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Showing posts with label magic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label magic. Show all posts

Friday, November 26, 2021

Kayla Drescher: Magic in Heels, Holiday Week, New Year’s Eve Performances of The Signature Show And More From Chicago Magic Lounge

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

Chicago Magic Lounge announces next show in Artist-in-Residence series

Kayla Drescher: Magic in Heels

Wednesdays at 7:00pm

January 5 – March 30, 2022

Kayla D by Dana Lynn Photo

Additional Holiday Week and New Year’s Eve performances of

The Signature Show scheduled

December 26-31, 2021

Here at ChiIL Live Shows, Chicago Magic Lounge has long been a favorite of ours. Tickets make a great clutter busting idea for holiday gifting. Add a bit of professional magic to this magical season, creating lasting memories with friends and family. 

Nick Diffatte

We were most recently out at Chicago Magic Lounge to catch Nick Diffatte: Offbeat, now through December 22, 2021 and highly recommend it. His comedic timing is impeccable, and his magic is a unique blend of comedy and mind melting illusions. Offbeat is an entertaining night out, heavy on audience participation, and far from the same old same old magicians have been doing for decades. Treat yourself!


Chicago Magic Lounge, Chicago’s home for close-up magic, continues its Artist-In-Residence series with Kayla Drescher: Magic in Heels, Wednesdays at 7:00pm, January 5 – March 30, 2022. Kayla Drescher: Magic in Heels is a wild ride of magic, laughter, and interactive fun, all done in heels because “magic in pajamas” was already taken. Tickets for all Chicago Magic Lounge shows are available at the box office, (312) 366-4500 or online at chicagomagiclounge.com.

Kayla D by Dana Lynn Photo

Kayla Drescher, based in Los Angeles, brings her interactive show to the Chicago Magic Lounge. She’s performed for clients like Microsoft, IBM, Wells Fargo, and many more. Kayla has been seen on Penn & Teller’s “Fool Us,” Access Hollywood, and NBC’s “Today Show,” where she was given the title “The Next Great Magician” by David Copperfield. Most recently, she could be seen touring the world with the Champions of Magic. Kayla hosts a popular magic podcast, Shezam, focused on diversity and inclusion within the magic and allied arts communities.

Kayla Drescher: Magic in Heels will be presented on Wednesdays at 7:00pm, January 5 – March 30, 2022. Tickets are priced $45 (Main Floor) and $50 (Front Row). Tickets go on sale November 15, 2021.


Special Holiday and New Year’s Eve Performances at Chicago Magic Lounge

Chicago Magic Lounge will add performances of its most popular show, The Signature Show, this holiday season. Tickets for holiday week performances are currently on sale.

Luis Carreon (Headliner)

The Signature Show: Holiday Schedule

December 26-30 at 7pm and December 30 at 10pm

Tickets: $50-$55 (Standard); $65-$75 (Premium, includes 654 Club admission)

Additional Performance on December 31 at 7pm

Tickets: Front Row $95, Main Floor Cabaret and Main Floor Banquette $85, Standard Main Floor $70, Standard Mezzanine $65

Justin Purcell (654 Club)


The Signature Show: New Year’s Eve Celebration

December 31st at 10 pm

Tickets: Front Row $110, Main Floor Cabaret and Main Floor Banquette $95, Standard Main Floor $80, Standard Mezzanine $75

Ryan Plunkett (Featured Act)

Make your New Year’s Eve extraordinary with a night of magic! The evening starts with close-up magic performed right at your cabaret table by our talented house magicians. In between visits, you will have time to socialize with your party and order from our full-service bar and kitchen. Table magic is followed by a 60-minute stage show featuring CML favorites, Luis Carreon (Headliner), Ryan Plunkett (Featured Act) and Justin Purcell (654 Club). All tickets include a commemorative champagne flute and a champagne toast as we welcome the arrival of 2022.

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.

 

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

 

Nick Diffatte: Offbeat, now through December 22, 2021 (except November 24, 2021)

Tickets: Standard: $40; Front Row: $45

Nick Diffatte: Offbeat is an evening of dry humor, quick wit, and incredible skill, combining a lifetime of experience in magic and the variety arts into an interactive comedy experience.

Nick Diffatte has taken the scene by storm and is quickly becoming one of the most talked about and in demand comedy variety acts working today. His unique approach has been called a “breath of fresh air” and has led to appearances at the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, The Late Late Show on CBS, has won multiple awards, and landed him in comedy clubs across the country. Nick takes the format of a standard “Magic Show” and turns it completely on its head and has audiences laughing uncontrollably from beginning to end.

 

Kayla Drescher: Magic in Heels, January 5 – March 30, 2022

Tickets: Standard: $45; Front Row: $50

Ever wonder what the life of a magician is like? Join Kayla Drescher on this wild ride of magic, laughter, and interactive fun. And it’s all done in heels…because “magic in pajamas” was already taken.

Kayla Drescher, based in Los Angeles, brings her interactive show to the Chicago Magic Lounge.  She’s performed for clients like Microsoft, IBM, Wells Fargo, and many more. You may have seen her on Penn & Teller’s “Fool Us,” Access Hollywood, or NBC’s “Today Show,” where she was given the title “The Next Great Magician” by David Copperfield. Most recently, Kayla could be seen touring the world with the Champions of Magic. Kayla hosts a popular magic podcast, Shezam, focused on diversity and inclusion within the magic and allied arts communities.

 

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), 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 chicagomagiclounge.com. 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 may be required to present proof of vaccination status. 

For a complete schedule of performances and more information about Chicago Magic Lounge, as well as resident and guest performers, Chicago Magic College classes, the Chicago Magic Round Table, and more, please visit chicagomagiclounge.com.

 

About Chicago Magic Lounge

Chicago Magic Lounge reinvents the classic "magic bar" that once dotted Chicago's nightlife landscape, bringing cocktails and card tricks back together again. Shows include magic performance at the bar, on the stage and in true Chicago-style Magic form, at the tables of the guests, providing the classic "Close-Up" tradition Chicago-style Magic is known for. Chicago Magic Lounge is also the home of the Chicagoland magic community, showcasing over 30 local professionals, and serving as a networking hub for working magicians from all over the world. 

The newly constructed theater at 5050 N. Clark St., designed by Morris Architects Planners, has ushered in a new wave of entertainment, bringing back “Chicago-style Magic” under the leadership of Donald C Clark, Jr. and Joseph (Joey) Cranford. Converted from a 1930s-era, commercial laundry building, the Chicago Magic Lounge is a 7,200 square-foot, Art Deco, state-of-the-art theater and lounge complete with secret doors, elegant performance areas and a magic bar – all dedicated to the art of sleight of hand, prestidigitation and Chicago's contribution to the magical arts. From magicians to mind readers, Chicago Magic Lounge provides guests the unique, one-of-a-kind experience of seeing wonders up-close and personal in a venue unlike anything else offered throughout the country.


