Do you believe in magic? Not the Harry Potter type, but the Houdini type – slight of hand, illusions and physical feats. As somebody who celebrates the complete fatherly catalog of Modern Family’s Phil Dunphy (amateur magician/magic enthusiast), I thought it was cool to see my son take an interest in magic recently. And I had zero influence on that. He found some videos on YouTube, and became intrigued. I dug out a couple of old books of magic tricks I had purchased many years ago, and we practiced a few tricks together (tricks with cards and coins – things we had around the house). It was outstanding – we were doing something new together and he was feeling confident having learned a new skill.
The Magic Shop and Theater
When my son’s new interest lasted longer than a couple weeks, it was time to see if we could find some new magic gear for him. A quick search revealed there’s one magic shop in Reno – Impossible’s Magic Shop and Theater. Lucky for us, it’s a good one! The shop itself contains a number of the standard fare of playing cards and magic wands. But the walls and cases are also adorned with dozens of other little magic tricks. After getting several of these, we were on our way to the beginnings of a magic kit. A bag of tricks, if you will.
What’s great about the shop is that it’s also a magic museum and theater. The museum is pretty small, but it’s free to tour and it’s just what you’d hope for in a magic museum – dim lighting, ornate and gilded wallpaper, relics of magic tricks, and even a snake. Justin Impossible, owner of Impossible’s Magic Shop and Theater, is a third generation magician, learning magic from his grandfather. The theater is intimate – I’m guessing it fits 75-100 people, but it’s really just the right size. Magic is no fun if you’re sitting in the nosebleeds, wondering what’s happening on stage.
There’s a 1-hour show (a 3:00pm and a 7:00pm) once a month at Impossible’s Magic Shop and Theater. After checking out the shop and museum, the week prior, we booked our tickets so my boys could see their first magic show in person. We attended the 3:00 show – the doors opened at 2:30, and after arriving at 2:37, nearly all of the front row seats were taken (you can just put your coat on the seat to reserve it – first come, first served). So, get there early if you want that front row seat. While you’re waiting, you can check out the shop and the museum.
The lights dimmed, and the curtains parted, and out came Justin Impossible. For this show, he shared the screen with fellow magician Jacques Simard. They both like to bring humor to the show – Justin’s is a bit of a cool and guileful humor, while Jacques’ humor is a bit more pronounced. But, it all makes for a very laid back and fun atmosphere. The show is VERY interactive. They involve the audience in nearly every part of their performance, often coming out into the audience and bringing people up on stage. I’d guess most people in the audience had an opportunity to be a part of the show in one way or another.
Everyone in my family (my wife, two boys, and I) participated in multiple parts of the show. For my sons, they couldn’t have been more thrilled (at one point, Jacques “levitated” my oldest son – the aspiring magician). For me, I’m still scratching my head about how Justin pulled off the trick that he did. And that’s what helped make it such a great show. I didn’t really know what to expect going in – perhaps we were going to see the old rabbit in the hat and some card tricks. I figured it’d be some tricks I could see right through. Granted, there are a handful of tricks that you sort of guess how they’re done, but the majority are really outstanding illusions and magic tricks (for kids and adults alike). I was pleasantly surprised.
The cost of the show is reasonable – $15 for adults and $10 for children. Well worth the 1-hour (a bit more than an hour for our show) of entertainment. You can see the upcoming show schedule on their website. You’ll walk away feeling as though magic is alive. The kids will be starry eyed and surging with excitement at what they’ve just witnessed. Even if your little one isn’t exploring with magic of their own, I think they’ll enjoy this unique Reno experience.