As Broadway reawakens from a lengthy pause, one of the most exciting events of the fall season will be the world premiere of a play that already won six Tony Awards: a newly staged, one-show version of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The world-famous wizard last appeared on stage at the Lyric Theatre in March 2020 as part of an epic event, each performance broken into two shows. Beginning November 12, Broadway audiences can enjoy this thrilling, magic-filled story in a single afternoon or evening.
“This is an unprecedented moment in theater history,” say lead producers Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender, who were determined to bring Harry Potter and the Cursed Child safely back to its gorgeously renovated Broadway home. “Given the challenges of remounting and running a two-part show on this scale, and the commercial challenges faced by the theater and tourism industries emerging from the global shutdowns, we are excited to be able to move forward with a new version of the play that allows audiences to enjoy the complete Cursed Child adventure in one sitting eight times a week.”
Winner of the 2018 Best Play Tony Award, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child begins 19 years after Harry, Hermione, and Ron save the wizarding world. Their children have just arrived at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and playwright Jack Thorne’s gripping drama (based on an original story by J.K. Rowling, Thorne, and John Tiffany) expands the Potter universe with dazzling spells, epic battles, and a race through time while the future hangs in the balance.
Faced with the challenge of reimagining their acclaimed show, Thorne and Tiffany (who won a Tony for his direction) express nothing but excitement. “We’ve been working hard on this new version throughout lockdown,” the playwright says, “and it’s been a joyous process of rediscovery.” That process, adds Tiffany, “has given us a unique opportunity to look at the play with fresh eyes.”
For her part, Harry Potter creator Rowling is unfazed by changes to the eighth adventure of her beloved characters. “While no one would wish for what has happened over the last year,” she says, “it has given Jack, John, and the first-class creatives who first breathed life into the production the opportunity to revisit the play, and to find a new way to frame our story — with amazing illusions and some exquisite new staging — while keeping our original story intact.”
In addition to the Broadway production, the newly reimagined single-show experience will premiere in San Francisco at the Curran on January 11, 2022, and then launch in Toronto at the CAA Ed Mirvish Theatre in May 2022 and in Tokyo at the TBS Akasaka ACT Theater in summer 2022. The original two-part play resumed performances in London at the Palace Theatre on October 14 and will resume in Hamburg, Germany, at the Mehr! Theater December 1. The Melbourne production remains on pause due to the current government shutdown in Australia.
Indeed, the play’s producers see the forthcoming Broadway world premiere as a companion piece to the version that won raves — not to mention a record 60 major honors worldwide — since its London debut in 2016. “Our creative team fully embraced the challenge of creating a new single-part version of the play that would be a compelling theatrical experience in its own right and stand shoulder to shoulder with the original two-part version,” they explain. “It’s been the most wonderful process to bring this new spectacle to life while still delivering all the amazing magic, stagecraft, and storytelling set around the same powerful narrative.”
The goal is to breathe fresh life into a play about family, friendship, and finding one’s way in the world, themes that resonate now more than ever. “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a story that reminds us that, together and united, we have the strength to overcome all odds,” Friedman and Callender say. “It’s a story of our time, and we can’t wait to share this new version of our play with our amazing audiences in North America. We’ve missed you enormously and look forward to welcoming you back to Hogwarts.”
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