“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”: Britain’s Beloved Lands on Broadway

There’s no doubt about it: Harry Potter is one of the most universally beloved nonfictional characters of our time. And, he’s moved from the page to the big screen to the theme park — and now he’s officially made himself at home in New York City as the new occupant of a Broadway stage. With the recent move of the play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” to Broadway from London’s West End, the lovable little British wizard has officially made a place for himself in the live theater world — except, now, he’s a grown-up character, and we get to see him dealing with new, more adult issues. Luckily for Harry Potter lovers everywhere, audiences have been giving this play standing ovations every night — which means that it is successfully presenting a new theatrical take on a beloved classic, and a piece of art that is cementing itself into pop culture in its own right.
“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” tells the story of Harry Potter 19 years later, when Harry has already had his own children (three of them). Harry works at the Ministry of Magic, and his younger son Albus will be heading off to Hogwarts. Albus must deal with the legacy he was given by his father, as well as his own relationships at school (note: He meets and befriends Draco Malfoy’s son). Of course, there are some challenges, quests and feats to overcome in there (because it wouldn’t be a Harry Potter story if not, now would it?!).
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One of the reasons that “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” succeeds so well is because it’s a perfect homage to and continuation of Rowling’s successful series. The beloved characters you’ve come to know and love so well from the series appear onstage — Ginny, Hermione, Ron, Draco, etc. — and you get to see what they’re like all grown up (they’re very similar to how they were as children). It’s also packed with magic like the books and movies; the show’s budget was $68 million — the most ever spent on a non-musical production — and this huge sum allowed the creators to dream up some unbelievable stage craft and magic.

The story for the play was written by J.K. Rowling, but it was adapted for the stage by Jack Thorne. Luckily, though, it deals with weighty issues deftly, like Rowling always does, and it manages a behemoth plot gracefully. Rowling helps tackle heavier material in a way that is both engaging and relatable (like strain between parents and children, loyalty, the meaning of friendship, social anxiety, adolescent angst, and many others).
“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” first debuted on the West End on July 6, 2016, and it officially opened in London on July 30, 2016. The show was immediately a success, garnering nine Olivier Awards in 2017. Today, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is playing on an open run at the Lyric Theater, a Broadway theater in the heart of the theater district.
If you’re planning to see “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” it’s important to note that the play is performed in two parts (each about two and a half hours long). So, you’ll have to do some finagling when it comes to buying tickets. You can see one part or the other, or, if you want to see both, you can buy them for the same day (or one day after the other). Go to the box office or call them if you want help getting tickets to the right performances.
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