‘Magic Penthouse’ a Date Night Fantasy

Magic Penthouse as a date night experience. (Photo by Reno Lovison)
Magic Penthouse as a date night experience. (Photo by Reno Lovison)

For those of you interested in surveys and statistics three out of the five top traveler-ranked places of interest in Chicago are magic shows.

By the way, the blockbuster theater experience, “Hamilton,” is ranked number two with “Jazz Showcase” and “Lyric Opera” at six and seven respectively followed by Chicago Symphony and The Shakespeare Theater.

So based on travellers willing to take the time to leave a review and rank their performance experiences at Trip Advisor, “Magic Penthouse” falls in as number five in the top ten.

If you are a fan of prestidigitation, magic impresario and Munich native, Sin Ordu and his troupe of tricksters and spellbinders will keep you thoroughly engaged and entertained for roughly two and a half hours.

This is a unique total post-dinner evening package that includes entertainment, ample adult beverages, and a smattering of appetizers for one fixe prix.

Doors open at 8 p.m.  The festivities begin with a mix and mingle cocktail reception featuring an open bar and plenty of sparkling wine pre-poured and ready to go.

The atmosphere was upbeat with an air of eager anticipation from the guests.  Interestingly, there was plenty of interaction between guests as we managed to enjoy short conversations with three or four other couples including the very tall and mysterious “Mr. Johnson,” also a pleasant conversation with one Stetson-hat/ostrich-leather-boot adorned “dude” from the Northshore named Nick.

“Magic Penthouse” encourages “elegant cocktail attire” thus providing an opportunity to dress up a bit, and resulting in a particularly festive atmosphere with plenty of young ladies in pretty dresses and sparkly jewelry. The men were mostly in sport coats and suits with nary a sneaker to be found.

The event originated in the former business of co-founder Nick Roy whose clothing store and barbershop was located in a penthouse in Chicago’s loop.

When Nick (also a magician) and Sin first began discussing the idea of a magic event, the name “Magic Penthouse” was born with the first events taking place at Nick’s business.

The current venue for the “Magic Penthouse” is the fifth floor ballroom of the Palomar, a modern boutique hotel by Kimpton just off the Mag-Mile near State and Grand.  With great floor to ceiling windows the effect of the city outside and below is enough to establish the “penthouse” illusion.

After the champagne reception, the audience of a hundred or so, were ushered into the “showroom” with theater style seating in a semi-circle for the main performance that featured Sin as Master of Ceremonies and three talented comedic magicians.

Partner Nick Rey’s set consisted of a number of card tricks and sleight of hand illusions. Gozner had some fun with a Rubic’s cube and perhaps had the best jokes playing off of his Hispanic accent. Mark Toland wound up the showroom segment with some very impressive and humorous mind reading.

After the primary performance the crowd was invited into the main room to enjoy the live background music of Blake Alexander while observing more close-up magic.

During this period there were passed hors d’oeuvres and a continuous full open bar. Incidentally this is billed as a 21+ event. Sorry no kids.

Just before 10:30 there is a finale event after which people are invited to just chill for a while and finish their drinks.

This is a perfect Chicago date night experience partly because it is self-contained and paid in advance. So once you are in it is very much like being at a very nice private party. There are no additional fees other than tipping the bartender and the coat check guy.

In short, I recommend the “Magic Penthouse” for those looking for an elegant post-dinner night-on-the-town with unique entertainment and a convivial atmosphere.

Details: “Magic Penthouse” performs once a month at Kimpton Hotel Palomar, 505 N State Street, Grand Ballroom, Chicago, with the next performance May 17, 2019. Doors open promptly at 8 p.m. and the experience ends about 10:30 p.m.. They do sell out and space is limited. For online ticket information visit  Magic Penhouse.

Reno Lovison



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