Throughout the experience that is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child my brain kept drifting to the thought that Harry Potter and his son Albus would be well advised to grab Draco Malfoy and his son Scorpius and go see Dear Evan Hansen together. A viewing of this show might have offered some pre-emptive strategies for these fathers and sons to better navigate their relationships and consider one another’s father and son perspective.
Upon further thought, the two shows have a staggering number of thematic similarities: delving into filial relationships, early childhood developmental repercussions, the searing pain of being alone and, even worse, lonely, and the, sometimes, ever-elusive goal of fitting in and yearning to be seen. Both shows experiment in different ways with characters revising history with varying consequences. I can picture the two casts gathering after the show in a talking circle addressing each other’s struggles being human. The vision of this and the ensuing conversation could keep my brain amused for a good long time.
How comforting to see the world’s most famous, but now middle-aged wizard – Harry Potter – struggle with this conundrum called parenting. No amount of wand waving or wizarding can ameliorate his relationship with his middle son (though his wand does do an excellent job at organizing his desktop!). Only time, introspection and some serious heart to hearts can fix the state of their union. Just like us muggles! Sort of gives one hope that though we all struggle, we will come out on the other side better for the experience.
How refreshing and just plain fun to go to a show that makes magic such an integral part of the Broadway stage, elevating the experience for each and every in awe audience member. There were many a collective gasp and ooh and ahh and inhales and exhales of surprise. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child pretty much covered the gamut of all things magical and wonderous. The floating and moving stairs, a critical part of the set, are cleverly stationed and re-stationed to showcase characters and to move the multi-layered plot along. A time turner is employed and re-employed until things are patched back to place using a powerful prism of energy to indicate the successful time transfer. Super cool identity changing potions and fireplaces that can be used as people portals are commonplace for them but super thrilling for the muggle filled audience.
The show had twinkly lights, seemingly floating pumpkins and dramatic and powerful dance performances that heightened the emotional quotient of the experience. Flashbacks in the form of dream sequences give the audience warm reminders as to why they fell in love with Harry Potter and his cast of associated characters in the first place and more closely connect you to the characters they have become on stage. The scene where Moaning Myrtle makes an appearance is worth the ticket price alone. Oh my! It was all quite magical really and a pretty wonderful way to spend 8 hours on a rainy Saturday in NYC.
If you love Harry Potter or magic or special effects or just an immersive experience at the theater then you pretty much have to grab your group and go see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One AND Two on Broadway now. The theater was fitted out to great expense to accommodate this show. It will be inhabiting that space for a good long time to come. It is something to be seen and felt and enjoyed and wonder, “How in the world did they do that?” Evan Hansen would love it! We should gift him some tickets.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a play in two parts. It is a time commitment, but a completely enjoyable way to spend time at the theater. When you buy a ticket you have the option of purchasing two consecutive performances or booking each part separately. See chart below for the performance schedule. I would recommend viewing it all in a single day. A. Because I would not have wanted to wait to find out what was going to happen and B. You are ensured the experience of a consistent cast which is helpful for storyline purposes and for general viewing pleasure.
For more information, click here for the official website. Right now there are tickets available for most weekday shows, though limited price points are available. Lots more options open up in February and beyond. Sign up here to receive the GYGG – to the Theater newsletter and we will let you know when new batches of tickets are released. Or, click here for updates on new ticket releases from Harry Potter on Broadway. Also note, while the theater recommends arrival at least one hour before the performance to read the “Showbill” as they call it, about half an hour will do.