Restaurants and Clubs
Bill was a regular performer at the Historic Magic Bars of Chicago:
Little Bit O’ Magic - These three restaurants, located on Southwest Side of Chicago, were Magic/Comedy Clubs. The first LBOM was where Bill got "his big start" performing close-up magic table-to-table and magic/comedy on stage. At the second LBOM, he performed close-up magic and MC duties (and at times, his magic/comedy act) for the week-end comedy shows. In his three year at the last place, known as Bit O' Magic (apparently, they lost the original sign), he performed close-up magic and again stepped into the role as MC as well as being a regularly featured act on the week-end Magic/Comedy Shows.
New York Lounge - opened in 1945 and closed in 1985, the New York Lounge was known as the place where "It's Fun to Be Fooled". With a crew of magician bartenders behind its oval-shaped bar, the close-up magic and laughs were non-stop until its 4:00 AM closing time. Bill worked Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights at the New York Lounge for a little over a year, in 1979 and 1980.
Houdini's Pub - this restaurant was the South Suburb's version of Little Bit O' Magic. While he was also working the weekends at the second Little Bit O' Magic, Bill worked at Houdini's on Thursday nights performing close-up-magic.
Schulien's Restaurant and Saloon - established in 1886, this restaurant presented magic for its patrons starting in 1915. The Schulien card tricks were world famous and were featured nationally on television network shows, magazines and the popular Schlitz television commercials. Schulien's also employed the best magicians in Chicago area to entertain their customers. Bill became "a Schulien's magician" in 1991 and continued to work there performing close-up magic until Schulien’s closed in 1999.
To read about the history, performers, and magic of the Historic Magic Bars of Chicago, see Bill’s book Now You See Them, Now You Don’t described on the BOOKS page.
The Chicago Magic Lounge - opened in March 2015, the Uptown Underground Theater hosted The Chicago Magic Lounge every Thursday and Saturday until EOY 2017 recapturing Chicago’s old-school magic bars with a night full of close up magic, bar magic, and main stage acts. Go to the Gallery tab to see photos of Bill performing Close-Up Magic at the tables, Comedy-Magic on the stage, and New York Lounge-style Magic at the bar.
In February 2018, the CML opened in its own home, a multi-million dollar custom-built theater, offering more nights for it to showcase its particular brand of magic and fun to Chicago audiences. Bill performed weekly at the new CML on Monday's "Jazz Night" until he moved to TN in June 2018.
For more about Bill at the CML, click this button:
Bill performs at the Chicago Magic Lounge 1.0
on Andrew Zimmern's Driven by Food
(The Travel Channel).
Bill also worked regularly at other notable restaurants and clubs, such as: Timothy O’Toole’s (Chicago), Plentywood Restaurant (Bensenville, IL), Boogie's Diner (Chicago, IL), Paiges (Orland Park, IL), Half Way Inn (Chicago, IL), and Carlos Murphy Restaurants (Schaumburg IL and Downers Grove, IL)
Bill performs walk-around close-up at corporate and private parties. People like to laugh and be fooled by good close-up magic, whether it's at a big corporate function (like the ones he worked for 3M, Allstate, AT&T, Citicorp, and Walgreens) or a private house party.
From the late 70's until the early 90's, Bill performed at Comedy Clubs/Nights throughout the MidWest United States. Here’s a partial list: Barrel of Laughs (Oak Lawn, IL), Blue Suede Shoes (Franklin, WI and Rockford, IL), Comedy Café (Milwaukee, WI), Overpass Nightclub (Terre Haute, IN), Poor Richard's Pub (Gurnee, IL), The Place (Kenosha, WI), Wacko's Comedy Shop (Berwyn, IL) and Who's On First (Elmhurst, IL)
Bill partnered with William Pack as Two Guys Named Bill to present two comedy and magic presentations for Chicago audiences: Fakes, Frauds and TV Magic at The Organic Theater and Chicago Vaudeville Nights at The Wing and Grove Theater.
On the Bill and Wendy Show on WLUP (97.9 FM), Bill and William Pack performed, along with the home radio audience, a card trick to promote Fakes, Frauds and TV Magic.
Bill has performed on local television, including The Bozo Show (WGN-TV) and Jammin' Kay Cammon's Show Buzzz.
Bill and his magic have appeared in newspaper stories, including the Chicago Sun-Times Weekend Plus story on Magic in Chicago in 1995