Monday, November 22, 2021

Magic Immersive Heading For Chicago December 3rd, 2021

ChiIL Live Shows on Our Radar


Here at ChiIL Live Shows and ChiIL Mama, we adore magic and illusion. As we enter the magic of the holiday season, we're thrilled that Chicago is about to be home to Magic Immersive, from the innovators behind the blockbuster Immersive Van Gogh exhibition seen by over 3.5 million visitors since its North American debut last year. I've seen the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit three times now and covered the show, their visually stunning morning yoga classes in the event space, and their evening concerts and wine tasting series. The Immersive Van Gogh exhibit is truly a treat and I can't wait to see what Lighthouse Immersive does with the element of magic and superstar, Jamie Allan. We're also big fans of experiential gift giving, like show tickets that create memories instead of clutter. Don't snooze on Magic Immersive, an exhilarating magic experience just in time to ignite the holiday season. Tickets are on sale now. 

This December, Lighthouse Immersive and the famed British illusionist Jamie Allan invite audiences into a world of intrigue, mystery and wonder with Magic Immersive. Consisting of a series of rooms, stages and interactive displays, Magic Immersive transports visitors to different eras in time, revealing the evolution of magic acts throughout history and the secrets of the world’s greatest magic performers. Tickets are on-sale now at magicimmersive.com

This first-of-its-kind installation will occupy the third and fourth floors of 360 N. State St., the venue that hosted The Art of Banksy in the fall and is also the home of Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications. The official name for the exhibition space is “The Illusionarium at Magic Immersive.” Magic Immersive features dozens of acts from engaging close-up parlor magic to one of the largest touring illusions in the world: the Mega Drill, all spread across two whole floors worth of immersive performance space, engaging audiences in 360 degrees of experiential magic while revealing amazing feats from the history of stage magic along the way. The venue additionally houses a bar and the Palais Royal VIP theater, which features an exclusive parlor for close-up magic performances.  

Some members of magic royalty delivered their own magic for the exhibit. One exclusive experience includes a pre-recorded illusion presented by the world-renowned comedic magic duo Penn and Teller just for Magic Immersive audiences, while a separate display from David Copperfield allows visitors to capture a selfie of themselves being levitated by him. In addition, world-renowned daredevil and escapologist Jonathan Goodwin personally designed and built his modern version of Houdini’s “Water Escape,” adding an especially thrilling moment. These experiences simply scratch the surface of what Magic Immersive offers. From death-defying escapes to sleight of hand magic to vanishings and levitations; the Illusionarium  features one of the most ambitious assemblies of magic performances ever presented. 

“Magic Immersive was, in many ways, born of my own lifelong love of magic as well as from the circumstances of the pandemic,” says co-producer Corey Ross of Lighthouse Immersive. “I had intended to bring Jamie’s iMagician stage show to Toronto last December, but when it became clear that wasn’t possible, he and I began to ask ourselves what could be possible in this new world. What we have come up with is infinitely exciting, and demonstrates how amazing ideas can be born from challenge.”  

“Magic Immersive is completely unique in seamlessly blending technology and practical magic – I have been combining magic and technology since I was a boy, but this takes that passion to a whole new level,” says creator Jamie Allan (iMagician). “I am so thrilled to debut this experiential work in Chicago in a venue that is quickly becoming known as an exhibition space.” 

Tickets for Magic Immersive start at $45, VIP options and add-ons are also available. Tickets are on-sale now for showings from Dec. 3 to Jan. 2 at 360 N. State St. For more information on Magic Immersive, and to purchase tickets, visit  magicimmersive.com. Follow Magic Immersive on social media on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. 

ABOUT JAMIE ALLAN

Jamie Allan is world-renowned for fusing magic with high technology. As the UK’s original technology magician, he premiered his iMagic creation on ITV’s “This Morning” in 1995 when he was just a teenager. Since then, he has been performing and designing incredible modern illusions using leading edge technology and innovative methods including working with iPads, holograms, laser beams, 3D video mapping, 4D lasers, drones and interactive social media to engage and amaze his audiences.  

He also holds the accolade of being the most televised British illusionist of the last decade and has become known as the iMagician. Jamie performed his signature iPad illusion “Digital Art” to close the BBC One Show live to millions of viewers, an illusion he has repeated live on ‘Grand Cabaret Du Monde’, ‘BBC Breakfast’, ‘The Slammer’ and the ‘Penn and Teller: Fool Us’ television series. He has also been seen as a star mentor on the ITV1 prime-time show ‘Get Your Act Together’ and was a winner of ITV’s prime-time show ‘The Next Great Magician.’  

Jamie’s award-winning production iMagician opened at the Garrick Theatre in London’s West End in 2015. In 2017, he was chosen by his peers to headline the world’s largest magic convention in front of 3,500 magicians. In the same year, he was bestowed the highest honour of The Magic Circle; invited by the President, he became one of the very few members of The Inner Magic Circle. Jamie joined the ranks of Harry Houdini, David Copperfield and Derren Brown in this exclusive, internationally acclaimed and historic society. iMagician debuted in the United States in 2018 becoming the highest selling magic show ever in the history of Chicago theatre district during his residency at the Harris Theatre.  

ABOUT LIGHTHOUSE IMMERSIVE

Founded in 2019 by Toronto-based producers, Corey Ross and Svetlana Dvoretsky, Lighthouse Immersive is the first experiential entertainment multi-plex, aiming to cultivate community and creativity through large-scale events and exhibitions of all art forms. With locations across North America, Lighthouse Immersive offers versatile spaces for creators to present their work while engaging audiences around the globe in unique art experiences that encourage dialogue and inspire new artistic creations. The home of the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit, Lighthouse Immersive blends state-of-the-art technology with breathtaking imagery and animation for experiential experiences that visitors will not soon forget.  

Friday, July 23, 2021

Chicago Magic Lounge Grand Reopening August 2, 2021

 Chi, IL Live Shows on our Radar

The Magic is Back®!

