Harry Makes It to Broadway

August 08, 2018

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Am I fascinated with the unbelievable success of J.K. Rowling (Joanne Rowling) and the ongoing saga of the Harry Potter books? You bet I am! In fact, I think everyone is. 

The Lyric Theatre in New York is located at 214 West 43rd Street.

To refresh your memory CLICK HERE to read our blog about all seven books.

WHAT’S THE LATEST ON HARRY POTTER?

I came across an article titled “Wild About Harry” in the April 2018 issue of Vogue. The sub-head reads: With the feverishly anticipated Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the latest – and perhaps final – chapter of the story comes to Broadway.

Naturally, I sat down and starting reading five minutes after I received the mag in my mailbox. Writer Adam Green starts with a gripping description of where he is gathering material for this piece. “On a wintery morning I find myself in an airplane hangar-size soundstage in Astoria, Queens. It’s one of the few spaces in New York City vast enough to accommodate the behind-the-scenes technical magic involved in rehearsing the frantically awaited HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD, which appears this month fresh from a sold-out (and on-going) run in London.”

Harry and his son, Albus Severus Potter, played by actors Jamie Parker (FAR LEFT) and Sam Clemmett

Courtesy of Vogue, April 2018

That’s a great beginning. Then five paragraphs later he writes, “The thirst for anything Potter-related remains unslaked, making the arrival of Cursed Child on Broadway a very big deal indeed. In London, the play drew flocks of fans in witch hats and wizard capes from all over the world while earning critical raves, breaking box-office records, and winning nine Olivier Awards.”

WHAT WAS THE TURNING POINT FOR RAWLING?

Green makes a point that “Rawling turned down offers to adapt her books for the theater for many, many years. But when producers Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender approached her with the idea of creating a new Potter story expressly for the stage, she realized that she had more to say and spent the next 18 months collaborating with director, John Tiffany and playwright, Jack Thorne to plot a new adventure for The Boy Who Lived – now a man on the cusp of middle age.” Rawling retained final say over the story line while giving her collaborators plenty of room to create something purely theatrical.

Like Rawling’s books, the play is filled with shocking plot twists and powered by a narrative drive that will have audiences in its thrall.

POTTER IS ECLIPSING EVERYTHING ON BROADWAY

In his New York Post column of April 27, 2018, theater critic Michael Riedel says, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child should snap up several Tony nominations, including: Best Play, Best Director, Best Costumes, Wands, Owls, Toads, Newts and for cast members Jamie Parker, Noma Dumezweni and Anthony Boyle.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Actors Alex Price, Noma Dumezweni, Paul Thornley, Susan Heyward, Jamie Parker, Poppy Miller, Sam Clemmett and Anthony Boyle.

Courtesy of Vogue, April 2018

THE TONY AWARDS: SUNDAY, JUNE 10TH, 8 PM to 11 PM

I decided to watch the Tony Awards from start to finish this year. Why?

Two words: this blog. To prepare, I made a list of all the awards that Harry Potter was up for and I’m glad I did. They were nominated for nine and won six – a pretty good showing all around. Here’s the list of wins:

Best Play, Best Scenic Design of a Play, Best Costume Design of a Play, Best Lighting Design of a Play, Best Sound Design in a Play and Best Direction of a Play. This went to director, John Tiffany, who was involved with this Harry Potter play from the start.

Just so you know: This play is a two-part, five-hour affair. But as The New Yorker of 5/14/18 says, “For fans, it will pass in an anxious instant.”

CATCH THIS IF YOU CAN

On August 5th we headed off to the Kips Bay Theater to see a relatively new documentary titled McQueen by Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui. This is an excellent film that takes a close look at McQueen who died in 2010 at age forty. It explores his incredible talent and his relationships with his family – in particular, his mother – and Isabella Blow, who was as determined as McQueen himself was – to see him succeed. CLICK HERE to read: The Legacy of Alexander McQueen where we explore the Met’s Savage Beauty in 2011, the British show in 2015 and the book titled, Gods and Kings: The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano by Dana Thomas.

Shaun Nelson-Henrick

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