Review MAGIC IMMERSIVE (Lighthouse Immersive): See It Before It Vanishes!!

Monday, December 13, 2021 Permalink 0

Lighthouse Immersive, along with British Illusionist Jamie Allan, present MAGIC IMMERSIVE. 

Do you believe in magic? You will! 

MAGIC IMMERSIVE is a multi-faceted, interactive, 360 degree theatrical spectacle. Before the show begins, guests can wander around a pop-up museum (and gift shop) featuring legendary magicians from Houdini to David Copperfield. The magic history lesson is peppered with memorabilia from these masters of illusion: a barrel from Niagara Falls, a straight jacket and an orange tree. The artifacts are accompanied by the stories describing their magical significance. There are even plenty of photo ops including capturing a friend levitating courtesy of Copperfield.

My VIP experience included a magic pre-show. The opportunity provides up-close-and-personal magic. Cameron Gibson is the charismatic parlor magician. Gibson, Magic Immersive’s lead magician, captivates with his wit and trickery. He charmingly gives a brief Magic 101 by introducing the old ball-cup. He teasingly makes his work sound basic yet we are astonished to see a lemon, an orange and his watch appear from out-of-nowhere. The personable Gibson chooses a couple VIPs to act as assistants in his card tricks and Rubik’s Cube wizardry. Their bafflement in the sleight of hand adds to the overall amusement and fun. As we shuffled into the main show, the young boy solving the Rubik’s Cube puzzle called Gibson ‘the best magician in the world!’

And kid, it is just getting started!

The main show is up one flight of stairs in The Illusionarium. The oversized room invites guests to sit on the sidelines or stand in the middle. Stages flank the action. On one end is an old-fashioned, velvet curtained stage. Opposite it is a techno-sleek futuristic stage. In one corner is a gigantic drill… something out of a Journey to the Center of the Earth sci-fi flick. In the middle and directly across from the VIP grandstand is a phone-booth-sized water chamber. In every corner are oversized televisions. The Illusionarium, the brainchild of Jamie Allen, is already captivating upon arrival. It’s a perfect setting for the thrills and chills to come.

The feats are fantastical! The energetic show is a dynamic combo of past-present-future. Edmond Clark and Molly Keczan kick-off the show with some behind-the-curtain, above-the-floor, and across-the-stage mystifying stunts. Their old-timey grandeuer dramatically contrasts with the modern stage that uses a variety of different-size screens to add pizzazz. At one point, 4 IPads are used to blur the virtual verses live reality. The four season illusion has rain and flowers spilling off the screens.

And the best virtual trick of the show features the famous Penn & Teller. The magic duo facilitate an interactive card trick from a pre-recorded video. All the guests receive an envelop at show check-in. Penn requests us to now open the envelop and participate. As the delightfully impish Teller provides nonverbal amusement, the fast-talking Penn has us shuffle, bend, rip and throw cards. The exercise entertains with a looking-for-love vibe. At the end of the energetic loves-me-not schtick, we are left stupefied at the cards in our hands.          

The show is one long how-are-they-doing-that? fascination. 

The finale is the ultimate extremity as a chained Mareesha Klups plunges into the water torture chamber. She is calm with her eyes closed as she methodically unlocks each bolt. The audience, on the other hand, anxiously holds its breath completely transfixed by every movement, every bubble and every second until she emerges.  

MAGIC IMMERSIVE conjures up plenty of astonishment! I highly recommend immersing yourself in the magic!  

SIDENOTE: This is my first live performance in Chicago where vaccination and identification cards were not required or checked. I would recommend the MAGIC IMMERSIVE production adhere to Chicago theatre protocols. The only contagium spread during the show should be attendees’ enthusiasm! 

Running Time: One hour performance with no intermission, VIP segment – fifteen minutes  

Illusionarium, 360 N. State Street

Thru January 2nd

For more information or tickets

Production Photos by Michael Brosilow

For more Chicago theatre information and reviews, please visit Theatre in Chicago

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