 

photo by Hall + Merrick

Chicago Magic Lounge,
the area’s premium venue for Chicago-style, close-up magic
to reopen its secret doors to the pubic
on August 2, 2021 

Here at ChiIL Live Shows we've been excited about Chicago Magic Lounge since we were first invited to cover their groundbreaking. We were there for their original press opening and many shows since, and we missed them the past 16 months when their stage went dark. That's why we're so excited The Magic is Back®! Chicago Magic Lounge, Chicago’s home for close-up magic, announces plans to reopen its speakeasy-style Art Deco venue on August 2, 2021. We dig their minimalist signage and secret entrance through the laundry, a nod to the building's former use as a commercial laundry. The inner swinging bookcase entrance is sweet too! Ready for some post quarantine entertainment? Chicago Magic Lounge has got you covered with mind bending magic and Art Deco charm.




Chicago Magic Lounge will be open at capacity, including the Blackstone Cabaret, 654 Club and Performance Bar. To celebrate the Grand Reopening after a 16-month intermission, Chicago Magic Lounge will be hosting a full week of Signature Shows, from August 2-8, 2021. 

Opening week, August 2-8, 2021, will spotlight some of Chicago’s best local talent, including Signature Show emcee Jan Rose, headliner Luis Carreon and featured performer Justin Purcell. Following the main stage performance, Paige Thompson will perform a close-up magic set for Premium ticketholders in the intimate 654 Club. The Performance Bar will feature AJ Sacco, Deven Brown, and The Amazing Bibik.

CML Owner Joey Cranford comments, “Chicago Magic Lounge is like no other place in Chicago, or elsewhere else, for that matter. We are thrilled to be reopening the secret doors to our gorgeous venue offering a unique entertainment experience. We can’t wait to welcome our audience, magicians and staff. Like so many, we have been looking forward to Opening Day for so long. In honor of our reopening, we want to celebrate the heart of Chicago-style magic by featuring Chicago Magic Lounge company members and local fan favorites, who rank alongside the best magicians worldwide.”

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

Showtimes for the opening week are 7pm Monday-Sunday and 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Premium tickets (Front Row, Main Floor Cabaret, Main Floor Banquette) are $65 - $75 and include access to exclusive close-up magic performance in the 654 Club immediately after the main stage show. Standard tickets (Rail Seating, Elevated Banquettes, Mezzanine) are $50 - $55. The Performance Bar is open to the public (21+) and no ticket is needed. 

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.

photo by Hall + Merrick

The Signature Show: Opening week, August 2-8, 2021

Headliner: Luis Carreon

Luis Carreon is an accomplished and well-respected magician, originally from Mexico. He won the Harlan Tarbell Close-up Competition Award from the International Brotherhood of Magicians two years in a row. He also took home first place at the Chicago Magic Competition hosted by The Society of American Magicians.

With his unique style of humor and wisdom, Luis regularly travels the country teaching other magicians about the art of magic. He is, also, the head demonstrator at Magic Inc., the oldest family-owned magic shop in the country. Internationally, Luis has been featured on the Univision evening news showcasing his talents. He was honored to be a semi-finalist on Tengo Talento, the Spanish language equivalent of America's Got Talent. In addition, he is also a frequent performer at the famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, California. Luis can be seen performing regularly at The Chicago Magic Lounge where he is also one of the founding members.

 

Featured Act: Justin Purcell

Justin Purcell is relentlessly trying to convince audiences: Magic is REAL. Chicago Magazine wrote he performs “with the aplomb of a ringmaster and the flair of a standup comedian” in their issue naming him “Chicago’s Best Bar Magician.” And even top magical expert Dan Harlan calls his sleight-of-hand work “sublime.” He is a founding company member of the Chicago Magic Lounge, where he is a House Magician and frequent Headliner. In addition to doing magic, he plays drums for feminist punk band The Cell Phones and is a father.

 

654 Club: Paige Thompson

Currently living in Chicago, Paige Thompson has become one of the Resident house magicians of the Chicago Magic Lounge.  A longtime dream was recently fulfilled as she appeared for the first time in the close-up gallery at the internationally acclaimed Magic Castle, in Hollywood California.  Paige was also a featured contestant on FOX’s “Showtime at the Apollo,” and last summer made her debut on the CW’s hit television show “Masters of Illusion.”

 

Emcee: Jan Rose

Jan Rose has performed nationally and internationally in all fields of Magic including Family Theatre, Corporate Events, Trade Shows and Conventions, and at Hollywood’s’ World Famous Magic Castle. Jan began her career in Magic in 1983, after joining forces with Magician Danny Orleans. Together they toured their Children’s Theatre Show for well over 6 years. In the early 1990’s, they were mentored by Eddie Fields. The result of that training is a two person show that puts a contemporary spin on an old Variety Act. Jan has been so very grateful to have worked with such great mentors as Eugene Burger, Jay Marshall, Max Maven and Ross Johnson. Happy to return to the theatre, Jan was a supporting Actress/Magic Team Member of The Rosenkranz Mysteries at The Royal George Theatre. She performed over 100 performances of that show! Jan is a Company Member and has been with The Chicago Magic Lounge since the early days in Uptown. She is a native Chicagoan and a member of AEA, AFTRA, and SAG.

 

The Performance Bar

The Performance Bar features signature cocktails, luxurious seating and magicians behind the bar to challenge your imagination. The Performance Bar is open to the public and does not require a ticket to the show. The Performance Bar is 21+ only.

The bar magicians for Opening week are AJ Sacco (Monday), Deven Brown (Tuesday, Wednesday; Friday-Saturday 9pm-close) and The Amazing Bibik (Thursday-Sunday 5pm-9pm)

The regular schedule will return on Monday, August 9, including Music & Magic on Monday nights at 7:00pm, The Showcase on Tuesdays the Artist-in-Residence Series.

Music & Magic

Mondays at 7:00pm

Tickets: General Admission $20

The August schedule includes: Ethan Moll Trio (August 9), Michael Jackson (August 16), The DOT (August 23), and Heisenberg Uncertainty Players (August 30)

 

The Showcase

Tuesdays at 7:00pm

Tickets: Standard: $35; Front Row: $40

Luis Carreon and Paige Thompson, August 10-August 31.

 

Artist-in-Residence Series

Wednesdays at 7:00pm

Tickets: Standard: $40; Front Row: $45

Trent James: Pure Lies, August 11-September 29, 2021

Trent James is back to complete his original run from Spring 2020, along with a one-month extension!

