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Theater Review: Death and Harry Houdini

Death and Harry Houdini – Chicago’s House Theatre

Photo 1Tweetable Review: With magic in its cast & production House Theatre’s Death and Harry Houdini will transport audiences without ever leaving the theater.

Can anything still draw the attention of all ages to witness spectacle and wonderment? Does magic really exist or has the cynical World of today’s Hollywoods’ blockbusters and over-the-top CGI technology taken the attention away from real-life illusions and simplistic slight of hand tricks?  Well, by the look on audiences’ faces of the recent sold out previews at House Theatre – the answer is an emphatic yes; magic is real and its more than captivating.

From the very get-go, Writer-Director Nathan Allen, has taken to a wonderful task of playing Houdini to as many sides of the theater as possible so each and every audience member feels involved in the full experience of this piece, and it is gratefully appreciated. Additionally, audiences are smartly treated to magic tricks written into the fabric of the show that are motivated by character and story rather than just for effect.

From a production standpoint, House Theatre hasn’t changed much from it’s previous engagement of this show since last year – and that is a wonderful thing. From the time audiences enter the playing space to the the very last bow, every element of Houdinihas been thought-on,  to enhance the audience’s experience, and the effort should be highly applauded. The elements that this review would love to uncover would ruin the show’s mystique so we will just note that House Theatre has always been known for their high production values and Death and Harry Houdini easily pins a feather in the cap of the company. Finally, Dennis Watkins (Houdini) is extremely memorable, impactful and is a huge reason that you will be happy you see this show.

It’s true that some times lightning strikes twice – its rare in the wild, and even rarer with theatre, but Death and Harry Houdini sets itself up for being the pride of what great Storefront Theatre  can be for years to come in Chicago. As such, please get to see if this show (even if you have already) as the Chopin Theatre venue could certainly catch on fire for another run.

Note this is a partial review, please  click HERE to read full review at Fresh Roasted Films.

~ Matt Miles, 24/7 Contributor
Producer of Fresh Roasted Films

Fresh Roasted Rating: Highly Recommended

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When: Through August 11
Where: Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St.
Running time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
Tickets: $25 at 773-769-3832 or thehousetheatre.com

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