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What are the BEST Magic Shows (in Philadelphia) for 2024?

Houdini with handcuffs in Philadelphia Pennsylvania

Today you will find great magic shows in Philadelphia including A Couple of Magicians, Smoke and Mirrors Magic Theatre, Shreeyash Palshikar, and more. And although you may not know it, Philadelphia was home to some rather famous magicians... some remembered and some forgotten. Raymond Joseph Teller of Penn and Teller fame is certainly one you may have heard of. Today, magic is going strong in Philly, so grab a Philly Cheesesteak, indulge in a Whoopie Pie, and visit one of these amazing magic shows. Here are the Best Magic Shows in Pennsylvania.

ALL Philadelphia Magic Shows TODAY

The City of Brotherly Love and Magic

Philadelphia's magical historical figures
From left to right: Raymond Joseph Teller, Jacob Philadelphia, Kellar

While Philadelphia might be the "City of Brotherly Love," it also has a history rich in magic. While not as magical in the modern sense, Philly started out as a hotly contested piece of land, between the native Delaware Nation and early Swedish settlers. Maybe they were irritated by the lack of lutefisk or just unwilling to live peacefully, but the Swedish settlers harnessed their inner Vikings, leading to multiple conflicts with the native peoples. The Delaware, though upset at the Swedish, had no qualms with English settlers and continued in their mystical traditions and daily lives.

The establishment of an independent United States government led to some family drama between parent nation England and this new unruly teenager demanding to be recognized as an independent nation. Philadelphia played a key role in the formation of this fledgling nation. Through a series of events—out gunned, out manned and out trained—the US pulled off the mother of all magic tricks and beat the pants off England. New country, new possibilities and a quickly growing population led to the growth of Philadelphia. As the city grew, so did the want for entertainment. Soon, magic shows were astounding audiences throughout Philadelphia.

Jacob Meyer was born in Philadelphia in 1735 and grew to become a famous magician, though he would later balk at that title. Meyer changed his name to Jacob Philadelphia and was even known as Philadelphus Philadelphia in a more dramatic title. A lover of the occult, Philadelphia traveled throughout Europe performing a myriad of feats ranging from mind reading to exorcising ghosts. Philadelphia's talent with the phantasmagorical made him famous.

Later magician Harry Kellar took his talents with misdirection magic and made himself and the city of Philadelphia famous. As Kellar grew in fame, he took a chance and opened an Egyptian Hall in 1884, making this venue the hot spot for magic in Philadelphia. The hall was closed after 264 performances but was later re-built and re-opened in 1891. Kellar was famous for his illusions and misdirection with his notable tricks like the Levitation of Princess Karnac, the Nested Boxes, and the Vanishing Lamp. His use of distraction left audiences speechless and mystified.

Moving into modern-day magic, a very quiet Raymond Joseph Teller from Philadelphia, practiced his form of odd-ball illusions that later landed him as the silent side-kick to a Mr. Jillette. Thus, the magical pairing of Penn and Teller was born. With skillful sleight of hand and illusions, Penn and Teller have become a staple in the world of magic. Nowadays, Philadelphia is the scene for smaller, more intimate magic shows, focusing on skill rather than showmanship. Philadelphia is and has always been a place of magic.

PAST Philly Magic Shows

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