House Theatre THE MAGIC PARLOUR Review – Celebrating 1,000 Shows

House Theatre Presents The Magic Parlour, celebrating its 1,000th performance and is as amazing as ever. Read our review of this special performance here!

Dennis Watkins stars in the Magic Parlour Photo: Rich Hein

The anticipation builds with the audience as we wait outside the doors of the State Ballroom. They have just closed the doors after the previous performance and are setting up for something special. This is THE MAGIC PARLOUR’S 1,000th performance and the magic has only just begun.

Grand Performance at the House Theatre

As the doors open wide for audience members, we’re greeted by the sight of gorgeous chandeliers of the Palmer House and welcomed with a specialty cocktail.

Now, this cocktail is magic one that has a special element where after you take a first sip, the next one after gives us a completely different flavor!


Dennis Watkins stars in the Magic Parlour Photo: Rich Hein

What a mind-boggling start to this magic show and that’s only the beginning of a show that dazzles from start to finish. This intimate magic show does not have any blinding special effects, doesn’t cater to a thousand people audience, and carries no pretense. THE MAGIC PARLOUR is a fun evening out led by a spectacular showman.

Dennis Watkins stars in the Magic Parlour Photo: Rich Hein

Dennis Watkins as Charming as Ever

Of course what would the show be without the star that brings it all together, Dennis Watkins. Watkins shares his story of how it was his dream to be a magician when he grew up and now as a professional one, his dreams have come true.

He tells us the only thing you really need for magic is the imagination, and proves it with each and every one of this tricks!

Cards will disappear and reappear, razor blades will be swallowed, and minds will be read.

Watkins has mastered every element of magic to give us a flawless performance. Nothing seems to throw him for a loop and he improvises like the best of them. His joy is infectious as he laughs and jokes with the audience. And the audience loves him right back, laughing at his jokes and mouths dropping in pure awe.

Even if you have seen the show before or had the chance to see him on Penn and Teller’s Fool Us (which you can watch linked in our previous review here), THE MAGIC PARLOUR is still sure to astound and amaze you. This show is a great fit for anyone looking for a delightful night out full of amazing sleight of hand magic.


Note: This is now added to the Picture this Post round up of BEST PLAYS IN CHICAGO, where it will remain until the end of the run. Click here to read – Top Picks for Theater in Chicago NOW – Chicago Plays PICTURE THIS POST Loves.


The Magic Parlour is an open-ended run
Fridays at 7:30p and 9:30p
Saturdays at 4:30p, 7:30p, and 9:30p


The Palmer House Hotel
17 E Monroe St.
Chicago, IL

Check for Half-Price Deals from Hot Tix:

Photos Rich Hein

Note: Excerpts of Picture this Post reviews appear in Theatre in Chicago.

Alexis Bugajski Photo: Liz Lin

About the Author

Alexis is a theater reviewer, travel bug, media specialist, and burger & beer enthusiast. During the day she works in the advertising business as a senior communications designer. When night falls, or when she can escape to New York, she’s hitting the theaters to see as many shows as she can. And whenever she’s not at her desk or in the audience, she’s out seeking the best burger and beer offerings in Chicago.

Editor's Note:  Click here to read more Picture this Post articles by Alexis Bugajski

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