British actors Jeff Turner and Dan Clarkson’s idea for a full length show parodying the world of Harry Potter grew out of a 5 minute sketch that they were hired to do in 2005 in order to entertain die-hard book fans, those of whom waited on long lines in London, on the night before the 6th book in the series was released to the public.
They’ve since expanded their 5 minute sketch into a full-fledged, but not overly tedious, 70 minute show, currently playing at the Little Shubert Theater on West 42nd street in new York City. The show is a parody of all seven Harry Potter books. There are a few references to Lord of The Rings, Twilight and Narnia thrown in for confusion and laughs. It is a two-man show but there is a game of quidditch thrown in with audience participation. Although lacking in special effects, there is no lack of laughter and the strength on the show lies in the actors perfectly paced dialogue and the fact that you sense that THEY are having so much fun. As of June 2012, they’ve performed the show over 1000 times.
I am not a Harry Potter fan. It is not that I am a non-fan. Although my children have encouraged me to read the books, I just never have. But you have to have been residing in North Korea to not realize the cultural phenomenon that is Harry Potter. So I took my 20-year-old and 14-year-old old to see this show because they are fans. They liked it. While I didn’t hear any hearty laughter coming from them, I did glance over frequently to see them smiling. They said they enjoyed it but thought that they were a bit too old for the show. Either that, or they felt slightly less than cool sitting in a theatre full of constantly cackling 10-12 year olds.
Potted Potter has excellent acting by two pretty funny guys who are clearly dedicated to their craft. There is no foul language, very few props, no stage changes and no intermission. No off-color jokes and while the actors get a little chatty with the people in the first row or two, no one is ever felt to be the “butt of their jokes”. Yet it is still highly entertaining. In fact, one of the actors was just hanging around the first few rows of the theater, prior to the show shaking hands with as many people as he could. He seemed like a nice guy. Which leads to the main point-if you have rabid Harry Potter fans, who also happen to be in the 8-12 age range, this show would make for an excellent family outing.
You can buy tickets online, via phone or at the box office. Use Theater Mania’s discount code PPTMC409 to get discount tickets. I happened to be in NYC when I was buying tickets so I bought them at the box office. I simply showed the ticket clerk my i-phone with the theatre mania discount code and I received my discounted tickets. What was originally $79.99, became $59.99. When I whipped out my American Express card to pay, he volunteered the fact that he could upgrade my seats to the second row. Sweet! I had no idea that it could happen, so seeing the value of my ticket go up was exciting.The last performance of Potted Potter in New York City is September 2, 2012. A great end-of summer way to spend family time together.