If you believe in magic, or are intrigued by things that make you disbelieve your eyes, New York City has events and attractions sure to cast a spell on you. In addition to stores like Tannen’s —NYC’s oldest magic shop—and Fantasma, there are historic sites like Harry Houdini’s grave. And the City’s calendar is regularly full of performances, exhibitions and magic shows that defy easy explanation. Read on for details.
This Broadway play imagines its protagonist as an adult, working at the Ministry of Magic and rearing a child entering Hogwarts. The show is presented in two parts, and you can see them both in the same day Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, or on consecutive nights Thursdays and Fridays.
Fantasma Magic, one of the most comprehensive magic shops in the City, operates this collection of Houdini ephemera. You’ll find handcuffs, outfits, old advertisements and an assortment of other paraphernalia related to the escape artist; it’s open daily.
Dan White holds court multiple times during the week, deftly performing illusions on the second floor of Manhattan hotel The Nomad. The magician has consulted for Kanye West and David Copperfield, so clearly he knows a bit about showmanship.
Each Monday at the Players Theatre, a handful of magicians put the emphasis on skill and craft; you might witness knife-throwing, mind reading or up-close magic.
Picking up the Harry Potter theme, the comedic play Puffs gives voice and background to the Hogwarts classmates who aren’t quite wizarding at the level of Hermione, Ron and Harry.
Theatre 80 St. Marks serves as home to Eaton’s expert mix of magic and mentalism, which he’s presented Off-Broadway since 2006.
In a room at the Lotte New York Palace, Cohen bewilders guests with all sorts of legerdemain: interlocking rings (belonging to audience members), card tricks and the Think-a-Drink, in a which a pot somehow pours whatever libation viewers bring to mind.
November 17, 2018–February 3, 2019
Max Darwin headlines this Off-Broadway show, a kid-friendly magic act that brings little ones up on stage to see sleight of hand up close.
The Cauldron NYC
Through December 31
Stone Street’s Bavaria Bier Haus hosts a cocktail-making class on its second floor. The trick? You’ll wear a robe, use a wand and make potions in a cauldron. Double, double toil and trouble indeed—though please hold the eye of newt and toe of frog.
Harry Potter: A History of Magic
Through January 27, 2019
Head to New-York Historical Society (make sure to get a timed ticket ahead of your visit) for a look at the world of Harry Potter. The original manuscripts, sketches, cover illustrations, costumes and other miscellany on display will transport you straight to Hogwarts.
Magic at the McKittrick Hotel
Various shows through December 31
The home of interactive drama Sleep No More stages three magic shows this fall. Speakeasy Magick (through October 27) offers a platform for a rotating cast of accomplished NYC magicians; Wonders at Dusk (through November 3, though likely to extend through December 2018) combines mentalism with cocktails; and At the Illusionists’ Table (through December 31) is dinner theater with some spellbinding twists.