 

The Signature Show

Thursdays-Sundays at 7:00pm, Fridays and Sundays at 10pm from August 12–August 15

Tickets: $50-$55 (Standard); $65-$75 (Premium, includes 654 Club admission)

Featuring Special Guest Nick Diffatte

654 Club features Luis Carreon

 

Special Guest Nick Diffatte is quickly becoming one of the most talked about and in-demand young comic magicians working today. His unique brand of entertainment seamlessly blends dry humor, quick wit, and incredible skill. His performances are presented with perfect comedic timing and a deadpan delivery that has kept audiences laughing uncontrollably all over the country for over 14 years. Most recently, Nick has been seen in a residency at the Planet Hollywood Casino in Las Vegas, The World Famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, luxury cruise lines and “The Late Late Show with James Corden” on CBS.

 

For a complete schedule of performances and more information about Chicago Magic Lounge, visit chicagomagiclounge.com.

 

 

About Chicago Magic Lounge

Chicago Magic Lounge reinvents the classic "magic bar" that once dotted Chicago's nightlife landscape, bringing cocktails and card tricks back together again. Shows include magic performance at the bar, on the stage and in true Chicago-style Magic form, at the tables of the guests, providing the classic "Close-Up" tradition Chicago-style Magic is known for. Chicago Magic Lounge is also the home of the Chicagoland magic community, showcasing over 30 local professionals, and serving as a networking hub for working magicians from all over the world. 

 

The newly constructed theater at 5050 N. Clark St., designed by Morris Architects Planners, has ushered in a new wave of entertainment, bringing back “Chicago-style Magic” under the leadership of Donald C Clark, Jr. and Joseph (Joey) Cranford. Converted from a 1940s-era, commercial laundry building, the Chicago Magic Lounge is a 7,200 square-foot, Art Deco, state-of-the-art theater and lounge complete with secret doors, elegant performance areas and a magic bar – all dedicated to the art of sleight of hand, prestidigitation and Chicago's contribution to the magical arts. From magicians to mind readers, Chicago Magic Lounge provides guests the unique, one-of-a-kind experience of seeing wonders up-close and personal in a venue unlike anything else offered throughout the country.

 

Monday, July 6, 2020

Epic Escapism Awaits With DENNIS WATKINS' NEW VIRTUAL SHOW: “THE MAGIC PARLOUR AT HOME”

Tickets on Sale Now for Virtual Performances 
Every Friday and Saturday in July
(Great for ages 12+ through adults of all ages)



REVIEW:
By Bonnie Kenaz-Mara


Friday night, my son and I ditched our quarantine casual wardrobes, donned cocktail party attire, and settled in to enjoy opening night of an interactive magic show in real time. The audience included folks from multiple states and even Mexico. It was at once familiar and completely new. In the era of Covid-19, when all live shows have gone dark, Dennis Watkins has worked nothing short of real magic, creating an astonishing social distancing show that still feels remarkably intimate and engaging. 


Like his acclaimed Palmer House iteration of Magic Parlour that's been wowing people for 9 years now, audience members are called on to assist with every trick. As individuals were called on via Zoom, our screens would appear, inset in the larger image of Dennis' show. We got to introduce ourselves and where we were watching from, then join in the fun as magician's assistant. 


With all mics unmuted, the interconnection of show goers was palpable, with audible applause, laughter, and reactions, missing from so much theatre online. It was also fun to catch a sneak peak "behind the curtain" as Dennis gave us a quick tour of his home studio space, designed specifically to morph remote magic into table magic, in your own home! Theatre people are nothing if not creative, and Dennis has discovered a way to reinvent post-covid parlour magic and storytelling in a way that works wonderfully.


The $75 ticket price may seem a bit spendy for an online show, but you can bring the whole family or a party of friends, all included in the base price, as long as you're watching in the same location on one screen. And this is no prerecorded piece. This is personal and worth every penny. 

As a third generation magician, Dennis' shows are a bit family history, a whole lot of mystery, and pure joy. We're no strangers to the Magic Parlour shows. I did a video interview with Dennis back in 2012, and I'd seen his act years before that even, in the pre Palmer House days, when The Magic Parlour was in the basement of Chicago's beloved House Theatre. 

So much has changed in the intervening decade, even pre-coronavirus. Dennis Watkins is a father to an adorable toddler now, and has been featured on Penn and Teller: Fool Us. Since opening at The Palmer House on New Year’s Eve of 2011, The Magic Parlour has enjoyed phenomenal success and unimagined growth. With fewer than 50 seats available per show, The Magic Parlour has entertained over 45,000 guests in its nine-year run. Additionally, it has hosted more than 1,300 ticketed audiences and dozens of private groups, facilitated three truly magical wedding proposals, and has been featured in two books (Chicago Magic: A History of Stagecraft and Spectacle and 100 Things to do in Chicago Before You Die).

I've taken my whole family and several lucky friends to Magic Parlour at Palmer House over the years, catching the show a handful of times, and it's always just as baffling and brilliant as the first time. Even with a jump to Zoom now, Dennis' world class prestidigitation, storytelling, and showmanship hasn't changed. The pandemic may be winning in the world at large this July, but it can't keep a great magician down. 


One of our favorite new bits is a group card trick where everyone brings their own deck. Despite copious amounts of shuffling, ripping of cards, putting a bit aside, and discarding of varied numbers of half cards (different for everyone), we all ended up reuniting two of our half cards in the end! In a time when disconnection from family and friends is taking a toll on everyone, this group magic was particularly gratifying. The whole show was a welcome and invaluable break from reality.


My son was called on for a mind reading bit, traditionally done in person with books, cleverly converted to cellphone. Dugan secretly picked Narwhals (his favorite animal) on Wikipedia from millions of possible entries, then randomly 
highlighted a word from the article that happened to be recommended. Even remotely, Dennis successfully divined both and wrote them in sharpie, amazing and amusing us all! I've got to agree with that choice and add another word... highly. “THE MAGIC PARLOUR AT HOME” is highly recommended. Don't miss this!

Bonnie Kenaz-Mara is a Chicago based writer-theater critic-photographer-videographer-actress-artist-general creatrix and Mama to two terrific teens. She owns two websites where she publishes frequently: ChiILLiveShows.com (adult) & ChiILMama.com (family friendly). 




Tickets on Sale Now for Virtual Performances Every Friday and Saturday in July

Famed third-generation magician, Dennis Watkins, is taking his one-of-a-kind magical experience The Magic Parlour online for a completely new virtual offering dubbed “The Magic Parlour at Home.” The new virtual magic show, designed for group and family viewings, will offer multiple performances every Friday and Saturday evening in July. After the roaring success of several livestreams hosted on The Magic Parlour’s Facebook page, Watkins developed “The Magic Parlour at Home” to dazzle audiences with new and interactive magic and mind reading available directly on their screens.



