Good morning, Chicago.
On a cold January Wednesday, a trip into the beautifully fake laundromat on Clark Street yielded a packed showroom, filled to the balcony with local fans of prestidigitation checking out the latest fare at the Chicago Magic Lounge, one of the most notable success stories of late on Chicago’s live entertainment scene.
On hump day, or whatever it is that defines a Wednesday, the Magic Lounge books a weekly regular for some three months of gigs, in contrast with the variable weekend programming. For these cruelest months of wind chill and gray skies, that performer is Harrison Lampert, an intriguingly self-deprecating magician with nihilistic tendencies.
You might think of Lampert as the antithesis of the silent Teller; in his hourlong set, which is very funny, Lampert never stops talking even for a second. He intentionally allows his mouth to form words even before his brain fully has decided what to say, all part of his theme of being pretty much a total mess, albeit one for whom the cards and ropes still manage to effect some remarkable transitions. You don’t really know whether to watch his mouth or his hands — or the sweat upon his brow — all of which Lampert turns to his advantage.
Read Chris Jones’ full review of Wednesdays at the Magic Lounge.
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Attend Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Chicago History Museum, catch “Chicago” back on stage in its namesake town or watch puppets take over the city.