#0 of 77 Gatlinburg Things To Do

Iris Theater

Iris Theater - Home of the Impossibilities Magic Show
Written by: Jasmin Diaz
Staff Score:
5.0 / 5
The Bottom Line:

If you're looking for an affordable, high-quality show that the whole family will love, it's hard to go wrong with the Impossibilities Show at the Iris Theater. Expect a small, intimate theater in which every seat has a great view, a world-class performer/illusionist/mentalist, and lots of audience participation. From mayhem to comedy to mind-reading, you'll find it here. 

- The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team

Looking for a show that you can enjoy with the entire family? Look no further! The Impossibilities Show at the Iris Theater seems to collect five-star reviews by the bucket. And we’ve confirmed that the show really is all it’s cracked up to be. Even locals have been known to visit on repeat.

The Iris Theater has been around for years, but it was recently renovated. It’s small, intimate, and well-designed, from the seating to the lighting and sets. Every seat is a good seat when the theater is so cozy. The Impossibilities Show, headlined by mentalist and illusionist Erik Dobell, consistently brings rave reviews pouring in. And because it’s clean, light, and family-friendly, it’s a great way to make memories with everyone along on your Gatlinburg trip.

There’s something for kids, teens, and adults to marvel at every few minutes as the show unfolds, along with a few gags just for fun thrown into the evening. Yet it’s not at all juvenile. Many visitors report that they expected the show to be a little cheesy because it’s so widely advertised as a family-friendly show, but even the most curmudgeonly of skeptics have found themselves laughing and enjoying the show just as much as their kids and teens.

The Impossibilities show lasts 75-90 minutes, and every minute is packed with action. Impossibilities advertises itself as serving up “reality-shattering, hilarious mayhem,” and it delivers on the promise. You’ll laugh, you’ll relax your shoulders, and chances are good you’ll tilt your head in consternation as you try to figure out just how Erik Dobell worked his wonders.

Dobell has quite a history of shows; he has toured all over the world, from Las Vegas to South Korea, and he has performed for world-class companies and events like the NFL, Goodyear, and Macy’s, bringing laughter and jaw drops to countless crowds. But he prefers small, intimate gatherings that allow for plenty of audience participation. Many repeat showgoers have concluded that Dobell excels in just the environment the Iris Theater provides.

Expect a great experience from the moment you book your tickets. The booking process is seamless, the staff are friendly and helpful, and there are multiple shows throughout the week, so chances are good you’ll be able to work one into your schedule. The theater itself is clean and well-designed, with fantastic sets and lighting that literally set the stage for a top-notch performance.


The Iris Theater is easy to find. It’s right at the base of the Gatlinburg Space Needle. The closest public parking lot is located at the Shade Tree Parking Lot, 120 Historic Nature Trail in Gatlinburg, and you’ll find plenty of shops and restaurants within easy walking distance if you want to stop and grab dinner before or after the show.

Insider Tip:
When you book your ticket, make sure to specify the ages of the people in your group; prices are lower for kids under 12, seniors over 65, and military servicemembers as well.