what you get. Beneath Luis Carreon's suave and debonair exterior lies La Bestia (The Beast). In his one-man show, Luis combines his jaw-dropping magical skills, his Latin heritage, and off-the-wall comedy to share his real-life experiences, poking fun at stereotypes, cultural differences, and himself. 
Luis Carreon is a highly sought-after entertainer, performing magic across the country – from New York City's Monday Night Magic to House of Cards in Nashville to the World Famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, California. An award-winning and well-respected magician, Luis regularly travels the country teaching other magicians about the art of magic. He is also a regular performer, fan favorite, and co-founding company member of the Chicago Magic Lounge. 
Carreon has made numerous television appearances, domestically and internationally. He has been featured on the Univision Evening News and was a semi-finalist on Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento, the Spanish language equivalent of America's Got Talent.

Luis Carreon, La Bestia will be presented on Wednesdays at 7:00pm, July 6 – September 28, 2022. Tickets are priced $45 (Main Floor) and $50 (Front Row). 

Also Happening at Chicago Magic Lounge

Music & Magic
Mondays at 7:00pm
Tickets: General Admission $25

The Showcase
Tuesdays at 7:00pm
Tickets: Standard: $35; Front Row: $40

Artist-in-Residence Series
Wednesdays at 7:00pm
Sean Masterson’s Message in a Bottle, Now through June 29, 2022
Tickets: Standard: $45; Front Row: $50

The discovery of a message in a bottle makes the past present in Sean Masterson’s very visual and highly deceptive show. Sleight-of-hand magic is seamlessly woven into the true tale of the 19th century battle to decide America’s #1 magician.

In 1912 theatrical impresario Michael B. Leavitt published his 700-page memoir dishing the untold story of this jealousy-fueled battle between his clients, the magic greats Alexander Herrmann and Harry Kellar. Recently, Sean Masterson procured a signed edition of Leavitt’s memoir at auction and together with his research of Harry Houdini’s original archives at the Library of Congress in D.C., he has found the thread that nearly tells the whole tale. All Masterson needs now is a message in a bottle.

The Signature Show
Thursdays-Sundays at 7:00pm, Fridays and Sundays at 10pm
Tickets: Front Row $80, Premium Main Floor (main floor banquette and main floor cabaret) $70, Standard (rail and elevated banquette) $60, Mezzanine $50 

The Signature Show was conceived in 2015 as an homage to the historic, Chicago magic bar scene. Experience close-up magic right at your table during the cocktail hour, followed by an hour of stage magic featuring masters of their craft performing feats of prestidigitation and sleight of hand. Guests who purchase Premium tickets (Front Row, Main Floor Cabaret, Main Floor Banquette) are invited to an exclusive performance of close-up magic directly after the main stage show in our 43-seat close-up gallery, The 654 Club.

Tickets for all Chicago Magic Lounge performances are available at the box office, (312) 366-4500 or online at Chicago Magic Lounge is a 21+ venue. Ages 16+ allowed to ticketed shows with a legal guardian. 

For the health and safety of our staff, guests and community, you must be fully vaccinated to enter the premises. Ticket holders will be asked to present proof of vaccination status upon arrival.

For a complete schedule of performances and more information about Chicago Magic Lounge, resident and guest performers, and more, please visit

Thursday, August 26, 2021

REVIEW: Chicago's Blue Man Group Takes The Stage For Live Shows Again

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

Back In Blue: 

Chicago's Favorite Indigo Entertainers 

Return to Open Run at 

Briar Street Theatre

Photo by D. Kenaz-Mara


By Dugan Kenaz-Mara

The Blue Man Group is back and it’s as wonderful as ever! After 15 or so months off from performing, The Blue Man Group has brought all of their loveable antics back to Briar Street Theater and has reignited the joy of seeing live theater. And they do it all safely too! Everyone was required to wear a mask and any audience member drawn onto the stage was given a face shield before interacting with the Blue Men. 

Photo by D. Kenaz-Mara

Before the show even starts you get a fun experience! From the moment you enter the lobby, you might notice classical paintings lining the walls with a little extra blue thrown in. From there you’ll pass a giant blue face perfect for photo ops, before entering the actual theater bathed in blue light. Then the pre-show looping text helps set the chaotic funny mood for the upcoming show. How many twinkies does a Blue Man eat in his life? What bout the amount of toilet paper used in a day in the US? These questions and more are answered (sarcastically) before the show even starts. 

