Credit: David Linsell

Magician David Parr brings old-school magic to life every week at the
Chicago Magic Lounge. But the magic isn’t limited to when Parr takes the
stage. Hidden behind a laundromat, the Chicago Magic Lounge immerses
visitors in a replica of an early 20th-century magic bar, once a staple of
the city. The atmosphere leaves little to the imagination, complete with
period-appropriate decor, a cocktail menu, and up-and-coming magicians
performing tableside tricks in the hour leading up to Parr’s performance.

Over the course of his one-hour show, Parr takes his audience on a
choose-your-own-adventure-style journey through his “Cabinet of
Curiosities” containing magical objects he’s collected over the course of
his career, such as golden goblets, a childhood book, and an old deck of
playing cards. He tells the story of each one and performs classic tricks,
inviting audience members to assist him along the way. He uses the final
moments of his show to share a modern trick of his own creation that earned
him a spot on Penn and Teller Fool Us and brings his historical
exploration to a natural conclusion.

Parr’s tricks are simple and the items he uses to perform them are staples:
scarves, thread, playing cards. But despite the familiarity of Parr’s brand
of magic, his show is entertaining, largely as a result of his ability to
engage an enthusiastic audience. He’s a theatrical storyteller and a
skilled magician but he also possesses a self-awareness of the absurdity of
his profession that gives the show a fresh quality despite its traditional
ambience and classic contents.   v