My husband’s birthday was this past weekend and I surprised him with tickets to Lee Terbosic’s show at Liberty Magic in downtown Pittsburgh. Liberty Magic just opened in February of this year, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

The theater is small, with less than 70 seats. The show is geared for those 18+, but children as young as 12 are permitted. There were a couple of kids in the audience around that 12 age when we went, and while a couple of jokes probably (hopefully) went over their heads, there was nothing that was totally inappropriate. It may vary by the magician, but I would have had no problem bringing a young teen to the show we saw.

When you walk in, the main lobby and the second room have walls filled with magic paraphernalia, which sets the tone well. There were also books, magic kits, cards and cards for sale. The theater is BYOB with a $5 per guest corkage fee. We didn’t take any alcohol, but there was water and pop available- for free – with the request that you only take one.

I bought our tickets early and got the upgraded skeleton key pass, so when we walked into the theater, two of the seats front and center were reserved with our name. While there is no bad seat in the audience, this is close-up magic and I think the extra $20-ish for the better seats was worth it.

Terbosic was a great entertainer. His act was funny and his tricks were amazing. He’s quite clear that everything is in front of your eyes, you just miss it. He’s quick and smooth and his stories and jokes keep the audience laughing. He’s a showman, and a good one. He’s also one of the two artistic directors for Liberty Magic, so I imagine future performers will be just as fantastic. He did card tricks, “mind-reading,” made a bowling ball appear out of a notebook. A bunch of members of the audience participated in the show, either from their seats (David) or being brought up on stage (me).

After the 60 minute show, our skeleton keys allowed us to go back to the parlor, where about 20 of us spent another 45 minutes with Terbosic. He answered questions, did some more tricks, told us stories, allowed us to take photos. He even showed us how to do a card trick. He also told us a little more about recreating 100 years later Houdini’s straitjacket escape that Houdini performed in Pittsburgh just down the block from Liberty Magic on Nov 6, 1916. He also talked about recreating some of Houdini’s other stunts for the television show, Houdini’s Last Secrets.

Photo from Nov 6, 1916 – Harry Houdini performs the strait jacket escape at the corner of Wood St and Liberty Ave in downtown Pittsburgh

I can’t say enough good things about Liberty Magic and Terbosic’s performance. If you’re local and get a chance, go see one of the magicians. Tickets are available for performances throughout spring and summer for Terbosic, Billy Kidd, Mark Toland, and Eric Jones.

And one last photo of Terbosic with David and me. Pittsburgh is lucky. There are only a handful of cities in the US with theaters dedicated to the art of magic.

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