Monday, August 23, 2010

The Magic Parlour with Dennis Watkins (Magic Show)

Being a grown up is hard. We have to work for money, get cancer, have children and take the bus to places we don't want to go to to, stand in lines for things we don't want including but not limited to passports, tampons and pawn shops. Everyday is a fucking struggle and it never gets easier until you are so old that you physically cannot wait in these lines anymore and then you die.

You also need to realize as an adult that all your struggles will never be avenged and there's a good chance that you will never find anyone to truly love you to at least share the misery of your life with.


My brain was filled with a pensive lachrymose when I arrived at the Chopin Theater on Friday. Just regular struggles of the day kind of stuff, and to top it all off, we had to go sit through a magic show. I wasn't in the mood for this. I would much rather sit across the street in that little triangle island on the corners of Division and Ashland and watch some crazy bumfights, but I had arrived too late. It was time for this stupid jerk magic show.

To be an adult is to not trust. To always look around your back for the next person who is trying to fuck you and steal your bike or girlfriend. You can't give in and relax because it could be your fatal final mistake.

A MAGIC SHOW!!? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! I'm here to watch a magician. Magician has become a bad word as an adult, because it means some goofball that opens at comedy clubs and probably touches kids.

Just as I was thinking about how much I hated magicians, Nathan Allen ran onstage. I know we make fun of this guy sometimes, but he really is a fat ugly jerk. But besides those things, Nate has a way to make you excited and happy about something you don't understand or particularly care about. Nate came out and started talking about a magician, but when Nate said "magician" it was exciting. The word felt new!

"This dude is a MAGICIAN!!!" He exclaimed!

And that's all it took for me to get on board. It's like going to a Crosby Stills and Nash concert with your parents and just being all drunk and mad you were ever born and then they play "Southern Cross" and all your troubles melt into the weird picnic basket your mother packed, because she sure as hell wasn't paying for tickets to see CSN without Neil Young, so you are sitting in the Winn-Dixie parking lot on the other side of the fence with some 4 hour old macaroni salad and a couple bottles of Mad Dog.

Dennis Watkins comes on stage. He is a regular looking dude. Handsome. He has one of those Garth Brooks microphones and a bright tie. The thing you quickly learn about him and magic is, the tricks haven't changed too much. Magic technology hasn't been a pressing issue I guess. They are all the same things you saw years ago (ring tricks, card tricks, explosions), but Watkins is much more charming and dynamic than the other guy you saw so not only is it cool, but you WANT to believe it. What is more engaging than the trick is his interaction with volunteers and the audience as a whole. He can work a room and the magic is flawless, I guess. I didn't know how it works and still don't, so to me, that makes it flawless.

But the best thing I can say about the show was, I felt like a kid again. I allowed myself to be excited and amazed by things I didn't understand instead of prejudiced and judging. I think we should all have a chance to feel like that every once in a while, and to share those moments with the people we love, and Watkins and the House Theater are giving us all that chance with this show.

Dennis Watkins is the "Southern Cross" of magic. He does all the old stuff but with new solos.

Go see it, yall.

The Magic Parlour at the House Theatre A+

-Anderson Lawfer, Eric Roach


  1. This reminded me of the time we went to see Muhammad Ali and he pulled a quarter out of your ear. I still smile when I think of that.


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