#137. “It’s magic!” is a phrase I like to use to describe things I can’t explain. It doesn’t matter what it is... computer glitch resolved, discovered last cookie, perfect hair day. Since childhood, I embrace the magical qualities of the unexpected. I legitimize any wondrous moment with the hocus pocus theory.
In September 2010, third generation magician Dennis Watkins entertained guests at The House Theatre of Chicago’s gala. The astonishing Watkins was hugely successful. From those efforts, THE MAGIC PARLOUR was conceived and mounted at Chopin Theatre. Since then, the one man show has moved to the elegant Palmer House and expanded to two Friday night shows. THE MAGIC PARLOUR is an extraordinary experience of mystical happenings and charming humor.
Guests gather at the Potter Lounge. The old-fashion bar is filled with leather-tufted sophistication. The historical and decadent ambiance sets the tone for an intimate evening of parlour tricks. Guests are ushered to the private suite of the evening. A black-tied Dennis Watkins personally greets guests to the party. The room holds about 35 guests with a private bar (drinks are included with the price of the ticket). Everything about the setting is other-worldly. It’s part homey small but on a grandeur scale. Watkins mingling with familiarity before, during and after the show is a throwback to a different time in life when small groups gathered for spectacular things to happen.
Watkins uses interactive techniques to keep the audience spellbound. Probably 50% of the guests participate in one of his feats. Watkins suitcase of tricks includes cards, blindfolds, duct tape, steel hoops, over-size balloons and toilet paper. Some of the illusions are mind-boggling amazing. Others are clever gags. And it’s all delivered by the charismatic Watkins. The fast-talking, fast-moving Watkins is a cross between Bob Hope and Houdini (Watkins is Houdini in The House show). He is a marveling showman. He conjures up comedy and magic with elegant flair! THE MAGIC PARLOUR is a perfect Friday night outing for dates, friends and families. Vanishing tickets are part of Watkins‘ allure so book soon!
“The point of all this is not to fool people, though fool them you must. The point is to help them imagine. There are too many people out there who get on stage, show some clever tricks and beg for applause. Don’t do that garbage. Give people a gift by letting them experience what they have forgotten: what it was like to be a kid. It’s about them. It’s never about you.” -Ed Watkins
SIDENOTE TO ED: Your grandson is giving people a one-size-fits-everyone gift. Dennis IS magic!
Rooted in all things analytical, Jasleen describes it with ‘skeptic turned believer.’
Running Time: Seventy-five minutes with no intermission
At The Palmer House, 17 E. Monroe
Conceived and performed by Dennis Watkins
Friday nights at 8pm and 10:30pm
Reserve Tickets at www.themagicparlourchicago.com