NYTG at the Official Opening of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway
The New York Theatre Guide attends the official opening of J.K. Rowling's smash hit at Broadway's Lyric Theatre.
They've put a spell on us and now we're theirs! For nearly two whole years Potterheads the world over have only had one theatrical destination to get their fix of the eighth official chapter in the Harry Potter franchise. J.K. Rowling, playwright Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany's production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child staged its world premiere in London's West End, beginning previews on June 7, 2016, opening to unanimous rave reviews on July, 25, and going on to scoop a record-breaking nine Olivier Awards in 2017. Now, Broadway has become a second option for fans of the boy who lived, surely to the delight of countless Americans for whom a trip to the UK might be a stretch too far.
Yesterday, the New York Theatre Guide attended the official opening of the Broadway production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Lyric Theatre, where an invited audience were captivated by Parts One and Two in an entire day of theatre magic. The High Priestess of the Wizarding World, J.K. Rowling, was also in town to join in the celebrations, adding a Broadway credit to her ever-growing résumé, alongside six of the original London cast members who were also toasting their Broadway debuts yesterday. The only other original principal cast member, Jamie Parker, who originated the coveted role of Harry Potter himself, has graced the New York stage once before - in the 2006 Broadway premiere of The History Boys - but that surely cannot have prepared him for the exposure of playing Harry for the thousands upon thousands of Potterheads stateside.
Set 19 years after the events of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows", Cursed Child revisits the Wizarding World to find Harry as an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic. The story centers on his son Albus Potter, now a Hogwarts student himself, struggling to cope in the shadow of his famous father and finding an unlikely friendship in Scorpius Malfoy, the son of Harry's one-time nemesis Draco.
To the delight of hardcore fans, the events immortalized in the pages of Rowling's novels are also revisited and manipulated with new takes on iconic scenes and a generous helping of familar faces. To the delight of theatre purists, however, Cursed Child has made every effort to establish itself as a genuinely worthy piece of theatre. The production's pièce de résistance could well be Steven Hoggett's swooping and swirling choreography that places it firmly and unapologetically in the theatrical medium. Partnered with Imogen Heap's hypnotic, original music, Christine Jones' clever set design and Neil Austin's atmospheric lighting design, the whole experience is uniquely magical and something you just couldn't create on the silver screen. And what would a Harry Potter story be without a little magic, of course? Jamie Harrison's illusions have certainly raised the bar, in terms of making the impossible on stage mind-bogglingly possible.
Take a look at the cast and creative team of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child as they celebrate Opening Night on the Great White Way...
Harry Potter may be the most famous wizard in the world today and he certainly has a large following of famous aficionados to boot. Some of those were fortunate enough to receive an invite to yesterday's Official Opening and we greeted them on the red carpet prior to the beginning of Part One...
Stay tuned for our New York Theatre Guide review of the play that we think will make quite the impact this Awards Season. Until then, put on your house robes, jump onto your Nimbus 2000 broomstick and fly down to the Lyric Theatre for a theatrical experience like no other. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has New York City spellbound.
(Photos by Tom Millward)