Harry Potter and the Cursed Child BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Matthew Murphy
  • NY TIMES

  • VARIETY

  • DEADLINE

  • EW

  • HR

Opening Night:
April 22, 2018
Closing:
Open Ended

Theater: Lyric Theatre / 213 West 42nd St., New York, NY, 10036

Synopsis: 

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a new play by Jack Thorne, received its world premiere in June 2016 at the Palace Theatre in London, where it plays to sold-out houses. The critically acclaimed play recently became the most awarded production in the history of the Olivier Awards, winning a record-breaking nine awards including Best New Play and Best Director. The production has won 22 major theatre awards in the UK since opening last July in London, including the Evening Standard Best Play Award.

Written by Olivier and BAFTA Award winner Jack Thorne and directed by Olivier and Tony Award® winner John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage, bringing together some of the most exciting talent working in the theatre today.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is directed by John Tiffany with movement by Steven Hoggett, set by Christine Jones, costumes by Katrina Lindsay, music & arrangements by Imogen Heap, lighting by Neil Austin, sound by Gareth Fry, illusions & magic by Jamie Harrison and music supervision & arrangements by Martin Lowe.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is produced by Sonia Friedman ProductionsColin Callender and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

    Review: ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ Raises the Bar for Broadway Magic

    Ben Brantley

    April 22, 2018:

    Time is a dangerous toy in “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” the enthralling two-part play about the later life of its title wizard. Various characters in this deluxe London import, which opened on Sunday night at the Lyric Theater, find it in their power to journey into the past, which means altering the future, which means serious trouble for everyone.

    In that regard, these stumbling adventure-seekers must be regarded as lesser magicians than their creators, who include J.K. Rowling, the writer of the prodigiously popular Harry Potter fantasy novels, and the poetic director John Tiffany (“Black Watch,” “The Glass Menagerie”). This inspired team bends time to its will with an imagination and discipline that leave room for nary a glitch, making five hours of performance pass in a wizardly wink of an eye.

    Featuring a script by Jack Thorne — from an original story by Ms. Rowling, Mr. Thorne and Mr. Tiffany — “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” also gives vibrant, decades-traversing life to those wistful “what if” speculations about the past that occupy both grown-ups and children. It’s a process that involves folding stories into stories into stories, collapsing years into minutes and making dreams feel eternal, and more vivid than reality.

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  • VARIETY REVIEW OF Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

    Broadway Review: ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’

    Marilyn Stasio

    April 22, 2018: This is no time for bogus expressions of sophistication. So, let’s just say: Hooray! With “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” the Boy Who Lived has finally come to Broadway, bringing enchantment to a world that could really use a little magic right now. The show’s savvy producers have done a wonderful job refurbishing the vintage Lyric Theater (circa 1903), both inside and out. The sculpture of a giant black raven’s wing hangs over the theater marquee, and the iconic image of a boy crouched in a winged nest can be seen perched on the roof. They should also have spread new pavement out front, because there’s going to be a lot of foot traffic on 43rd Street over the next few years. Inside, the walls are painted “raven plume,” while a midnight-blue carpet is emblazoned with the Hogwarts crest. How about ravens? You want ravens? Just look up. Ravens! (And how about buying stuff? You want to buy stuff? Check out the lobby.)

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  • DEADLINE REVIEW OF Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

    ‘Harry Potter And The Cursed Child’ Review: Broadway’s Perfectly Enchanted Evening (Or Two)

    Greg Evans

    April 22, 2018: Like any magic worth an incantation, Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, opening on Broadway at the Lyric Theater tonight, depends on unspoiled illusions, a delight in life’s wonders and the skills to present it all as if no one had ever even considered its combinations before, much less pulled them off. I won’t spoil any illusions – the production itself handles the rest. Cursed Child is a marvel, a shape-shifting play that effortlessly incorporates music and choreographed movement, classic storytelling and fresh perspectives, a look that incorporates World War II-era Britain and Victorian spiritualism with Hollywood’s latest flash. In a Broadway season of award-worthy revivals, this tale of whatever happened to The Boy Who Lived feels bracingly, piercingly new. A year after sweeping Britain’s Olivier Awards, this two-part, five-hour adventure into the Potter universe and the bonds and breaks of family and friendship arrives on Broadway with all its enchantments intact, melding intricate, spellbinding storytelling with stagecraft that brings classic illusions into line with the demands of audiences used to all sorts of convincing special effects and digital hocus pocus. Cursed Child is as much about – to quote a character from Angels in America some blocks away – the magic of theater as it is a gift to the legions who grew up (or grew old) reading and watching the Potter books and movies.

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  • ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY REVIEW OF Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

    Harry Potter and the Cursed Child conjures the impossible on Broadway: EW review

    Marc Snetiker

    April 22, 2018: For almost a decade, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series lay dormant, a completed masterwork — there would be no further tale in the saga of the courageous wizard. Rowling ended her series in 2007 with finality, not the least of which because the coda to the superior Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows established a definitive canon with three key words: “Nineteen years later.” Rowling took Potter from 18-year-old conquerer of evil to 37-year-old father of three, a satisfying, happy, limitless ending for the maturation of the boy who lived, and that was fine. All was well. Then along comes Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a play written by Jack Thorne based on a story by Thorne, director John Tiffany, and Rowling. It bears a loaded billing — “the eighth Harry Potter story” — and its very unlikely and unparalleled existence shook a fandom, sent ripples through three industries, and confirmed a hope for a population of fans: this story is not over yet. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a theatrical marvel, for so many reasons. It’s the biggest franchise title to ever come to Broadway, continuing in New York the momentum of an exorbitantly successful home run in London’s West End. It’s the most expensive non-musical play ever produced on Broadway. It’s a five-hour beast of a show, in a 1,600-seat beast of a theater, with a 40-person beast of a cast by a creative team that includes the most famous living author of our time. Fantastic beasts, there are a lot. The play, which opened Sunday at Broadway’s newly-renovated Lyric Theatre, is so massive, it’s best to examine it as two lofty halves: Parsed as a text, Cursed Child is a theme-park whirligig that dizzyingly checks all the boxes you’d expect to see of a show that bears the famous Potter name; parsed as a production, it’s a technical achievement that redefines the possibilities of theatre. Strong performances and touching themes make it a worthy play, but magical showstoppers, in lieu of musical numbers, transfigure it into something else entirely.

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  • HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW OF Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

    'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child': Theater Review

    David Rooney

    April 22, 2018: Back when it was first announced, plenty of observers rolled their eyes in skepticism at the idea of a play that would continue J.K. Rowling's globally popular wizardry saga, a series of books that singlehandedly turned entire generations on to the joys of reading imaginative fiction. But anyone still ready to dismiss Harry Potter and the Cursed Child as a cynical brand extension, or a theme-park ride on stage, clearly hasn't experienced the thrilling theatricality, the pulse-pounding storytelling vitality and the unexpected emotional richness of this unmissable two-part production. The ecstatic hype that accompanies the smash London import to Broadway is amply justified, and then some. Playwright Jack Thorne, director John Tiffany and his indispensable movement collaborator Steven Hoggett achieve the near impossible: They mount a persuasive case that this story we all know from novels and/or movies only now has found its nonpareil medium. The two plays have a combined running time of almost five-and-a-half suspenseful hours. And when you get a load of the illusions pulled off right before your eyes — mostly with old-fashioned sleight-of-hand and crafty lighting; only occasionally with more elaborate techno-trickery — it's not hyperbole to call the show sheer magic.

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