Tickets are now on sale for $75 and can be purchased online at themagicparlourchicago.com. A maximum of 30 tickets will be sold for each performance and each ticket will admit one “household” or up to 10 guests on one screen. All performances will take place via Zoom and require a computer with a functioning camera and microphone to participate as well as a high-speed internet connection. After tickets are purchased, patrons will receive an email containing instructions and a link to access the performance.

“During this time, I’ve learned to adapt my craft to be able to virtually perform the same caliber of magic my guests have come to expect from my performances at the Palmer House,” said Watkins. “The new acts I’ve created for The Magic Parlour at Home will provide a truly engaging and participatory magical experience for my virtual audience.”

"The Magic Parlour at Home” is recommended for adult audiences. Guests ages 12 and up are welcome to join, while guests under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. For a fully immersive experience, guests are recommended to sport cocktail attire and bring their own deck of cards.

A complete list of performance dates and times is below. Additional 9:30 p.m. performances may be added subject to demand:

Friday, July 3: performances at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 4: no performances due to Independence Day
Friday, July 10: performances at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 11: performance at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, July 17: performance at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 18: performance at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, July 24: performance at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 25: performance at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, July 31: performance at 7:30 p.m.

For complete details and information on “The Magic Parlour at Home” and Watkins’ other virtual experiences including corporate and private events, teambuilding workshops and magic lessons, please visit: themagicparlourchicago.com.

Check out my 2012 interview with Dennis Watkins here for a blast from the past:




About The Magic Parlour
The Magic Parlour is an intimate evening of classic magic and mind-reading featuring the work of third-generation magician Dennis Watkins. Guests to this intimate, magic-packed evening gather at Potter's in the Palmer House lobby before Watkins personally escorts them to the performance space. Once inside, the audience participates in much of the performance as Watkins wows the room with classic sleight of hand, unbelievable mind-reading and magical wisdom passed down from his grandfather.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

REVIEW: Trent James’ Pure Lies at Chicago Magic Lounge Wednesdays Through March 25, 2020

Chicago Magic Lounge, Chicago’s home for close-up magic, continues its Artist-In-Residence series with 
Trent James in Pure Lies, 
Wednesdays at 7:30pm Through March 25, 2020




Review:
by Bonnie Kenaz-Mara

Have you ever wished you could walk through walls and find secret rooms behind bookcases? Sometimes the daily onslaught of politics, work, winter weather, and life in general can be a bit daunting. Chicago Magic Lounge is here to provide a little respite and take you back to an era of childlike wonder and world class illusion. We love the secret, unmarked location and the hidden entry through what looks like the world's smallest laundromat. 

Once inside the Chicago Magic Lounge on a given night, you can enjoy a triple treat of magic, if you're early enough. There's bar magic at the front bar, where you can be wowed with card tricks and more, while you order drinks and appetizers. Once inside, strolling prestidigitators entertain with close up magic as an opening act. Then there's the main show to look forward to. 

We love the high ceilings, vintage show posters of magicians and art deco decor. You're even likely to see the future famous on staff. A familiar storefront actor, rocking an evening gown, directed us into the classy main theatre through a hidden bookcase. Once inside we saw several more recognizable faces from local stages hosting and on waitstaff.

I've been to The Chicago Magic Lounge now numerous times, from their initial groundbreaking and grand opening, to many shows. With 7 nights of magic to choose from there's always something compelling on tap. Most recently, I caught the current resident act, with my son, Dugan, a Northwestern acting student, who had never been before. It's always fun to introduce someone to a great venue for the first time. We had a thoroughly enjoyable night. 




Trent James’ Pure Lies is now playing at Chicago Magic Lounge every Wednesday through March 25, 2020. Don't let that baby face fool you. He's young, but already an accomplished magician and consummate showman. His act is best experienced fresh, so no spoilers. I don't want to give away anything, but I will say he does magic I've never seen before. For a memorable evening, don't miss Pure Lies. That's the truth. 

Bonnie Kenaz-Mara is a Chicago based writer-theater critic-photographer-videographer-actress-artist-general creatrix and Mama to two terrific teens. She owns two websites where she publishes frequently: ChiILLiveShows.com (adult) & ChiILMama.com (family friendly). 


Artist-in-Residence series
Trent James presents Pure Lies
Wednesdays at 7:30pm

Over the course of this 60-minute modern-day magic show, audiences will witness astounding sleight of hand combined with gut-busting humor. Tickets for all Chicago Magic Lounge shows are available at the box office, (312) 366-4500 or online at chicagomagiclounge.com.

Comedy magician Trent James is bringing a fresh feel to the classic magic show! Trent combines mindboggling magic and offbeat comedy for a new generation. He is the winner of over twenty awards, including The Society of American Magicians International Stage Contest (People’s Choice Winner), International Brotherhood of Magicians Stage Contest (Silver Medal), and was named The Most Promising Young Magician by the Milbourne Christopher Foundation (Past winners include David Copperfield and Penn & Teller). Trent’s performances have left audiences raving from Las Vegas to New York. His unique sleight of hand magic and hip vibe come together to form an unforgettable thrill ride.

Pure Lies will be presented on Wednesdays at 7:30pm, January 8 – March 25, 2020.  Tickets are priced $35 (Main Floor) and $45 (Front Row).

Chicago Magic Lounge will also hold special shows for Valentine’s Day and CML’s 2 Year Anniversary (the weekend of February 20-23, 2020). 

Tickets for all Chicago Magic Lounge performances are available at the box office, (312) 366-4500 or online at chicagomagiclounge.com. Chicago Magic Lounge is a 21+ venue. Ages 16+ allowed to ticketed shows with a legal guardian. Ages 5+ allowed for The Family Show only. 

Ongoing Events and Performances are as follows:
Music & Magic 
Mondays at 7:30pm
Tickets: $15 (General Admission) 
Unwind at the beginning of the week with magic, jazz, and a cocktail. Music & Magic is the only performance of its kind in the city. We feature live jazz on stage and close-up magic at your table performed by our resident house magicians. When the band takes a break, a magician takes the stage. 

The Signature Show
Thursdays and Sundays at 7pm; Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm & 10pm
Tickets: $45-$60
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 two masters of their craft performing feats of prestidigitation and sleight of hand. Guests who purchase Mezzanine, Front Row and Premium Main Floor tickets are invited to an exclusive performance of close-up magic directly after the show in our 43-seat close-up gallery, The 654 Club. *Please visit chicagomagiclounge.com for a complete schedule of performers.

