Tag: The Magic Parlour
A Perfect Evening of Illusion and Laughter
|The House Theatre of Chicago presents|
|The Magic Parlour|
|Featuring Dennis Watkins
at Chopin Theatre, 1543 West Division (map)
through December 17 | tickets: $10-$25 | more info
Reviewed by Allegra Gallian
On Friday nights the basement of the Chopin Theatre is transformed into a space full of wonder, enchantment and intrigue. Beginning at 10:30 p.m. Dennis Watkins takes the stage for The Magic Parlour, a weekly, late-night magic show.
The basement space feels more like someone’s living room than a theatre venue. Around the stage are various rugs overlapping one another as well as comfy couches, chairs and tables. It’s a very intimate setting, creating a warm and inviting backdrop. As the crowd begins to fill in, the buzz runs throughout. Audience members range from children to adults and everyone is excited for the magical show they’re about to see.
The moment Watkins’ steps on the stage, it’s clear that he’s a character. He’s immediately charming and personable, warming the audience up with a clever comedic trick. It’s evident that Watkins’s is a talented performer and magician as he makes a torn up dollar bill reappear in a most unusual fashion.
Watkins’ reveals that he comes from a family of magicians as he bonds with the audience over life stories. His specialty is sleight of hand and the tricks he performs under this category are both crowd-pleasing and simply amazing. He’s incredibly talented at his craft, and there’s never any indication of how tricks are done or how they work. Nor is there any wish to know because the magic is too wonderful to be ruined.
Many of Watkins’ tricks involve audience participation, which not only adds another layer of entertainment, but it also furthers his connection and trust level with the audience. The interactive aspect is fun for both those involved and those watching the participation. Watkins does a great job of making his volunteers feel comfortable up on stage with him, easing any tension with jokes and humor. Crowd favorites include mind reading numbers, card tricks and tricks with money.
Watkins proves to be not only a magician but a comedian as well. In between and during tricks, he keeps the crowd doubled over with laughter and he recites joke after joke. During the hour-long show, I don’t think more than five minutes went by without something hilarious occurring. Watkins fills the entire space with his charming presence and personality. The hour flew by and I found myself wishing there was an encore performance.
Because he’s so talented, Watkins’ doesn’t need to employ a lot of fuss in order to wow the crowd. There aren’t major special effects or smoke and mirrors. It’s simply him on stage delivering his talent simply and wonderfully. Come enjoy 60-minutes of pure magic and laughter!
The Magic Parlour plays at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 West Division, through December 17 on Friday nights at 10:30 pm. Tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for students and can be purchased at the Chopin Theatre’s Web site.
The House announces an Open-Ended Run of The Magic Parlour
Originally intended to be a one-night-only benefit for The House Theatre of Chicago, The Magic Parlour has already proven to be so successful that The House is producing the show as Chicago’s only weekly late-night magic show!
Dennis Watkins, a third-generation magician, currently performs his one-man comedy magic show for corporate events and colleges all across the country. The performance contains some of his favorite pieces of magic, alongside some brand new routines in an hour-long show packed with mind-reading, levitations, escapes, and a ridiculous new adaptation of the classic “Card Stab” during which Watkins climbs inside of a fully inflated 7 foot balloon!
The show, intended for an audience of approximately 50, is hugely interactive. Guests of The Magic Parlour will participate by having their minds read, offering every day objects such as money, rings, or watches to be used as props, and even performing unexpected miracles through out the show.
The downstairs cabaret at The Chopin offers the perfect setting for this slightly timeless, quirky and unique event. With its comfortable seating, intimate stage and off-beat décor, the cabaret is the perfect venue for this style of magic.
Beer and wine are served before and after the performance.
When I was a kid my grandfather was my teacher. This show is a collection of some of the magic we developed together over the years. It’s also sprinkled with tidbits of his magical wisdom and some material he’s never seen, but would have really loved. It’s light, it’s fun, and it’s totally mind-boggling,” says Watkins.
WHEN: Every Friday night at 10:30 pm – STARTING SEPTEMBER 10
WHERE: The Chopin Theatre: 1543 W. Division, Chicago, IL
TICKETS: $25, available online at www.thehousetheatre.com or via phone at 773.769.3832
The Magic Parlor: An intimate evening of classical magic with Dennis Watkins
More info at www.thehousetheatre.com