Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents The Enigmatist

May 11, 2024
The Enigmatist at Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Chicago Shakespeare Theater is set to present The Enigmatist, an immersive and captivating experience of illusions, puzzles, and cryptology, written and performed by renowned magician and The New York Times crossword constructor David Kwong. Following sold out runs in New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., The Enigmatist plays May 29-June 30, 2024 in the Carl and Marilynn Thoma Theater Upstairs.

The Enigmatist at Chicago Shakespeare Theater

With his expertise in enigmas and illusions, David Kwong delights and challenges audiences around the world with his intellectual brand of magic. A veteran "cruciverbalist" (crossword puzzle constructor), Kwong routinely creates puzzles for The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Kwong was the head magic consultant on the 2013 worldwide hit film Now You See Me. Other projects include The Imitation Game, The Bad Guys, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, and Apple TV+'s The Afterparty (with his frequent collaborator Dave Shukan). A TED Talk favorite, Kwong regularly speaks to companies, demonstrating the principles of illusion and the science of why your brain is fooled. Kwong's book Spellbound: Seven Principles of Illusion to Captivate Audiences and Unlock the Secrets of Success was published by Harper Business. During the pandemic, Kwong and the Geffen Playhouse teamed up for Inside the Box, a virtual one-man puzzle show that garnered a Critic's Pick from The New York Times. Kwong is a graduate of Harvard University, where he studied the history of magic. His kids book of magic tricks, How to Fool Your Parents, also with HarperCollins, will hit shelves on October 8, 2024.

The Los Angeles Times raves that Kwong "creates a magical sense of togetherness" and The Washington Post calls the production "Mesmerizing...Kwong delivers trick after hypnotizing trick." The production features interactive opportunities for audiences to crack codes, including a pre-show Puzzle Garden experience in the Skyline Room. Attendees are encouraged to arrive at the Theater 20-30 minutes early to solve a series of puzzles that, while not mandatory to gain entry to the performance, enhance the overall experience of the show.