Could your family’s weekend use, well, a little more magic? A throwback to the city’s golden age of Chicago style magic, the highly anticipated Chicago Magic Lounge recently opened its doors and, while the majority of performances are for the 21+ crowd, Sundays are for the Family Show.
The multimillion dollar renovation at 5050 N. Clark, right in the heart of the Andersonville neighborhood, was worth every penny. It’s a gloriously Art Deco experience in a space tailor-made for classic cocktails and card tricks, and magic and mystery from the moment you step over the threshold. Secret entrances? Absolutely. The front door is a nod to the space’s laundromat beginnings and, like any good mystical experience, the theater has a hidden passageway through a library.
Guests are led through the main bar, which features a bevy of craft drinks and small plates, and into the main performance space, which cozily seats 100. There’s a mezzanine which also overlooks another bar, and a more intimate theater in the back — the 654 Club — is a spot which co-owner Joey Cranford hints would make an exceptional birthday party venue.
And as for the Family Show itself? John Sturk, one of the co-founders of the Lounge, led us through a 45-minute blend of smart comedy, sleight of hand and some truly wowzer moments. Best for ages 5 and up, all three of my kids were thoroughly enthralled; the kind where audible gasps are heard through slack-jawed mouths. That said, immediately after my husband was called up onstage to help perform a trick, it was safe to assume that this brand of magic casts a pretty powerful spell over thirty-somethings, too.
If you go:
Chicago Magic Lounge
Sundays at 5050 N. Clark St., Chicago