The Family Show
Sundays at 3pm
Tickets: $27.50, $17.50 (children 5-16)
We take the bar scene out of Chicago Magic and open our Blackstone Cabaret for a 45-minute magic matinee suitable for younger ages. Our mission is to bring back the era of bar magic, bringing out the child in every adult; however, on Sundays, we feature a family-friendly magician that will fill both the adults and children full of wonder. The Family Show makes a great post-brunch activity with many restaurants nearby. The Family Show is suitable for ages 5 and up.

The Performance Bar
Mondays-Wednesdays, 5:30pm-11pm; Thursdays, 5:30pm-12am; Fridays-Saturdays, 5:30pm-2am; and Sundays, 5:30pm-11pm
Open from 5:30pm to close Mondays thru Saturdays, The Performance Bar features signature cocktails, luxurious seating and magicians behind the bar to challenge your imagination. The Performance Bar is open to the public and does not require a ticket to the show. Please note that The Performance Bar is 21+ only.

Tickets for all Chicago Magic Lounge performances are available at the box office, (312) 366-4500 or online at chicagomagiclounge.com. Chicago Magic Lounge is a 21+ venue. Ages 16+ allowed to ticketed shows with a legal guardian. Ages 5+ allowed for The Family Show only.

For a complete schedule of performances and more information about Chicago Magic Lounge, as well as resident and guest performers, Chicago Magic College classes, the Chicago Magic Round Table, and more, please visit chicagomagiclounge.com.

About Chicago Magic Lounge
Chicago Magic Lounge reinvents the classic "magic bar" that once dotted Chicago's nightlife landscape, bringing cocktails and card tricks back together again. Shows include magic performance at the bar, on the stage and in true Chicago-style Magic form, at the tables of the guests, providing the classic "Close-Up" tradition Chicago-style Magic is known for. Chicago Magic Lounge is also the home of the Chicagoland magic community, showcasing over 30 local professionals, and serving as a networking hub for working magicians from all over the world. 

The newly constructed theater at 5050 N. Clark St., designed by Morris Architects Planners, has ushered in a new wave of entertainment, bringing back “Chicago-style Magic” under the leadership of Donald C Clark, Jr. and Joseph (Joey) Cranford. Converted from a 1930s-era, commercial laundry building, the Chicago Magic Lounge is a 7,200 square-foot, Art Deco, state-of-the-art theater and lounge complete with secret doors, elegant performance areas and a magic bar – all dedicated to the art of sleight of hand, prestidigitation and Chicago's contribution to the magical arts. From magicians to mind readers, Chicago Magic Lounge provides guests the unique, one-of-a-kind experience of seeing wonders up-close and personal in a venue unlike anything else offered throughout the country.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Fall Favorites at Chicago Magic Lounge: Carisa Hendrix’s Indulgence with Lucy Darling, Halloween Special, Spotlight: Women in Magic and More

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar
Chicago Magic Lounge announces next show in the Artist-in-Residence series 

The American premiere of 
Carisa Hendrix’s Indulgence with 
Lucy Darling

Wednesdays at 7:30pm beginning October 9, 2019 



CML also announces brand new weekly feature The Close-Up Show, special Halloween programming, and the second annual Spotlight: Women in Magic

 

It was my great pleasure to catch Carisa Hendrix’s Lucy Darling character as part of the first Spotlight: Women in Magic at Chicago Magic Lounge last November. I can't wait to see more! Chicago Magic Lounge has been a favorite of ours at ChiIL Live Shows since we first attended the groundbreaking, opening night, and frequent performances after. 

Chicago Magic Lounge, Chicago’s home for close-up magic, continues its Artist-In-Residence series with the American debut of magician Carisa Hendrix’s newest show Indulgence with Lucy Darling, Wednesdays at 7:30pm starting October 9, 2019. Hendrix’s most popular character, Lucy Darling, is back with this one-hour show that’s a blend of astonishing magic and Lucy’s hilarious, quick wit. Tickets for all Chicago Magic Lounge shows are available at the box office, (312) 366-4500 or online at chicagomagiclounge.com.

Lucy Darling is a stunning and hilarious creature known the world over for her wit, her charm and her exceptionally good hair. Lucy is back with her amazing, semi-improvised comedy magic show, which has been praised as a wonderful mix of laughter, storytelling, and amazing magic. This edgy, postmodern show is a double shot of magical mischief with a dash of old Hollywood, on the rocks. Indulgence with Lucy Darling premiered to rave reviews at the Melbourne Magic Festival in July 2019.

Lucy is the brainchild of Carisa Hendrix, a five-time award-winning entertainer featured in the Guinness Book of World Records, Ripley’s Believe it or Not and the Super Channel documentary Carisa Hendrix: Girl on Fire; a documentary which tells the harrowing story of Hendrix’s magic show on the Las Vegas strip. Winner of the prestigious Allan Slaight Award as the Canadian Rising Star of Magic, the Award of Excellence, Hendrix was recently nominated for Stage Magician of the Year by the Academy of Magical Arts at the World-Famous Magic Castle. Her show, The Ladies Guide to Deceit & Debauchery won the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Award at the 2017 Melbourne Magic Festival for best comedy magic. Hendrix is one of the hosts of the Shezam!, a feminist podcast about magic, and lectures to magicians at conventions and clubs all over the world.

To celebrate Indulgence with Lucy Darling, Chicago Magic Lounge will offer a cocktail inspired by Lucy Darling called ‘The Lucy’ which includes Bulleit Rye, Lemon Juice, spoonful of cherry preserves and garnished with a Luxardo Maraschino. 

Indulgence with Lucy Darling will be presented on Wednesdays at 7:30pm, October 9 – December 18, 2019.  Tickets are priced $35 (Main Floor) and $45 (Front Row).


Coming Soon to Chicago Magic Lounge

Chicago Magic Lounge announces a brand-new weekly show, The Close-Up Show. Starting in October, the Chicago Magic Lounge brings classic, close-up magic to the stage! Each week, audiences will be mystified by two featured magicians who will perform classic close-up magic on the Harry Blackstone Cabaret stage. With each magician’s every move being projected onto the big screen, audiences will get an up-close view of every trick, no matter where they’re seated.

The Close-Up Show runs every Monday at 7:30pm, beginning October 7 featuring magicians Luis Carreon and Lee Benzaquin for the premier performance. All tickets to The Close-Up Show are $25.



