The First Harry Potter Play Wins Praise in London

The Harry Potter series of books for children by the writer J. K. Rowling have generated millions of sales worldwide and resulted in eight very successful screen productions. Recently, London’s Palace Theater drew a packed audience with the premier of the first play based on the Harry Potter story: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I and II

The play has already sold out through April, 2017. Co-written by Jack Thorne, J.K. Rowling and John Tiffany, the production inspired some members of the audience to travel to London from as far away as Texas in order to watch the first show. It tells the story of Harry Potter nearly two decades after the end of the final movie in the series. Now married with three children, he works very hard for the Ministry of Magic. His son, Albus, rejects his father’s background as a wizard.

Members of the audience and many reviewers gave high praise to the stage production. Directed by John Tiffany, the preview of Part I prompted speculation by some audience members that additional plays would follow. The cast includes actress Noma Dumezweni (playing Hermione Granger), Jamie Parker (as Harry Potter), Poppy Miller (as Ginny Potter) and Sam Clemmett (as Albus). Alex Price plays Draco Malfoy, Anthony Boyle plays his son, Scorpius, Paul Thornley plays Ron Weasley and Cherrelle Skeet plays Rose.

Hamilton: The Man, The Myth, The Musical

In the year of smartphones and cars that park themselves, it’s refreshing to hear names like Alexander Hamilton around the house. The Tony Awards, airing Sunday June 12th, are setting the stage for the musical event of the year, Hamilton. Sure, other productions have been nominated in the “Best Musical” category, but do they really stand a chance?

For most of us, this will be our only opportunity to see Lin Manuel Miranda up close and personal, as ticket prices to the actual Broadway production have soared. Even if you did win Dionysus’ lottery and scored those $1200 tickets, the creator and star of the production announced he is leaving the show as of July 9th. Before you scalp your tickets, consider the talent and quality of the production as a whole. Behind the creative mastermind that is Miranda, is an ensemble of culturally diverse performers who have secured their spot among the Broadway elite, and earned a “Best Musical” nomination while educating the masses on the meaning of being American as a person of color. That is also history in the making.

Some say it will be a sweep at the Tony Awards, and the ten-month run of Hamilton will extend for years, complete with a national tour and distribution of copyrights to middle schools everywhere. Others say it’s just a passing fad, and the musical will die as quickly as the man for which it’s named. But Broadway lives and breathes with its patrons, so the real question is, what do you say?

Harry Potter Grows Up in a New Stage Play

A generation that has grown up picturing film actor Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter gets to stretch their imaginations with a new portrayal of the wizard on stage. British actor Jamie Parker stars as the grown-up Harry in the brand new play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, set to open officially on July 30 in the UK.

Fans so far have been enthusiastic about the play, whose first part was presented in preview this week at the Palace Theater in London.

Fans of the seven book Harry Potter saga by JK Rowling will remember that the story ends with an epilogue set 19 years after the end of the main events. The play centers on that time in the life of the now grown-up Harry and features happenings involving Harry’s children at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Parker, 37 years old, trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. Six years ago he took to the stage as Prince Hal in Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, and he reprised that role in Henry V in 2012. Now he tackles the role of prince of the wizarding world and it will be up to fans to see if he lives up to their high expectations.

If the standing ovation early reaction to the premiere is any indication, fans approve of the new stage version of the grown-up Harry Potter.