News

Can ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ Live Up to the Hype?

03.23.18
Go big or go home. The exterior of the Lyric. Photo: @NYCLife2018

Go big or go home. The exterior of the Lyric. Photo: @NYCLife2018

BY: ELIZABETH DURAND STREISAND & @NYCLIFE2018

After a multi-million-dollar renovation to transform the Lyric Theatre into a world of wizardry and more hype than just about any show in history, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child began previews one week ago. This two-part production has promised to be something special — a promise it has communicated to fans through a unique ticket-purchase process, a freestanding merch store separate from the theater, and the most dramatic (and enormous) exterior displays on Broadway. The point of all of this, of course, is to build excitement. The danger is that you set fans’ expectations so high there’s no way to live up to the hype.

Part 1 & 2. Photo: @NYCLife2018

Part 1 & 2. Photo: @NYCLife2018

Our friend @NYCLife2018 checked out the show to let us know if the reality matches the dream: While the production wasn’t perfect, it sounds like they’ve captured lightening in a bottle just the same. The physical space has undergone a “very magical” transformation with an almost unbelievable attention to detail (see wallpaper!) and the energy amongst the crowd before Part 1 began was “electric.”

The devil's in the details at the newly renovated Lyric. Photo: @NYCLife2018

The devil’s in the details at the newly renovated Lyric. Photo: @NYCLife2018

About a minute into the second act of Tuesday’s performance, however, the music stopped, the curtain came down, and the lights came back on. An announcement told the audience that the production was having technical difficulties which needed to be addressed — and the enthusiastic crowd reportedly applauded even for that. If that’s not love, we don’t know what is. The interruption turned out to be brief and the rest of the show went ahead without issue. What we take away from this, is that for die-hard Potter fans, this show can do no wrong. Even when it stops.

Pumpkin juice for everyone! Photo: @NYCLife2018

Pumpkin juice for everyone! Photo: @NYCLife2018

Predictably, there is pumpkin juice for sale and an insane line at the merch stand. @NYCLife2018 noted that you can avoid that wait by ducking in to the Cursed Child store on 42nd Street instead. This seems like sound advice — though if you want Dark Mark merch, it’s only out at the theater for Part 2. Note that the cast does not do the stage door after Part 1, so there’s no point hanging around after for autographs or photos until you’ve seen it all.

Shopping spree. Photo: @NYCLife2018

Shopping spree. Photo: @NYCLife2018

The next night, for Part 2, everyone was “a bit more relaxed” because they knew what to expect. On Wednesday night, the cast came out three times to bow — and after, everyone came to the stage door except Jamie Parker (who plays Harry) and Noma Dumezweni (who plays Hermione). @NYCLife2018 was told that the cast and crew had a production meeting after the performance (err… that’s a long day!) so the actors all went back inside after greeting fans. They still have some time to work out the kinks, though. In the meantime… #KeeptheSecrets.

A subtle reminder. Photo: @NYCLife2018

A subtle reminder. Photo: @NYCLife2018

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opens April 22, 2018 at the Lyric Theatre — and we’re **giving away** a pair of tickets to this two-part show!! Follow our Instagram @broadwayroulette so you don’t miss out. Details to be announced shortly! (In the meantime, head to @NYCLife2018 for the chance to win a Playbill!