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Magic on the Midway

I would like to send a special Thank You to the folks at the Chicago Parks District for having us out to perform the Water Torture Cell last weekend!

With the help of ComEd and The House Theatre of Chicago, we were able to bring a terrific, hour-long magic show featuring Houdini’s Water Torture Cell to the Midway Plaisance in Chicago’s Hyde Park.



We had a crowd of over 300 folks from all over Chicago.  The day was clear, bright and sunny, so the event went off without a hitch.



Another special Thank You goes to the Chicago Flyhouse, who built our truss, hung our motor, and provided the support to keep me alive through the escape.  Thanks, guys!

“Death and Harry Houdini” officially closed last weekend.  So, this Chicago magician gets to take some time off from the underwater escapes and walking on glass.  A few months on the road providing entertainment for corporate events, trade shows and colleges sounds like a much needed break from holding my breath and dodging death!

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Death and Harry Houdini on CBS


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Houdini has returned!

I’m thrilled that Death and Harry Houdini has officially opened here in Chicago!  After three great, sold-out runs last year, The House Theatre of Chicago decided to bring Houdini back for the summer.

Tickets are moving fast, so get yours now!



For those of you who have seen previous productions, there’s some terrific new magic in the show!  The levitation pictured above is one of our new additions.  Though Harry never performed this illusion, Nathan Allen and the team at The House found a great, dream-like use for the illusion and it fits seamlessly into the show.


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The Magic Parlour on Concierge Preferred

A special Thank You goes out to Karen Farmer, who talked about The Magic Parlour on Concierge Preferred.


Thanks, Karen!  I’m glad you enjoyed the show!

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Death and Harry Houdini returns…AGAIN!

Hello and Happy Tax Day!

This post actually has nothing to do with taxes…I promise!  It’s just a little update from yours truly.

I’m thrilled to tell you that The House Theatre’s production of Death and Harry Houdini will re-open in Chicago this summer!  If you missed it last year, book your tickets now to see 2 hours of classic magic and thrilling escapes, including Houdini’s infamous WATER TORTURE CELL!

I’ve had a terrific year collaborating with The House and am very excited about the return of “Houdini.”  Another exciting project was the fundraiser The House produced just a few weeks back in the Palmer House Hilton’s historic Empire Room.  The House asked if I would perform a special Magic Parlour performance for this event.  After a few meetings, we decided to integrate the fundraising directly into the show, creating a magical paddle-raiser, of sorts.

It was a blast creating the show and, I’m happy to report that The House’s fundraiserraised almost 6 times its goal!

Additionally, Chicago’s hit magic show,  The Magic Parlour continues its run at the Palmer House Hilton.  A big Thank You goes out to The House for helping grow this special show.

And, I’m still hustling as a corporate entertainer, taking my magic show to corporate events and colleges from coast to coast.  Just last week, I performed for three colleges in New York State, a corporate convention in Baltimore, a trade show in Chicago, and a corporate dinner event in Kansas City.

So, if you’re not in Chicago, I’ll come to you!  Let me know if your company or school has an upcoming event that could use a world-class magician and mentalist and let’s get it on the calendar!

Hope to see you soon!

Dennis Watkins

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Flat Jacob tours the US

A friend of mine called me a few weeks ago because a young family member was participating in a school project based on FLAT STANLEY.  All of the kids in his class created flat paper versions of themselves and, over the course of a few months, recorded the adventures of their paper selves through writing, photography and videos.

My friend knew I was about to depart on a long tour of shows that started in LA and went all the way to New York.  So, he asked if I would take Flat Jacob with me.

Thrilled to have a travel partner, I obliged.  Flat Jacob and I flew to LA, then to Buffalo, NY, down to Washington, DC, returned to Chicago for a day, then flew to Kansas City.

He was a huge help.  In fact, here’s a picture of Flat Jacob running sound for one of my shows:







Thanks, Flat Jacob.  You were a huge help!

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Windy City Live features The Magnificents!

Windy City Live Features The Magnificents!  Coverage of the show starts at about 1:55.

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The Magnificents is up and running


Most of my work is in the corporate events and college markets.  As a magician and mentalist, I bring world-class entertainment to events large and small from coast to coast.  And I truly love doing it!

However, I’ve also spent 10 years working with The House Theatre of Chicago creating original plays that use magic, spectacle, music and more to stage amazing feats of storytelling.  The House is now producing The Magnificents, written by yours truly.

Get tickets at

Here’s a bit of what the press has said about the show:

“The idea of a make-your-own-family is POWERFUL. I laughed, I cried, I wondered. Right now, The Magnificents may be THE BEST SHOW ON EARTH!”
– Fourth Walsh

“TOP-DRAWER MAGIC from the formidable Watkins repertoire (more than enough to GREATLY ENTERTAIN most magic-loving folks of all ages)”
– Chicago Tribune

With “mind-boggling old-school magic tricks, The Magnificents earns its title.”
– TimeOut Chicago

“The story is HEARTWARMING and engaging. The magic will BLOW YOU AWAY!”
– Chicago Critic

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Magic Rabbits

Believe it or not, I’ve been a magician my whole life and have never used a rabbit in any of my shows.  Doves, canaries, cockatiels, parakeets…sure.  But no rabbits.


The House Theatre of Chicago is now in rehearsal for a show I’m writing called The Magnificents.  Like a fool, I wrote a magic trick with a bunny into the show.  Now, this little creature lives in my kitchen:


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The Magic Parlour on New Year’s Eve!

Magician and Mentalist Dennis Watkins, performing every week at The Palmer House Hilton, Chicago

I just checked in with the box office and learned that The Magic Parlour is completely sold out on New Year’s Eve!


New Year’s Eve of 2012 was the FIRST Magic Parlour at its new home, The Palmer House Hilton.  We’re thrilled that the show has settled in at the hotel and look forward to another great year there!


The House Theatre of Chicago is the producer behind The Magic Parlour.  My work with The House will continue this year with an  all new production of The Magnificents, written by yours truly.  It’s a play inspired by my grandfather and teacher Ed Watkins.  Packed full of heart and magic, this show promises to be a great ride.


Check it out:  The Magnificents


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