Would you want to spend 5+ hours on a Broadway show? If so, look no further than Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Fortunately, you don’t have to watch it all in one sitting. The play is a 2-part production. Each part has a run time of about 2 hours and 40 minutes.
First, it’s no secret I’m a fan of the HP series. I’m not a super-fan (I don’t care for all the details), but I’m a fan enough to have watched all the movies and read all the books. I even visited the Harry Potter attractions at Universal Studios. That is to say that I am certainly biased towards the series, but I’ll give my take anyway.
This post is geared towards the actual Broadway experience, rather than the content of the story. I will denote spoilers with a **SPOILERS ALERT**.
Location and Schedule
In New York, the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is performed at the Lyric Theater. Showtimes for Part I and Part II are 2pm and 7pm, respectively. We picked up our tickets at the “will call” window that morning. It’s a good thing we did. The line was out the sidewalk in the early afternoon.
Inside the Theater (In Pictures)
The Details in Q&A format:
1. DO I NEED TO BUY TICKETS FOR PART I AND II TOGETHER?
Not at all. If you are going to be visiting for a couple of days, you can book them on separate dates to break up the day. Part I ends on a cliffhanger, though. If you can’t stand cliffhangers, same-day tickets may be for you.
2. DO I NEED TO READ THE CURSED CHILD TO FOLLOW ALONG?
No, but you would be mighty confused if you know nothing about Harry Potter series. The story-line takes place 19 years after the events in Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows.
3. PART I or PART II, WHICH IS BETTER?
Part I sets the stage. Part II wins in my book due to the story-line progression and visual effects.
4. IS THIS DIFFERENT FROM OTHER BROADWAY SHOWS AND WHY?
I’d say the impressive visual effects make this production quite different. I won’t go into the details and spoil it for others, but these three visual effects really stood out to me:
- Time-turner effect (Very cool).
- The whole theater effect (Wow. You have to see it for yourself. That’s all I can say)
- Dementors effect (It was nicely done, because it was actually creepy).
5. WHAT SEATS SHOULD I BOOK?
I don’t think there are any bad seats in the house (see pictures). The cheapest ticket is about $70 per part. We splurged for seats closer to the stage since we were there to celebrate my brother’s birthday. We booked into the Orchestra Right side seats.
6. IS THIS SHOW APPROPRIATE FOR YOUNG CHILDREN?
There was an unexpected (cheap scare) scene that startled a lot of the audience members. It’s not that scary, but everyone’s nervousness when they jumped in their seats scared me! Young kids might get upset by it, and by the dementors. Parental discretion is advised.
Some younger kids may not ready to deal with the subject of death yet, a theme present in the HP series. At the end, there was a scene where the future Harry is back in the past before Voldemort kills his parents. He could change it, but he also knows that it needs to happen so that the future isn’t changed. It was really gut-wrenching to watch Harry stand by while his parents are taken away from him. It was quite a production feat because there was actually nothing visual about that scene, except for the sound effects.
It begs the question: If given the power to change the past, would you change it? Or would you keep it as is because everything that had happened are meant to happen?
Again, parental discretion is advised, especially for younger children.
7. WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS BROADWAY SHOW?
Yes. Overall, it’s a great production. I’d recommend it.
Have you watched the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? What’d you think? Other tips or advice to share with your fellow readers?