By Lisa Petrillo

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Award-winning magician Dennis Watkins takes on the lead role of the master magician in “ Death and Harry Houdini” now at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

“It’s the story of Harry Houdini from birth all the way to his death and frankly it explores his very real battle with death from the time he was a child until 1926,” said Watkins.

Watkins is a 3rd generation magician and has admired Houdini his entire life.

“His key was that he brought something new into the world of magic which was the art of escapism. We perform magic that people don’t see anymore. We appear and disappear. We do close-up sleight of hand magic, there’s a walk on broken glass,” he said.

Yes, Watkins walks and jumps on real jagged pieces of glass. As if that wasn’t dangerous enough, he performs Houdini’s famous water torture cell escape which even he admits has a real element of danger to it.

“There are no two ways about it. Yes, you’re getting locked upside down in a tank full of water and sadly there is nothing safe about that,” said Watkins.

“Death and Harry Houdini” will be at the Adrienne Arsht Center through May 21st.

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Lisa Petrillo