Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

I’m going to keep this as spoiler-free as possible, knowing that a lot of people have not seen the play. I had read the screenplay upon its release a few years ago, and had been pretty underwhelmed by it. However, as a huge Potterhead from my teenage years, and I do mean HUGE (see below video – the first movie I ever made), I still wanted to see the play as it was meant to be presented… on stage.

Adam and I got dressed up for the play with some Gryffindor flair and headed to the Bart. We definitely looked and felt pretty spiffy!

In San Francisco, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child plays at the Curran Theater and they certainly have transformed it for a long-term run of this magical play. Everything from the carpets to the wallpaper in this historic theater was themed. It definitely helped put us in the mood for what we were about to see! However, not everything was magical about this location.

The seats at the theater were just too tiny. Adam and I struggled to get comfortable and the gentleman who sat next to me had a bad knee and apologized to me for having to use up a bit of my space so he wouldn’t be in pain. I have a plus-sized friend who went and saw the play about a month before we did and she was terribly uncomfortable the whole time, as well. They do make seats that are friendlier to people who need more space, but they are few and far between and must be requested earlier on.

And then there was the bathroom situation… Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is split into Part 1 and Part 2. Each of the parts have a short intermission during them, and then a longer intermission in between the two shows. The Curran Theater had one huge set of bathrooms in the basement and then some single stall bathrooms on each of its three levels. The bathroom line went up all three flights of stairs from the basement during all of the intermissions. Some lucky folks managed to use the bathroom during the shorter intermissions, but there were still a lot of people straggling in after the play had re-started. I, myself, had been interested in a bathroom break, but when I saw how crazy the line was, decided to opt out and wait for the longer intermission in the middle of the show. Based on how many people were still finding their seats after the lights went back down made me happy I hadn’t risked missing any of the show. Overall, I do not think that theater was well-suited to handling the crowds that were inevitably going to turn up for this play, but I was grateful the play had traveled from Broadway so we could see it at all.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is wondrous on stage. The practical effects are superbly rehearsed and executed. You can’t help but be swept up in the story and the magic. In the books, I thought the relationship between Albus and Scorpius was pretty meh, but the actors had amazing chemistry and really brought their friendship to life. By the end, I adored Scorpius.

The whole play was very well cast. The music was stunning. And I can’t write enough about how good those stage effects were that made the magic feel real right before our eyes. I’m not going to spoil any of the tricks in this post, but you HAVE TO SEE THIS PLAY IN PERSON. There is nothing like it. It’s better than watching the movies in theaters because you know all of that magic is happening in editing software. What they do in the theater boggles the mind.

Even though I still believe the actual story of the Cursed Child is flimsy and based on time-turner magic I don’t believe is canon, the play managed to convince me that it was great. Everything about it was stunning. By the time the first half was over and we left for the long intermission, Adam and I were completely sold.

One of the nice things about the Curran Theater is that there are plenty of restaurants within walking distance to pick from. We didn’t feel in any rush, so we found an absolutely delicious sushi restaurant to eat at called Oma Sushi. This was by far the best sushi I had ever had (I live in Colorado, so while it is good here, there is nothing like getting it super fresh). I was absolutely delighted with this selection and it made the day even better.

After that, we had plenty of time to walk a few blocks to get dessert. We tried a place called Icicles where they make hand-crafted, rolled ice cream. You pick your flavors and they actually create the ice cream from scratch in front of you. I had never heard of this before and it was a fun, unique treat! However, this is when I began to realize that wearing heals with no back-up option on hand was a terrible idea. We ordered an Uber to come take us back to the theater. The Uber driver was awesome and even showed us on the way back where they were shooting the new Matrix movie.

When we arrived back at the theater, everything had changed. It’s hard to talk about without giving away spoilers, so I will just post some pictures instead. Even the merchants and doormen were immersive and saying things that went along with the theming. Below are pictures of the stage after returning from our long intermission and after Part 2’s shorter intermission.

Overall, this play is a MUST SEE for any Harry Potter fan. It absolutely blew us away. We had seen Broadway’s Frozen just a week prior and that had impressed us. This was in an entirely different category of what I believed to be possible on stage. These tickets were not cheap, but I would happily throw down the money to go see it again if it ever comes to Denver. Adam, who is a more casual Harry Potter fan, would also pay to see it a second time. We were both positively dazzled.

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