'Cursed Child' proves magic exists on Broadway
Nineteen years after saying goodbye to Harry Potter and his friends at the Battle of Hogwarts, the iconic trio of Harry, Ron and Hermione has been revived in the production of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” on Broadway.
Originally opening in London in July of 2016, the two-part play opened on Broadway at the Lyric Theater in April of 2018. A year later, the play is still going strong, attracting people across the globe to watch the highly-anticipated production.
Unlike the Harry Potter series, the play mainly follows the life of Harry’s youngest son, Albus, and Draco’s son, Scorpius, 19 years after the end of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows.” Albus, the black sheep in the Potter family, is sorted into Slytherin and what ensues is a mix of conflict with his father and his own personal struggle trying to live in Harry’s shadow.
After fighting with Harry, Albus decides to enlist his only friend, Scorpius, to do something that Harry was never able to do – go back in time with a Time-Turner and save Cedric Diggory. This one attempt to alter the results of the Triwizard Tournament completely changes history, and after returning, the duo must find a way to correct what they altered. Along the way, fans are given a glimpse of alternate histories as well as iconic characters like Snape, Umbridge and Hagrid.
The show is split into two parts, and although lengthy, the play is impossible to look away from. While the storyline is superb and unlike any other show on Broadway, it is the visual effects that truly make the show unique and memorable.
It is hard to believe that the movie magic that made all the spells look realistic on screen could possibly be translated to live theater, but “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” found a way to make it work flawlessly.
During one scene where Harry and Draco are fighting, fans see flying furniture that dances in the air without the help of wires. To make this work, there are people dressed in all black who blend seamlessly into the background, picking up the furniture and moving it around to give the illusion of true magic.
The minor details of the show make all the difference. When props are moved, stage crew members wear traditional wizard robes that conceal props with swift movements, and then in a blink of an eye, they are gone. To break up scenes, short dances are performed involving wands and brilliant lighting effects to mimic the “Lumos” spell, which lights up dark places.
Aside from the amazing lighting and effects that contributed to the show winning Best Play at the Tony Awards, the chance to step back into the wizarding world of Harry Potter is an opportunity that fans, old and new, should not pass up.
It is a beautiful finale to a never-ending story. Fans get a visual glimpse of all that has changed in the past 19 years in such an intimate situation that it is as if we are being reacquainted with an old friend. The actors were all impeccable and having the ability to remember every single line to a five-hour play without fail is something to be admired.
If the success of the Harry Potter books and movies prove anything, it is that this play is here to stay, and the cult-like following will make sure of it. Although it is hard to compare anything to the genius and success of the original series, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is successful on its own and is a must-see for any Potterhead.