Let’s start by saying that I have seen all the Harry Potter movies and I have enjoyed them. Let’s also start by saying that I never read any of the books. Let me finally say that you do not have to read the books nor see the movies to realize that this play is very special.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is not just a play. It is a phenomenal theatrical experience. The story is crisp. The acting is excellent. The special effects are dazzling – especially when characters are morphing into other characters.
The play focuses on the adult Harry Potter who is now working for the Ministry of Magic and is a husband and father of three school-age children. Harry has a most difficult relationship with his youngest son, Albus. Albus struggles in the shadows of his famous father and does not want to be part of that magical world. To make matters more complicated, he is thrust into the House of Slytherin, one of four student houses of Hogwarts Academy. While his father was a product of Gryffindor, known for it bravery and valor, Slytherin has a darker side. Little Albus is paired off with Scorpius Malfoy,whose father Darco, is a rival of Harry. However, the boys get along well, become best friends and the story goes on from there. Suffice it to say that Albus is more like his father than they both think.
I won’t go into the plot too much here. For the fans of Harry Potter, Hermione, Ron, Hagrid, Dumbledore, Voldemort, Professors Snape and McGonagall and even Delores Umbrage are part of this story that transcends from past to present and back to past seamlessly. For those of you who know nothing of Harry Potter, you will be able to follow the story easily. My friend Grace knows nothing of Harry Potter and she was smiling ear to ear.
The performances are just fantastic. The adults, Jaime Parker (Harry), Paul Thornley (Ron) and Noma Dumezweni (Hermione) did a wonderful job. Sam Clemmett who plays Albus is delightfully conflicted and Alex Price is superb as Scorpius.
So – is there a down side? The play runs in two parts, which means you have to buy two tickets which can be expensive. We chose to be there on a Saturday matinee and evening. While one would think that this is exhausting, I found myself so entertained and intrigued that the time passed quickly – in fact – so much so that I did not want it to end.
There is a magic in the air at the Lyric theater. It starts outside in the long lines to get in. The lobby has a room full of refreshments, a bar and a very long shopping filled with Harry Potter merchandise. Maybe you want a wand or a hat, a scarf or a shirt. Anything Potter is up for grabs. Many die hard fans changed their clothes and donned their Potter wardrobe for Part II.
SO- would I recommend this? YES!! If you are a fan, you must see this. If you know nothing about Harry Potter, this will introduce you to the world to which so many have escaped and you may never want to get out!!