Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is finally hitting Broadway — and it’s full of magic.
The popular London production of the show is making its debut stateside on Sunday, April 22 after years of anticipation. American Harry Potter fans first got a taste of the show when the playbook was released in July 2016, but it’s a much different experience seeing the magic come to life.
The eighth Harry Potter story is settling in for a run at the newly renovated Lyric Theater, and its elaborate wing and nest exterior has already taken over the Great White Way. Read on for the biggest things to know before heading out to see what Harry and the gang are up to in Cursed Child.
The show is told in two parts
It wouldn’t be a Harry Potter story without a jam-packed amount of detail. The full story was split into two different parts since it contains so much plot, just like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ended up being two movies.
That means fans either have to see parts one and two on back-to-back nights, or catch a full day of Potter on Wednesdays and Saturdays when they’re both shown during the matinee and night shows. In total, both parts run for close to five hours, a welcome runtime for any fan missing Hogwarts and the Wizarding World.
The action kicks off right where the original series ended
Who can forget the Deathly Hallows epilogue that left every fan an emotional wreck? The fan-favorite scene comes to life on stage as Harry, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger and Ginny Potter (formerly Weasley) say goodbye to their little ones as they head off to Hogwarts. It’s also a nice introduction to the cast as almost every major character shows up.
The scene is especially stressful for Harry and Ginny’s middle son, Albus Severus, who is struggling with the attention his literal world-saving father gets. Albus’ journey to accepting how his dad’s famous past shadows and shapes him plays throughout the two-part show.
It’s all about the second generation
Just like the books and movies revolved around Harry, Ron and Hermione’s adventures at Hogwarts, the play follows their kids — and an unlikely friendship.
Although they were bitter enemies as children, Harry and Draco Malfoy’s sons become fast friends in the play. Albus befriends Scorpius and the two get up to the usual shenanigans. They even follow in Harry’s footsteps when the young boys are forced to save the Wizarding World from dark magic.
The plot also revolves around the love child of two other famous characters, but we won’t get into those spoilers.
But we get to see middle aged Harry, Ron and Hermione!
No one stays 17 forever. Although fans got a glimpse of what older Harry, Ron and Hermione would look like thanks to the final scene in Deathly Hallows part 2, the middle aged gang is in full display in the Broadway production.
And although it’s been years since Harry faced off against Voldemort for the fate of the Wizarding World, actor Jamie Parker told USA Today that he may not be totally over the traumatic events of his youth.
“Has he got past his childhood? That’s a big question. Did he ever get past 17 in the first place?” Parker said. “And thank God he’s still surrounded by Ron and Hermione and the people who keep him on the straight and narrow, because he does take a lot of unpacking. But I think you still recognize him from the book.”
Hermione, the smartest witch of her age, is Minister of Magic of course — and Professor Minerva McGonagall is headmistress of Hogwarts. This means the Wizarding World is largely run by women, which fits right into the amplified spotlight on female empowerment.
Hermione is played by a black actress who Emma Watson loves
There was a fair amount of talk when the London production announced that Noma Dumezweni, a black actress, had been cast to play Hermione. She comes into the New York version with the controversy behind her, and with Emma Watson’s glowing approval, but Dumezweni is still dealing with talk about her casting.
“I’m a black actress, I’m a black woman, that’s what the world has told me I am,” Dumezweni told USA Today. “I’ve got different color of skin; my melanin is bigger and much more glowy than these two boys. But this is who I am, and as an actress, I get to play Hermione. The world is saying, ‘Black Hermione,’ and I’m [saying], ‘I get to play Hermione.’ ”
And Dumezweni is fully aware of how important Hermione is to generations of women.
“The thing about Hermione, which is brilliant for me about her, is that every woman …we all go to that character and go, ‘I want to be her, I want to change the world, I’m going to save my friends.’ And for me, she’s a bit of a superhero,” she continued.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two opens on Broadway Sunday, April 22.