In celebration of the spookiest time of year, Chicago Magic Lounge presents The Signature Show featuring Shock Illusionist Dan Sperry, the Anti-Conjuror during Halloween weekend. Hailed as the most popular and in-demand illusionist of this generation Dan Sperry combines the art of magic with the macabre, and his totally unique and edgy illusions initially capture the imagination of crowds across the globe. But it is his unhinged, shockingly eccentric humor and audience interaction that makes his live show a truly unique experience. As a result of his jaw-dropping performances on multiple record-breaking international tours, numerous network television appearances, and some of the most underground viral videos to ever plague the Internet, his legion of hundreds of thousands of dedicated fans span all ages and demographics.

From starring in the best-selling magic show in Broadway history The Illusionists, sky-rocketing ratings on America’s Got Talent, Germany’s hit series Das SuperTalent, FOX’s World Magic Awards, and TLC’sCake Boss, to selling out countless performance venues around the world, Dan Sperry presents a magic show for people who love magic shows but an even better show for people who hate magic shows.

The Signature Show featuring Shock Illusionist Dan Sperry, the Anti-Conjuror performances happen October 31 at 7:00pm and 10:00pm, and November 1-2 at 7:00pm. Tickets are priced at $45 (Main Floor), $55 (Premium Main Floor), and $60 (Front Row and Mezzanine).

Rounding out the fall is Chicago Magic Lounge’s Second Annual Spotlight: Women in Magic, celebrating women performing in this historically male-dominated art form. Started as a way to highlight the incredible female talent in magic and begin a conversation about the proportionately small number of female magicians performing today, it has been the goal of Spotlight: Women in Magic to draw attention to the gender disparity in this artform and encourage more women to become involved in magic. The last few years have seen an increase in female membership in magic organizations, as well as a surge in female enrollment in magic classes throughout the world. Chicago Magic Lounge wants to keep that momentum going and hopefully inspire more women to enter the artform. 

This year’s Spotlight: Women in Magic will feature an all-star cast of magicians audiences need to experience, including Chicago-born magician Rachel Wax; Alexandra Duvivier, winner of the prestigious French magic competition Mandrake d’Or; and fall Artist-in-Residence performer Carisa Hendrix.

Spotlight: Women in Magic takes place November 21-24, 2019 at 7:00pm Thursday through Sunday, with additional 10:00pm performances on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are priced at $45 (Main Floor), $55 (Premium Main Floor), and $60 (Front Row and Mezzanine).

Tickets for all Chicago Magic Lounge performances are available at the box office, (312) 366-4500 or online at chicagomagiclounge.com

Chicago Magic Lounge is a 21+ venue. Ages 16+ allowed to ticketed shows with a legal guardian. Ages 5+ allowed for The Family Show only. 

Ongoing Events and Performances are as follows:

Music & Magic

Mondays at 7:30pm through September 30 when Music and Magic goes on fall hiatus

Tickets: $15 (General Admission)

Unwind at the beginning of the week with magic, jazz, and a cocktail. Music & Magic is the only performance of its kind in the city. We feature live jazz on stage and close-up magic at your table performed by our resident house magicians. When the band takes a break, a magician takes the stage.



The Signature Show

Thursdays and Sundays at 7pm; Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm & 10pm

Tickets: $45-$60

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 two masters of their craft performing feats of prestidigitation and sleight of hand. Guests who purchase Mezzanine, Front Row and Premium Main Floor tickets are invited to an exclusive performance of close-up magic directly after the show in our 43-seat close-up gallery, The 654 Club. *Please visit chicagomagiclounge.com for a complete schedule of performers.



Artist-in-Residence Series

Wednesdays at 7:30pm, 

Sean Masterson’s Timeless Magic, June 26 – October 2, 2019

Tickets: $35 (Main Floor), $45 (Front Row) 

The Chicago Magic Lounge will host three-month runs of our favorite magicians performing their one-person shows. The current show in the series is Sean Masterson’s Timeless Magic, a smart, funny and highly original magic show featuring highly deceptive but rarely seen 19th century magic effects and a mind reading puppet. Timeless Magic runs June 26 – October 2, 2019. 



The Family Show

Sundays at 12pm

Tickets: $27.50, $17.50 (children 5-16)

We take the bar scene out of Chicago Magic and open our Blackstone Cabaret for a 45-minute magic matinee suitable for younger ages. Our mission is to bring back the era of bar magic, bringing out the child in every adult; however, on Sundays, we feature a family-friendly magician that will fill both the adults and children full of wonder. The Family Show makes a great post-brunch activity with many restaurants nearby. The Family Show is suitable for ages 5 and up.



The Performance Bar

Mondays-Wednesdays, 5:30pm-11pm; Thursdays, 5:30pm-12am; Fridays-Saturdays, 5:30pm-2am; and Sundays, 5:30pm-11pm

Open from 5:30pm to close Mondays thru Saturdays, The Performance Bar features signature cocktails, luxurious seating and magicians behind the bar to challenge your imagination. The Performance Bar is open to the public and does not require a ticket to the show. Please note that The Performance Bar is 21+ only. 

Tickets for all Chicago Magic Lounge performances are available at the box office, (312) 366-4500 or online at chicagomagiclounge.com. Chicago Magic Lounge is a 21+ venue. Ages 16+ allowed to ticketed shows with a legal guardian. Ages 5+ allowed for The Family Show only.

For a complete schedule of performances and more information about Chicago Magic Lounge, as well as resident and guest performers, Chicago Magic College classes, the Chicago Magic Round Table, and more, please visit chicagomagiclounge.com




About Chicago Magic Lounge
Chicago Magic Lounge reinvents the classic "magic bar" that once dotted Chicago's nightlife landscape, bringing cocktails and card tricks back together again. Shows include magic performance at the bar, on the stage and in true Chicago-style Magic form, at the tables of the guests, providing the classic "Close-Up" tradition Chicago-style Magic is known for. Chicago Magic Lounge is also the home of the Chicagoland magic community, showcasing over 30 local professionals, and serving as a networking hub for working magicians from all over the world. 

