Let’s face it. Magic hasn’t been the same since Harry Houdini shuffled off this mortal coil. Before Criss Angel was mind-freaking and David Blaine was locking himself in boxes in Central Park, Houdini was flirting with death while chained underwater in his classic Chinese water torture trick, escaping straitjackets with ease, and freeing himself from ropes as he dangled several feet above the stage. Houdini was and still is the benchmark for magic. Unfortunately, he once dared spectators to punch him in the gut as hard as they could. One day, somebody did. And he died. Oops. But now, through the magic of theater, Death and Harry Houdini, opening Thursday at the Arsht Center’s Carnival Studio Theater (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami), brings the great illusionist to life in a thrilling and fearless production that melds his life story with the very same stunts he performed, including the infamous water torture escape. Award-winning magician Dennis Watkins stars as Houdini in a show that promises drama, exhilaration, and spectacle. You know, everything you would get at an actual Harry Houdini show.
Thu., April 26, 7:30 p.m., 2012