Photo by D. Kenaz-Mara

When the show begins, the audience is bombarded with spectacle after spectacle. From paint drums to musical pipes to Cap'n Crunch, there’s never a dull moment. I especially loved the design elements that went into making the show. The lighting design brought tons of colors to the black stage and out into the audience, the instruments and props were all super creative takes on normal items, and the set was able to change in an instant using their multitude of screens. In addition to that, all of the actors were fabulous too. The Blue Men were able to effortlessly connect to the audience without using words. From subtle gestures to knowingly blank stares, the Blue Men really tapped into human emotion which the viewers were able to recognize easily. They even brought that energy into their props, breathing life into instrumental pipes and controlling people using their signal light wands. 

One of their specialties is keeping the audience on the edge of their seats. When watching the show you never know when you specifically might be singled out. The pre-show announcements called out specific audience members, and the show stopped to call attention to people arriving late. There were also many points in the show where the Blue Men would venture out into the audience (sometimes via the aisles and sometimes climbing right over people’s heads) to pick an audience member to go on stage and help in the performance. But if you don’t get singled out you’ll still have the chance to participate. There are many moments scattered throughout the show where audience members will get to stand up, dance, scream out, and catch things thrown from the stage.

Photo by D. Kenaz-Mara

In the end, watching Blue Man Group was an exhilarating show and I would recommend it to anyone who loves to have fun and wants to have the experience of a lifetime. 

Dugan Kenaz-Mara is an actor, designer, and photographer studying theatre and psychology at Northwestern University. Contrary to popular belief, he is not a time traveler.

Blue Man Group Chicago. Photo credit Caroline Talbot Photography

Theatrical phenomenon Blue Man Group has made its long-awaited return to Chicago’s Briar Street Theatre! A dynamic combination of art, music, comedy and technology, Blue Man Group encourages audiences to reconnect with their inner (and outer) child in order to see the world through a new perspective.  

“For more than 20 years, Blue Man Group has established itself as one of the top entertainment destinations in Chicago,” said Mary Grisolano, Managing Director of Blue Man Group. “We are absolutely thrilled to return to the stage and welcome new and returning audiences to the Briar Street Theatre.”  

Blue Man Group originally debuted at the Briar Street Theatre in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood in 1997. Three bald and blue men explore today’s cultural norms with wonder, poking fun at the audience’s collective quirks and reminding them how much they all have in common. The show is continually refreshed with new music, stories, custom instruments and state-of-the-art technology.   

Blue Man Group Ticket Information

Blue Man Group Chicago ticket prices range from $49 – $89. Tickets can be purchased by visiting A full show schedule and pricing can also be found at  

Special rates are available for groups of 10 or more, varying from $57 – $70 per person. For groups of 10 or more, email to request information.  

2021 Performance Schedule: 


Thursday, August 26 at 8 p.m. 

Friday, August 27 at 8 p.m. 

Saturday, August 28 at 5 and 8 p.m. 

Sunday, August 29 at 2 and 5 p.m.  


Wednesday, September 1 at 8 p.m. 

Thursday, September 2 at 8 p.m. 

Friday, September 3 at 5 and 8 p.m. 

Saturday, September 4 at 5 and 8 p.m. 

Sunday, September 5 at 5 and 8 p.m. 

Wednesday, September 8 at 8 p.m. 

Thursday, September 9 at 8 p.m. 

Friday, September 10 at 8 p.m. 

Saturday, September 11 at 5 and 8 p.m. 

Sunday, September 12 at 2 p.m. 

Wednesday, September 15 at 8 p.m. 

Thursday, September 16 at 8 p.m. 

Friday, September 17 at 8 p.m. 

Saturday, September 18 at 5 and 8 p.m. 

Sunday, September 19 at 2 p.m. 

Wednesday, September 22 at 8 p.m. 

Thursday, September 23 at 8 p.m. 

Friday, September 24 at 8 p.m. 

Saturday, September 25 at 5 and 8 p.m. 

Sunday, September 26 at 2 p.m. 

Wednesday, September 29 at 8 p.m. 

Thursday, September 30 at 8 p.m. 



Friday, October 1 at 8 p.m. 

Saturday, October 2 at 5 and 8 p.m. 

Sunday, October 3 at 2 p.m. 

Additional fall and holiday performances will be announced at a later date. 


About Blue Man Group 

Blue Man Group is a global entertainment phenomenon, known for its award-winning theatrical productions, iconic characters and multiple creative explorations. Blue Man Group performances are euphoric celebrations of human connection through art, music, comedy and non-verbal communication. Since debuting at New York’s Astor Place Theatre in 1991, the live show has expanded to additional domestic residencies in Boston, Chicago, and Las Vegas, an international residency in Berlin, and multiple North American and World tours, reaching more than 35 million people worldwide. Blue Man Group is universally appealing to a broad range of age groups and cultural backgrounds, and continually injected with new music, fresh stories, custom instruments and sensory stimulating graphics. Blue Man Group is owned and operated by Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group. For more information, please visit  

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