ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar
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.