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  • Angela Allyn

Magic Immersive Truly Amazes and Opens in Chicago

Theatre Review

December 16, 2021

4 Stars out of 4

Chicago has a long history of performers that fall under the category of magician or illusionist, dating back at least to the 1800’s. Jamie Allan’s Magic Immersive brings the tradition into the 21st Century with sparkle and verve for an hour long performance that surrounds the audience with masterful acts of classic magic. It’s a welcome highlight of a season overflowing with classics. It will pull you right out of your holiday ennui!

Custom built into the space at 360 N. State, in the Museum of Broadcast Communications building, the experience takes audiences up from the lobby to a kind of museum called the Illusionarium, and a gift shop of magic. While its not quite the chestnut of a magic store like the now gone storied Magic Inc on Lincoln Avenue, it sets the mood for wonder and technology. As you enter the Illusionarium, the walls are filled with infographics and displays outlining famous

magicians and their signature feats. It’s a feast for die hard magic fans, and interesting for anyone who likes performing arts history. If you spring for the VIP experience, you will be ushered into a cushy intimate space and treated to slight of hand show with lots of opportunities for participation. Then it’s upstairs for a full out sensory experience tracing the history of magic that begins at the Egyptian Theatre with a levitation and a bullet catch ( a little off color right now with the Rust film tragedy and school shootings) moving into a virtual interactive card trick with Penn and Teller, a high tech digital and real world illusion, and the grand finale which mimics Houdini’s most famous and risky performance: the performer is handcuffed and locked underwater and we get to watch them pick the locks before they drown. It was nerve wracking for this reviewer, and most of the audience literally held their breath.

This is a perfect family show especially if you have a mix of vintage and teen humans: the ensemble is seamless and the magic they execute is top notch. I brought a true magic obsessive who is hard to impress and he had a marvelous time. But you don’t have much time to catch Magic Immersive: its only scheduled to run through January 2, 2022. For tickets go to

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