Death & Harry Houdini


The story of history's most famous magician!


Written and Directed by Nathan Allen
Magic by Dennis Watkins


To continue celebrating 10 years of original plays, we present an all-new production of our very first show, Nathan Allen’s Death and Harry Houdini. This is the story of history’s most famous magician and his life-long war against Death. A ringmaster leads us through the events of Harry’s life, all told through stunning magic, poignant dialogue and original music. We travel from the untimely passing of his father, through his first tent shows with his younger brother Theo, meeting his wife Bess, and beginning a journey towards fame on the vaudeville circuit. All the while, Harry feels Death close on his heels and he won’t rest until he’s conquered him once and for all. Harry will walk on broken glass, swallow razor blades and risk his life in the Water Torture Cell, but will he pull off an escape from Death?


“A highly polished and visually thrilling show … strikingly well-designed and well-executed … MAGIC OF THE VERY HIGHEST ORDER!”
Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune


“…high energy and lack of artifice in a loose, buzzy blend of traditional storytelling, music and spectacle… A THRILLING RIDE”
Kris Vire, TimeOut Chicago


“‘Death and Harry Houdini’ soars on Dennis Watkins’ brilliance as a genuine magician and fearless stuntman…INGENIOUSLY WRITTEN AND DIRECTED by Nathan Allen.”
Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times


“The folks at the House Theatre of Chicago are celebrating their tenth anniversary by remounting their first show—and IT MAKES FOR A HELLUVA PARTY…Dennis Watkins is simply magnificent as Houdini.”
Kerry Ried, Chicago Reader

Show Dates: Jan 21 2012 to Apr 15 2012 Location:

The Chopin Theatre
1543 W. Division St., Chicago, IL





  • Jamie Lindemann
    Scenic Supervisor
  • Sarah Gilmore
    Sound Engineer
  • Will Dean
    Master Electrician
  • Mietka Ven der Ploeg
    Costume Manager
  • Sharon Limpert
    Wardrobe Supervisor
  • John Ford
  • Stage Manager
  • Kate Guthrie
    Assistant Stage Manager
  • HMS Media
    Video Production
  • Christie Wessling
    Video Editor


  • Assistant Director
  • Choreographer
  • Scenic Designer
  • Sally Weiss
    Assistant Scenic Designer
  • Costume Designer
  • Amy Prindle
    Costume Design Assistant
  • Angela M. Campos
    Props Master
  • Lighting Designer
  • Clare Roche
    Assistant Lighting Designer
  • Brett Schneider
    Assistant Magic Designer
  • Co-Sound Designer/Composer
  • Harrison Adams
    Co-Sound Designer
  • Joey Stone
    Assistant Choreographer