Dec 14, 2021 - Things to Do

Penn & Teller return to Chicago

A photo of two people on the red carpet.
Penn Jillette and Raymond Teller arrive at the Hollywood Walk Of Fame Honors in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Penn & Teller are back on the (virtual) Chicago stage. They returned to their Vegas residency this fall after more than 400 days away from performing.

Why it matters: The world famous magicians have been performing for three decades in Chicago and are on video performing a card trick in Jamie Allan’s Magic Immersive at 360 N. State Street.

  • "A lot of magic has come out of Chicago," Penn Jillette tells Axios. "The great thing is that it has started up again. You have big magic theaters, dedicated places for it. Chicago has always been a wonderful place for us."

Between the lines: What makes Penn & Teller special is how they bring the audiences with them. It's not about tricking them, but showing them how they are being tricked.

  • "Magic deals with what reality is. It's a very important intellectual form," says Jillette. "Magic is automatically immersive because it is the unwilling suspension of disbelief."
  • "As music is wonderful at dealing with love, magic is wonderful at dealing with truth."

What's next: Penn & Teller have a small role in this new show, but that's not stopping them from planning for their own shows here in the future.

  • "I really feel most at home and we have great audiences here. I'm always so happy to play Chicago. We'll be coming back as soon as we can to do a Penn & Teller show."

When in Chicago: "There's a lot of good vegan food. We just went to Sunda and it was just amazing. I think that's my go-to Chicago restaurant."

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