I am indeed fortunate to be able to share with you my review of the incredible West Coast second premiere of the J. K. Rowling’s play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Curran Theater in San Francisco. This story and play is based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany. The play is directed by John Tiffany.
My wife and I first reviewed this show in December 2019 when it was first presented as a two-part theatrical production. Once again, it is a sterling and unique theatrical production that should be on “an absolutely must-see” production list for many reasons. So special in fact, that to celebrate the occasion, San Francisco’s Mayor London Breed proclaimed February 24 of this year as “Harry Potter and The Cursed Child Day” in San Francisco. This event was celebrated with a Hogwarts House block party on Gary Street (which was closed for the occasion at 6 PM). Gryffindors, Hufflepuffs, Ravenclaws, and Slytherins gathered in front of the theater at 445 Geary St. co-mingling, handing out souvenirs, and celebrating the event.
If you have followed the Harry Potter series, either through the 7 books or the numerous movies, the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child story takes place 19 years following the Battle of Hogwarts, wherein this production is a continuation of the end of that series. It opens with Harry Potter (John Skelly) now 37 years old, his wife Ginny Weasley (Angela Reed), and their three children, arriving at the train station and waiting for the Hogwarts Train to arrive. Harry’s oldest son, Albus (Benjamin Papac), is now old enough to attend Hogwarts School of Wizardry.
During the first few weeks of school, Albus Potter & Draco Malfoy’s son, Scorpious (Jon Steiger), both members of the House of Slitherin, have become fast friends. At the same time, Albus struggles with his father’s enormous prestige as the man who saved the world of wizardry following his participation in the death of the dark wizard, Lord Voldemort. Consequently, a deep frustration exists between Harry and his son.
Albus and Scorpious both believe that their fathers had made several unfortunate mistakes during their school years at Hogwarts which they hoped they could rectify with the use of a Time Turner. Albus encourages his friend Scorpious to assist him in stealing the Time Turner from the Ministry of Magic to travel back in time and save fellow student Cedric Diggory’s life. In so doing, Albus plans to reverse what he believes was his father’s unfortunate participation in the young man’s death and return Cedric, alive, to his father’s side. The two boys, like many impassioned young people, do not fully anticipate the danger they are about to put themselves and others in.
If you’re familiar with the mind-bending special-effects artfully described in the books and exhibited in the series of movies created to bring these stories to life, you will not be disappointed with similar mind-bending special-effects created live, right before your eyes ON STAGE! Everything from incredible lighting, sets and doors and windows that appear to move by magic, body bending and levitating magic hurls people and objects through space, fearsome fire and energy emitting wands and people disappearing or transforming mysteriously before your eyes.
The characters throughout these stories share great words of wisdom with young and old alike, such as this thought by Albus Dumbledore, “It does not do well to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” The entire story series is a melting pot of thought-provoking ideas to live by, making this theatrical production great for all to behold!
While the first two-part production in 2019 cast a spell over audiences everywhere, this new production has been restaged as one singular pulse-pounding performance, albeit 3 hours and 40 wonderful minutes long (including an intermission). The primary difference I believe is that everything in this performance moves with greater enthusiasm, urgency and speed.
All ticketholders 16 years of age and older who are eligible must present proof of full vaccination with booster. All patrons, regardless of age, are required to wear a mask inside the theater at all times when not actively eating or drinking. For more information, visit: www.harrypotterplaysf.com/safety .
Tickets ($59 – $199) are currently on sale through Sunday, September 4, 2022 via the official website: www.harrypotterplaysf.com Ticket prices are subject to change without notice however.
Tuesdays – Fridays @ 7pm; Saturdays at 1 PM and 7 PM; Sundays at 1 PM and 7 PM.
The Friday Forty lottery tickets are only available through TodayTix.com and the TodayTix App, available for download in the App Store and the Google Play store. Winners will pay $40 per person, may purchase a maximum of two tickets and can pick up tickets at the box office on the day of their performance.