Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Broadway Review
Today, on July 31st and on a Tuesday no less, what better day than Harry Potter’s birthday to discuss the Broadway production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? As a recent NYC resident, I waited patiently (or sometimes impatiently) for the Harry Potter play to make its way over from the West End to Broadway. I read the play, waited in lines (online) attempting to get that golden ticket. Seriously, getting a ticket became akin to Hamilton unless you’re willing to spend a small fortune.
But, finally, in person, my sister, brother, and I were able to get the last tickets to a Saturday two-part performance. Indeed, we were able to sit in a private booth (at a discounted price) which was pretty cool. Sure, some views were obstructed. But, for the most part, everything about the experience was pure magic.
The Story – Mild Spoilers
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child begins with the final epilogue from the Deathly Hollows with Harry sending his son Albus off to Hogwarts for the first time. From there, Albus doesn’t exactly follow in his famous Dad’s footsteps. Instead, he gets sorted into Slytherin and becomes best friends with Draco Malfoy’s son Scorpius (who’s honestly WAY more interesting than Albus). Always in the shadow of his father, Albus is bullied and an outcast at his school. Thankfully, Scorpius is there as his best friend, a boy also bullied because of persistent rumors he’s Voldemort’s son.
The play also follows our favorite trio. Harry’s now the Head of Magical Law Enforcement, Ron helps run Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, and Hermione is the Ministry of Magic (because what else?). Together, they must once again fight a returning evil when a powerful time-turner surfaces. Someone wants to change the past and bring back Lord Voldemort to power, but who?
In the meantime, Harry’s relationship with his son Albus worsens when Albus overhears Harry say that sometimes he wished Albus wasn’t his son. At this point, Albus decides to be a hero himself and with his best friend Scorpius go back in time to save Cedric Diggory, to return him to a distraught father. But when they change the past, a ripple effect changes everything. How can Scorpius and Albus save the wizarding world from a dark magic before it’s too late? And how can a father and son reunite before their relationship is completely destroyed?
Several of the original West End cast members of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child transitioned to Broadway. And after seeing the cast in person, I understand why this was necessary. Reading the play just can’t compare to hearing the words spoken aloud. You miss the nuances, the irony, the humor, and pure emotion. Jamie Parker as the adult Harry Potter is brilliant, expressive, and authentic. I believed he was Harry Potter up there on the stage.
Then there’s Paul Thornley as Ron. Hilarious. And his chemistry with Hermione’s spot on. I actually found their chemistry more believable than the chemistry between Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. And speaking of Hermione, Noma Dumezweni’s a revelation in the role. She IS Hermione. Simply amazing. She brought out all of Hermione’s ticks in a really clever way. Love her. In fact, the way these top three actors interacted was simply magical, so magical I wish everyone could see them in these iconic roles.
For Period Drama and British television enthusiasts, you may recognize Alex Price as Draco Malfoy. It was halfway through the first half when I realized I recognized him from Being Human, Doctor Who, Father Brown, Penny Dreadful, and more. Here, Draco gets to be more human (thanks to both the script and performance) but still Draco at the same time. Fans of Draco will love his portrayal of the role and the characterization given to the character.
As for the two new leading characters, Albus and Scorpius, both actors do a fantastic job. But it’s Anthony Boyle as Scorpius who steals the show. His wit and timing are so engrossing that you can’t help but love and root for him. I would even go so far as to say that Scorpius is the real hero of the show. Seriously, just trust me on this one. You will love him!
Other favorites may or may not make an appearance…
The Special Effects
Okay, so while the performances were amazing, the special effects will blow your mind. It’s like watching real magic on stage. The illusions are astonishing. Flying dementors, magical vanishings, and even a Polyjuice potion transformation. But what I can’t wrap my head around is the what happens when they travel back in time. I won’t say anything more than that because you really have to see it for yourself. #Keepthesecrets
Without giving too much away, I can safely say that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’s an innovative masterpiece. It transforms the theater into real magic, creating something entirely new and unique. The play’s special and so wonderfully imaginative that even the naysayers who only read the script can appreciate it. Everything, including the themes, make more sense visually. Trust me. It’s a once in lifetime experience everyone needs to experience for themselves.
Overall, there’s nothing like going to Hogwarts in person and revisiting favorite scenes from one of the best book series of all time. If you have a chance, make it a priority to watch J.K. Rowling and Jack Thorne’s masterful play in person. You won’t regret it. In fact, it will be a memory you’ll never forget.
Content Note: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child deals with very dark themes. There are also moments of terror that would not suit younger children. There’s an age restriction on this one for a reason.
Where to See the Play: Go to the global website HERE to find out where you can see the play around the world (with different casts, of course). New locations coming soon!
What are your thoughts on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? Be sure to share your own experiences…
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