Last Updated on June 4, 2019 by Jeremy
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A few months ago if you would've asked us if Pittsburgh's Cultural District needed another performing arts venue, we probably would've said no.
With gems like Heinz Hall, the Benedum Center, the O'Reilly Theater, the Byham Theater, the August Wilson Center, and many more (plus a number of awesome free galleries and other art installations), the district already serves up an array of wonderful shows seemingly every night of the week.
But then Liberty Magic opened, and our thoughts changed completely. This one is a welcomed addition to the Cultural District, as we could all truly use some magic in our lives.
Liberty Magic Offers a Permanent Space for The Artform
For those who don't know already, Liberty Magic is taking over the same building that used to be the Arcade Theater.
While small, the theater is perfectly sized for magic as it offers an intimate space for roughly 70 people to watch the magicians perform their craft, and is set up in such a way that no patron is too far away from the show (but more on that a bit later).
The entryway to the theater is also themed and contains two rooms that are beautifully decorated with magic paraphernalia and related artwork, all designed to get you in the mood for the show that is about to come.
Going further, Liberty Magic is just one of a few venues exclusively dedicated to magic in the country, making this one rather unique!
The BYOB Shows Are a Lot of Fun
In 2019, two magicians are set to perform at Liberty Magic. Eric Jones presents his show IMPOSSIBLE through mid-March, and after that local Lee Terbosic (previously at 52 Up Close at the Hotel Monaco) takes over with his show IN PLAIN SLEIGHT until mid-May.
During my visit to Liberty Magic, I was fortunate enough to witness Eric Jones perform some of his tricks, including the one that even fooled Penn and Teller on their popular TV show. (I was also fortunate enough to witness Lee work his magic, pun intended, at 52 Up Close as well.)
What I love about both of these guys is that they're quite upfront that their form of magic is more or less sleight of hand. They are both experts at moving so fast and subtly that you really do feel like you're witnessing magic.
I never like to spoil shows, and I won't be doing that here as well, but going on a brief tangent one of the aspects I love about magic shows the most is that they're often stand up comedy as much as they are as performance. Laughter is a great way to help deceive the audience at key times, and the fact that these two are funny as hell on their own right makes it even better.
My only concern, albeit a minor one, is that it was a bit hard to see the performance all too well from the rows in the back- not from the distance but from heads of other patrons in front of you. At 52 Up Close this was rectified with cameras showing Lee's hand gestures on mounted TVs, whereas at Eric Jones' show there were TVs present but unused.
I can only hope that this would be rectified in the future.
And, there is one final point of Liberty Magic to consider- all the shows are BYOB with a $5 per guest corkage fee.
Liberty Magic has two pricing options. The base ticket allows for seating in the back rows of the theater, whereas the VIP package allows for sitting in the first two rows, potential to be selected to take part in the tricks, and a meet and greet after the performance to see close-up tricks.
Who is ready to experience magic?
Liberty Magic is located in the old Arcade Comedy Theater downtown at 811 Liberty Avenue. We'd like to thank our friends at BOLD Pittsburgh for the invite to the show! (Check their site out at the previous link.) The shows are rated for 18+; however, guests as young as 12 may attend.