The newly constructed theater at 5050 N. Clark St., designed by Morris Architects Planners, has ushered in a new wave of entertainment, bringing back “Chicago-style Magic” under the leadership of Donald C Clark, Jr. and Joseph (Joey) Cranford. Converted from a 1930s-era, commercial laundry building, the Chicago Magic Lounge is a 7,200 square-foot, Art Deco, state-of-the-art theater and lounge complete with secret doors, elegant performance areas and a magic bar – all dedicated to the art of sleight of hand, prestidigitation and Chicago's contribution to the magical arts. From magicians to mind readers, Chicago Magic Lounge provides guests the unique, one-of-a-kind experience of seeing wonders up-close and personal in a venue unlike anything else offered throughout the country.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

DENNIS WATKINS GIVES 1,000TH PERFORMANCE OF THE MAGIC PARLOUR FRIDAY, JANUARY 25 AT THE PALMER HOUSE HILTON HOTEL

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

DENNIS WATKINS GIVES 1,000TH PERFORMANCE OF 
THE MAGIC PARLOUR 
REACHING MILESTONE FRIDAY, JANUARY 25 
AT THE PALMER HOUSE HILTON HOTEL


I've caught The Magic Parlour every few years, since it's early days in the eclectic basement digs of Chopin Theatre. Back in 2012 I had the great pleasure of interviewing mystifying magician, Dennis Watkins, in his home. Check it out here:





Dennis Watkins expounds on being Harry Houdini in Death and Harry Houdini for Chicago's House Theatre and being his own magical self in the long running Magic Parlour show. He's done the water torture cell escape upwards of 100 times now! He also discusses the history of the show as it's evolved since 2001 and his own family history of magicians.

Since then, Watkins has moved up in the world, out of the cellar and into the elegant Palmer House Hilton Hotel! The Magic Parlour is a top pick of ours for tourists and locals alike. Watkins is charismatic, charming, and utterly baffling, while remaining refreshingly free of ego. The Magic Parlour show and Potter's Palmer House local are classic Chicago and truly a treat. 



Over the past eight years, my husband, kids, and friends have joined me at various Magic Parlour performances, and all have been amazed and well entertained by Dennis Watkins' close magic. Watkins remains one of our favorite premiere prestidigitators. We're excited to celebrate his 1,000th performance this month, as star in the longest currently running magic show in Chicago. Highly recommended! 



Dennis Watkins, a renowned third-generation magician and mentalist, has baffled and bemused audiences with his performance of The Magic Parlour. Produced by The House Theatre of Chicago, Watkins reaches a milestone on January 25 when he presents his 1,000th performance in the longest currently running magic show in Chicago. Each week, intimate audiences of just 44 guests are treated to 90 minutes of tom-foolery through close-up magic and mystifying mentalism at the storied Palmer House, a Hilton Hotel, 17 E. Monroe. The 1,000th show will be performed Friday, Jan. 25 at 9:30 p.m. While seating is limited for this milestone performance, the open run show continues in its season of five shows weekly thereafter. To find more about Watkins and The Magic Parlour, visit TheMagicParlourChicago.com.

“When we conjured up The Magic Parlour, it was a once-weekly late-night show in Wicker Park. Finding our home at the Palmer House on New Year’s Eve 2011 helped us evolve this project into the sophisticated production it is today. The audience’s imagination is at the heart of a truly magical and personal experience,” says Watkins.

The Palmer House has a rich history filled with hosting nearly a century’s worth of legendary magic performers including Chicago native and world-renowned magician Harry Blackstone, Sr., Paul Rosini, Richard Cardini, Ching Ling Fu and others. Watkins’ unsurpassed milestone at the historic venue is a testament to his ability to meld the best of magic’s captivating draw with a modern show, keeping the allure of Chicago’s deep-rooted magic scene alive for locals and visitors alike.

Available for only The Magic Parlour ticket holders, guests can toast the occasion with a magical cocktail and a special prix-fixe Magic Menu dinner at Lockwood Restaurant & Bar at Palmer House throughout February. 

I can attest, their food is fantastic! 




“I keep the show fresh by adding new material throughout each year, always diving deeper into the lessons about inspiring wonder my grandad imparted to me.  With both believers and skeptics participating, every show is a one-of-a-kind happening,” explains Watkins.



The Magic Parlour is an upscale event and cocktail attire is encouraged. The show is open to guests ages 12 and older. Tickets for The Magic Parlour are $79 or $89 each, which includes wine, beer and soft drinks served during the performance. The prix-fixe Magic Menu at Lockwood Restaurant & Bar costs $41 per person, all inclusive, and dinner reservations can be reserved at the time of ticketing.

Purchase tickets at www.themagicparlourchicago.com or by calling The House Theatre of Chicago Box Office at 773-769-3832. 


ABOUT MAGICIAN DENNIS WATKINS
Dennis Watkins is a third-generation magician who travels the country bringing world-class magic to the world's largest companies, as well as exclusive private and society events.

Watkins' critically-acclaimed one-man-show, The Magic Parlour, has been running at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel in downtown Chicago for seven years. Produced by The House Theatre of Chicago, The Magic Parlour is an intimate evening of classic magic and impossible mind-reading in a private suite at one of Chicago's most historic and noteworthy hotels. 

As a Company Member with The House Theatre of Chicago, Watkins has written, acted, and directed and performed in over 21 world-premiere productions. He appears as one of America’s greatest magicians in The House’s production of Death & Harry Houdini, including a death-defying nightly performance of the Water Torture Cell. Houdini has played seven times in Chicago over The House’s 17-year history. With awards and honors from the Texas Association of Magicians, the Society of American Magicians, the International Brotherhood of Magicians, and the Desert Magic Seminar, Dennis specializes in creating unforgettable magical experiences for each and every one of his audiences. The Chicago-based magician was honored to be an invited guest on Penn & Teller’s Fool Us television show.

ABOUT THE MAGIC PARLOUR
The Magic Parlour starring Dennis Watkins is an intimate evening of classic magic and mind-reading featuring the work of the third-generation magician. Guests to this intimate, magic-packed evening gather at Potter's in the Palmer House lobby before Watkins personally escorts them to the performance space. Once inside, the audience participates in much of the performance as Watkins wows the room with classic sleight of hand, unbelievable mind-reading and magical wisdom passed down from his grandfather. 

Since finding its home at The Palmer House on New Year’s Eve of 2011, The Magic Parlour has enjoyed phenomenal success and unimagined growth.  With only 44 seats available per show, The Magic Parlour has entertained over 30,000 guests for nearly 1,000 ticketed audiences and dozens of private groups, facilitated three truly magical wedding proposals, and has been featured in two books (Chicago Magic: A History of Stagecraft and Spectacle and 100 Things to do in Chicago Before You Die).


ABOUT THE HOUSE THEATRE OF CHICAGO 
The House is Chicago's premier home for intimate, original works of epic story and stagecraft. Founded in 2001, led by Artistic Director Nathan Allen, and driven by an interdisciplinary ensemble of Chicago’s next generation of great storytellers, The House aims to become a laboratory and platform for the evolution of the American theatre as an inclusive and popular art form.

Since becoming eligible in 2004, The House has won 22 Joseph Jefferson Awards, became the first recipient of Broadway in Chicago’s Emerging Theater Award in 2007, and was awarded a 2014 National Theatre Company Grant by the American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards®. 

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