Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Expecto Captiono (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Review)

Okay, so not going to lie, I spent way too much time trying to come up with a fun title for this review and this is what we got. I promise though that the rest of the review will be a lot better than this title.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge Harry Potter fan. I have every single Harry Potter movie downloaded on my laptop and we were the family that would preorder the books and fight over who would read the books first when they came out. When I heard that they were doing a play based on the epilogue in the final book, I was immediately interested in excited. As a disclaimer, I would suggest not reading the Cursed Child book if you think it's going to be cheesy. Just reading it, it does come off that way, but the way it's delivered on the stage it makes more sense.

When my dad said he was coming up for my 25th birthday and wanted to take me to a show, the only show that made sense that he would also like was Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. In case y'all weren't aware, it is a two part show so you have the option of either seeing one part a day or seeing both parts in one day. We choose to do both parts in one day because honestly that was the only option that worked with my schedule. It ended up working in our favor also because the night before we saw the show was when the blackout happened in the city and the show ended up getting canceled.

When you purchase the tickets, it's advised for you to show up to the theater an hour before the show. We got there around 12:50 for the 2 PM show and the line was already pretty lengthy. The reason they want you to get there an hour early is because they actually transformed the entire theater for the show and there are plenty of photo opportunities for you to participate in. The most popular one is a photo op as soon as you walk in where you can take pictures with your Hogwarts house.

There is also a dome-shaped room with patronuses on the wall where you can either take a picture with your favorite patronus or your official patronus. The theatre transformed the other side of the lobby area into a gift shop area where they not only have merchandise for the show, but also Hogwarts merchandise and the most diverse selection of merchandise for each Hogwarts house. My dad and I walked away with t-shirts for the show and keychains and pens for our houses.

For the show, we sat towards the back of the mezzanine and could see everything going on throughout the show. This was the first play I've ever seen on Broadway and so I went in with an open mind and just had to remember that there wouldn't be anyone singing throughout the show.

This show is a very technical heavy show and so the creative side of the show is really the stars of the show. Everything from the sets, to the props, to the lights and even the magic involved in the show wouldn't be possible without the creative team and the hundreds of unseen crew behind the scenes who run the show. What is different about this show than any other show, is that the whole theatre is the stage and the production incorporates the audience with the show.

I won't go into too much detail about everything because I don't want to spoil anything. There's also a common phrase from the show called #keepthesecrets and I'm going to uphold my end of that deal. But if you are interested in the journey from initial concept to where it is now as a Tony Award and Olivier Award winning play, check out this coffee table book (this book is similar to the coffee table books for Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen).

What I love about this show is that it picks up exactly where the epilogue leaves off with Albus Potter heading to Hogwarts for the first time. He becomes friends with Scorpio Malfoy, Draco's son and they find themselves in the same sticky situations that their fathers found themselves in when they were in school. All of our favorite characters from the original series makes appearances throughout the play and it's almost like coming back to a familiar setting after being away for a while, unless you're like me and rewatch the movies all the time.

The aspect I love so much about this show is how relatable they still make the characters and how the main theme of friendship is still ever present. Albus Potter is struggling with feeling like he's living under his dad's shadow, Draco is struggling to be a single father after losing his wife, and Harry is struggling with how to help his son out. It makes it feels so realistic and relatable that these beloved characters are going through similar things that we all go through.

Every actor on the stage does a great job of making each character they portray their own, but also staying true to the characters we grew up reading in the book. For this performance we saw James Snyder as Harry Potter, Nicholas Podany as Albus Potter, Alex Weisman as Scorpius Malfoy (on as the understudy), Jenny Jules as Hermione Granger, Matt Mueller as Ron Weasley, Nadia Brown as Rose Granger-Weasley, Erica Sweany as Ginny Potter (on as the understudy), and Jonno Roberts as Draco Malfoy.

This play is a great interpretation of what could happen after the book series finishes and is a great introduction to seeing plays on Broadway. This play is a great pick for Harry Potter lovers, but also for anyone who is doing a Broadway heavy trip to NYC who has time to see both parts in one trip.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is currently playing on Broadway, San Francisco, Australia and in London. Productions are also planned to run in Hamburg and Toronto.

Tickets are currently available for purchase through the shows website and the tickets are very reasonably priced for each show due to needing to see both parts.

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