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

Magician with crystal ball in Phoenix

During the summer when it is hot and dusty outside, head inside where it is cool. Catch a movie, enjoy a Phoenix dinner show, or up the ante with one of Phoenix's favorite magic acts, which include the Carnival of Illusion Theater, Eric Giliam, or one of many touring artists. We've compiled a list of the best Phoenix magic shows so that snowbirds and locals alike can add a little excitement to their entertainment schedule. Phoenix gets a lot of traveling illusion shows as well as having some great long-standing acts that thrill audiences week after week. Keep checking back to see who might be coming to town. Phoenix may be hot, dusty and dry, but we're here to help you whet your appetite for some great magic.

ALL Phoenix Magic Shows TODAY

Phoenix & Scottsdale Arizona Magic History

Phoenix's magical historical figures
From left to right: Bert Easley, Jack Sutherland, Danny Dew

Arizona holds a peculiar beauty and magic—from the Grand Canyon to the petrified forest—it's an unusual place to find this mix. Most people wouldn't think of the desert as in this way, but Phoenix, Arizona is exactly that, a place of beauty and steeped in magic.

Way, way, waaayy, back in history there was a large patch of desert that looked great to the native peoples. So, they decided to build a civilization that thrived. Starting with the Hohokam tribe, who broke ground in the greater Phoenix area, they were eventually succeeded by the O'odham and other tribes. The heavy use of canals to divert water and make the ground farmable was a modern engineering feat that must have looked like magic to the newer kids on the block—the Spanish. And like almost every historical tale of discover and conquer, the Spanish showed up to claim that dry and dusty land for Spain. Maybe they realized it was really hot, or they couldn't figure out the magic of using canals, but they didn't do much exploring and/or building before 1800. Though with their "advanced" technology they must have appeared very magical to the native peoples.

As westward expansion thrived, people wanted the thrill of living on the surface of the sun, so they migrated to Phoenix in hopes of making a good life for themselves. And then it happened, the late 1800s saw Phoenix and the surrounding areas become incorporated into a city. Fast forward a century with the inclusion of the railroad and abracadabra, Phoenix is a thriving city. Post World War II saw the city swell with GI's returning to the land where they were trained. Shops, businesses, and entertainment also swelled to meet the demand of a growing city.

One pioneering magic entertainer was Bert Easley. Born in 1904 in Shawnee, OK, Bert migrated to Arizona in 1917 and started performing magic tricks during the Great Depression. Changing his focus from song and dance to magic, meant he had a paying job at a time when there were too many entertainers, none of which were making any money. Bert worked as a professional magician until 1947, when he returned to Arizona and opened his much beloved Bert Easley's Fun Shop in Phoenix.

Jack Sutherland was one of Easley's best salesmen and a practiced magician. He had a slick, almost Vegas style about him, and he was to become good friends with Harry Anderson, a well-known actor and magician in his own right. Jack loved to crack jokes and help the up-and-coming magicians learn new techniques and illusions. Jack eventually left Easley's to start his own business called Sun Magic. All seemed well in Jack's world until the fateful day when he was murdered. He was unable to magically dodge the bullet that killed him, shot by a jealous ex-boyfriend of his then wife.

Another magician who helped shape the Phoenix magic scene was Danny Dew. Danny was born in Mississippi but studied dance in St. Louis, before joining the Vaudeville scene. As part of Vaudeville, Danny fell in love with magic and started to study. He studied under greats like Vernon, Silent Mora, and Emil Jarrow and quickly became a talented performer. He and his wife settled in Arizona in 1944 and he continued to wow audiences with his magic. Contemporaries Bert and Danny weren't satisfied with simply pulling rabbits out of hats, and so they formed a magic club called Ring 55. The original founders were known as the Mystic 13 and oddly enough, very little is known about this mysterious founding group. Later, the group became part of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and rebranded themselves as IBM Ring 55 Magic Club. The club is still active today with some of the best magicians the area has to offer.

Today, there is no shortage of entertaining and mind-bending magic shows and illusionists. Artists like Carnival of Illusion, or other world-class acts, perform regularly for those who live in Phoenix or are just passing through. Phoenix truly is a place of magic.

PAST Scottsdale & Phoenix Arizona Magic Shows

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