Following a spin through Charlotte, North Carolina, our Magic Everywhere video series hopped a plane and an El train to explore Chicago, Illinois. After visiting four of the Windy City’s magic clubs and chatting with several top performers around town, we’ve got a good picture of what Chicago-style magic looks like.

Hint: it all starts with booze.

Chicago has a rich history of good times and good entertainment, and was an early home of bar magic. As you’d expect with that lineage, the resulting style of close-up magic now practiced by many of the locals is brash and high-energy. It also usually favors lots of participation from the audience, whether they’ve had many drinks or none. With both sides ready to dish out the sass, you can expect a very good time in any of Chicago’s latest crop of magic venues.

Chicago is experiencing a wonderful renaissance of magic shows. The Magic Penthouse, a monthly pop-up event, is one of the city’s newer venues, and mentalist Mark Toland is a big fan. It starts with what he describes as the “elevated, classy atmosphere” of the Kimpton Hotel. But there’s more to it than just the glitz. Mark tells GeniiOnline why the event is a great one for both magicians and magic fans.

For the rest of our interviews with Mark, check out the links here:

Part one: Mark Toland explains how small town life and zero back-up plan made him a pro magician

Part two: Mark Toland defines the ever-evolving Chicago-style magic

Part three: Mark Toland’s theatrical approach to mentalism finds freedom within limitations

Part five: Mark Toland tells the tale of his accidental TEDx talk

When you enter the Magic Penthouse, you’re treated to a great view of downtown Chicago and a much closer view of some really skilled magicians. Nick Roy tells GeniiOnline about how he teamed up with Sin to bring this event to life. From a humble beginning, the monthly magic showcase has grown and evolved to a posh night of classy entertainment.

For the rest of our interview with Nick Roy, check out the links below:

Part one: Nick Roy welcomes you to Chicago, the city of big shoulders and bar magic

Part three: How Nick Roy became a serious magician thanks to Sharper Image