Just when you thought we’d digitized every imaginable thing, Chicago Magic Lounge still has one more trick up its sleeve—a virtual magic show. Paired with a cocktail hour. So, when Global Debauchery got an opportunity to “attend” a show, I was all in. Drink in hand. …I had no idea I’d experience such a magical couple of quarantine hours. A huge thank you to Chicago Magic Lounge, Choose Chicago, and SiPP Communications for sponsoring me in this fun little venture!
How Does A Virtual Magic Show Even Work?
I’ll be honest—I was skeptical. But Chicago Magic Lounge (CML) couldn’t have put a better virtual magic show together. It aired from the Lounge itself via Zoom, and featured several different settings.
Four different magicians performed, including a special guest performer—all the way from Argentina. An emcee walked you through the show, and a craft bartender mixed the evening’s featured cocktail during intermission.
They made great use of technology, integrating sound effects and video clips. They switched between standard views and close-ups as the tricks were being performed. And they encouraged audience (and pet!) participation by suddenly switching screens on you. They even offered to mail a playing card to someone.
Audience members actively made use of both the chat and reaction features within Zoom, and most cameras were turned on throughout the show. All sorts of people across the country attended—from fellow magicians to couples celebrating their anniversary to families to… Global Debauchery.
A Special Halloween Magic Show
Not only was it Halloween weekend the evening I attended, it was also National Magic Week. And tributes to Harry Houdini (and his wife, Bess) were expertly incorporated.
I can’t guarantee you’ll get to watch the same show I did, but I can tell you that my show had a surprise ending, which was perfect for Halloween-time. You’ll want to stay tuned in the entire time. Trust me.
Isn’t It Necromantic?
Another, super fun aspect of the show was the mini mixology class. (And you know how Global Debauchery loves its cocktails!) You’ll receive a featured cocktail recipe the day of the show, and a craft bartender shows you how to mix it during the show.
Ours was a gorgeous little libation titled “Isn’t It Necromantic?” Which was basically an extra fancy Negroni. It’s a complex cocktail, but the results are truly stunning.
- 1 1/2 oz Empress Gin
- 1/4 oz Campari
- 1/2 oz lavender honey syrup
- 1 oz grapefruit juice
- Garnish with grapefruit peel and edible rose petals
Lavender Honey Syrup Recipe
- Combine 1/2 cup of honey and 1/2 cup of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon dried lavender.
- Remove from heat and let lavender steep for 20 minutes or until room temperature.
- Strain out dried lavender.
Cocktail Mixing Directions
- In a shaker, combine lavender honey syrup and grapefruit juice. Add ice and shake for about 30 seconds.
- Strain the contents of your shaker into a highball glass over fresh ice.
- Slowly pour the Campari over the back of a spoon. Repeat this step with Empress Gin.
- Garnish with a grapefruit peel rose (made by rolling up a long grapefruit peel and fastened with a toothpick) and edible rose petals. Give a stir and enjoy!
- For a non-alcoholic option, replace gin with Butterfly Pea Flower tea and Campari with a splash of Pomegranate juice.
About Chicago Magic Lounge
Chicago Magic Lounge opened in 2015 and hearkens back to the historic and forgotten days of parlor magic. Restaurant and bar magic, also referred to as “Chicago-style” magic dates all the way back to 1915, when multiple Chicago magic bars were in operation. The original Chicago venues would eventually close, but not before the nightlife trend made its way around the world.
Chicago Magic Lounge’s physical location is currently closed due to the Covid pandemic, but you can “help keep the magic alive” by donating to the theater online.
Upcoming Virtual Magic Show Times
Chicago Magic Lounge performs weekly at 6:30 Central time every Friday, and tickets go on sale at noon the prior Wednesday. Tickets are “pay what you can,” but a minimum of $15 per screen is requested. The day of the performance, you’ll receive a Zoom link to log on to the event, as well as your featured cocktail recipe.
A Recommendation for Chicago Magic Lounge
You know, I went into this collaboration thinking it sounded like something fun and different to do. Added bonus because it included a fun little cocktail recipe, right? But they really did an exceptional job with the show. I was “wow’ed.” Truly.
I honestly don’t think it could’ve been any more well-executed than it was. It was far more interactive and entertaining than any other virtual events I’ve attended. (And there have been a lot of those lately.)
I would highly recommend Chicago Magic Lounge’s virtual cocktail hour to anyone. A really great, socially-distanced family activity. Something to break up the virtual monotony. And, you can help keep a small business afloat during these unprecedented times. Buy your tickets today. And enjoy!
*While this post has been sponsored by Chicago Magic Lounge, Choose Chicago, and SiPP Communications, the views expressed are my own.