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The Magnificents

The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County and The House Theatre of Chicago are proud to present the regional premiere of The Magnificents, an original story by illusionist Dennis Watkins (Death and Harry Houdini). Playing April 8 – May 3, 2015 in the intimate Carnival Studio Theater (Ziff Ballet Opera House), The Magnificents continues the Arsht Center’s highly acclaimed Theater Up Close Series which features artistic collaborations from stellar local theater ensembles and nationally acclaimed theater companies. 

The Magnificents is playwright Dennis Watkins’ homage to his grandfather, Ed Watkins, the beloved Texas sleight of hand artist who trained Dennis at a young age in the arts of prestidigitation and showmanship. The House’s artistic director Nathan Allen has shaped this new production as director, and company member Chris Mathews plays the role of the Boy, performing astounding magical feats all designed by Watkins.   

Following the smash, sold-out hit, Death and Harry Houdini, real-life third generation magician Dennis Watkins reappears in The Magnifients, a tale about an extraordinary family that delights in bringing magical entertainment to the crowds. As their glory and popularity begin to fade, the aging star of the show takes a young boy under his wing and teaches him all his tricks – and much more. This touching story of the legacy we can leave before we let go is told in spectacular style, with aerial circus arts, film components and stunning feats of magic – including Watkins vanishing before the audience’s very eyes! “The Magnificents is one of The House’s very favorite creations,” remarked Nathan Allen. “Dennis has brought together generations of his own magical traditions into a deceptively simple love letter to both his family and to growing up with art. Anyone who loves magic will be stupefied, and anyone who has admired and lost a loved one will be moved.”

 “It’s always a pleasure to welcome The House Theatre of Chicago back to the Arsht Center,” said Scott Shiller, executive vice president of the Adrienne Arsht Center. “For our fifth collaboration, fans of our sold-out production of Death and Harry Houdini will be thrilled to see the amazing Dennis Watkins back in action – The Magnifients is a stirring, jaw-dropping spectacle not to be missed! We also look forward to The House’s The Hammer Trinity, a trilogy of plays commissioned by the Arsht Center to be presented in 2016 as part of our 10th anniversary season.”

Tickets to The Magnifients are $50* and may be purchased through the Adrienne Arsht Center box office by calling (305) 949-6722 or online at  Set in the heart of downtown Miami and designed by world-renowned architect Cesar Pelli, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is one of the world’s leading performing arts organizations and venues. Since opening in 2006, the Arsht Center, a 501C3 non-profit organization, has emerged as a leader in presenting innovative programming that mirrors South Florida’s diversity as well as a catalyst for billions of dollars in new development in the downtown area.

Spotlighting legends and serving as a launch pad for local artists to make their mark on the international stage, the Arsht Center presents nearly 500 events each year across its eight flexible, state-of-the-art performance spaces. The Center programs 12 signature series, including the largest jazz series in South Florida, the biggest flamenco festival on the East Coast, and a robust program of new theatrical works as well as free programming for the community and an arts education program that serves nearly 30,000 children each year. As Miami’s new Town Square, the Arsht Center also houses Brava!, a fine dining restaurant; the Café at Books & Books in the historic Carnival Tower and a weekly Farmers Market. Visit for more information. 

The House is Chicago’s premier home for intimate, original works of epic story and stagecraft. Founded and led by Artistic Director Nathan Allen and driven by an interdisciplinary ensemble of Chicago’s next generation of great storytellers, The House aims to become a laboratory and platform for the evolution of the American theatre as an inclusive and popular artform.  The House was founded in 2001 by a group of friends to explore connections between Community and Storytelling through a unique theatrical experience. Since becoming eligible in 2004, The House has been nominated for 60 Joseph Jefferson Awards (21 wins) and became the first recipient of Broadway in Chicago’s Emerging Theater Award in 2007, and was awarded a 2014 National Theatre Company Grant by the American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards. Now in its 13th year of original work, The House continues its mission to unite Chicago in the spirit of Community through amazing feats of Storytelling.