People Are Loving “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” on Broadway

The reviews are in for the first night’s performance of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” and they are great. Following the successful production of the play in London last year, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” opened at Broadway’s Lyric Theater Sunday. The play which was co-written by J.K. Rowling with Jack Thorne imagines Harry Potter and his friends from Hogwarts School reuniting 19 years later as they send their offspring off to their alma mater. Ticket holders are treated to 5 hours and 15 minutes of play time which can be seen in one day or on two consecutive days. It may seem like a big commitment for theater goers, especially parents of “Potterheads”, but the reviews are great.

Production

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” has an unprecedented budget for a non-musical, $68 million. The money is well spent. The scenery and lighting are amazing and the play’s theme of changing the past is poignant. The play is directed by Tony Award winner John Tiffany and features the work of illusionist Jamie Harrison and lighting by Neil Austin. Set designer Christine Jones brings to life platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station and Hogwarts School’s vaulted ceilings. The set features hidden sliding staircases which carry the theme of travel and a large ticking clock that brings to life the image of traveling back in time to change the future.

#KeeptheSecrets

The plot is meant to be kept secret. Play goers received buttons with #KeeptheSecrets written on them. Yet, the play has already been a big hit in London and there is a book of the play available. The play opens with 37 year old famous wizard Harry Potter (Jamie Parker) and his wife Ginny (Poppy Miller) dropping their son Albus (Sam Clement) off at Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station just as Harry was dropped off years before. Albus Sevares (named for Harry’s Hogwarts heroes Dumbledore and Snape) must head off to Wizardry School in the spotlight of his famous father. At the station the family meets up with friends Hermione (Nome Dumezweni) and husband Ron Weasley (Paul Thornley) with their daughter Rose (Susan Heyward. Also headed off to school is Scorpius (Anthony Boyle), son of Harry’s rival Draco Malfoy (Alex Price).

At school, Harry and Draco’s sons bond and become friends. They both have issues with their fathers and both are outcasts at the school. In order to make names for themselves, Albus and Scorpious plan to steal a coveted time turner in order to change the past. The young wizards in training want to save Cedric Diggory (Benjamin Wheelwright) who tragically died in a Quidditch championship game with Harry Potter nearly 2 decades before. The two soon find out that changing the past to alter the future is never a good idea.

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is an excellent production. The story is good. The acting is good. The production is high quality. The play may be long, but it moves along at a quick place. The magical quality of the scenery, lighting and illusions carries the viewer to a new dimension. Harry Potter books and movies have always crossed generations easily, and parents and children alike are set to enjoy the magic world of the legacy of Harry Potter.

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