Review Roundup: HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD Opens in San Francisco; Read All The Reviews!
The exclusive West Coast production of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Cursed Child celebrated the official opening in San Francisco , Sunday, December 1st, at the Curran Theater. Once preview performances began on October 23, San Francisco and New York became the only destinations in the United States where fans can see the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the most awarded play in theater history.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a new play by Jack Thorne, directed by John Tiffany.
The San Francisco cast of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child includes John Skelley as Harry Potter, Angela Reed as Ginny Potter, and Benjamin Papac as their son Albus Potter; David Abeles as Ron Weasley, Yanna McIntosh as Hermione Granger, and Folami Williams as their daughter Rose Granger-Weasley; Lucas Hall as Draco Malfoy and Jon Steiger as his son Scorpius Malfoy.
They are joined by Theo Allyn, William Bednar-Carter, Natalia Bingham, Ebony Blake, Melanie Brezill, Shannon Cochran, Elijah Cooper, Irving Dyson Jr., Kita Grayson, Logan James Hall, Abbi Hawk, Corey Hedy, Tyler Patrick Hennessy, Kyle Hines, Nathan Hosner, Nicholas Hyland, Charles Janasz, Katherine Leask, Joel Leffert, Andrew Long, Lily Mojekwu, Emily Juliette Murphy, Steve O'Connell, Erik Evan Olson, Christian Pedersen, Julian Rozzell, Jr., Natalie Adele Schroeder, Tuck Sweeney, Geoffrey Wade, Lauren Zakrin, and Brittany Zeinstra playing a variety of characters.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child features movement by Steven Hoggett, set by Christine Jones, costumes by Katrina Lindsay, music & arrangements by Imogen Heap, lighting by Neil Austin, sound by Gareth Fry, illusions & magic by Jamie Harrison, music supervision & arrangements by Martin Lowe. Casting by Jim Carnahan, CSA.
Tickets are currently on sale through June 20, 2020, at HarryPotterOnStage.com and in person at the Curran Theater box office. Additional tickets will be released on Friday, December 6 at 11 a.m. PT, for performances through July 12, 2020. The box office hours are Tuesday through Saturday 12-8p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.-7 p.m. (closed Monday).
Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy
Let's see what the critics have to say!
Lily Janiak, SF Chronicle: When "Cursed Child" does resonate, it can rely on blunt hammers, well-worn instruments. Fathers and sons can't look at each other, let alone tell each other they love each other, and they often articulate their inarticulateness in boilerplate, their lessons learned as bluntly expressed as if in an instruction manual. The cheesy, generic music compositions, by Imogen Heap, don't help, resembling the disembodied strands of sound an airport might play to cushion your stress as you bolt down a conveyor belt.
Karen D'Souza, SF Gate: However, the incantation loses its luster by the final act. Not to give away too much but the play tries too hard to straddle generations and genres, leaving some key plot points underdone. One dastardly minion of the dark lord, for instance, leaves much to be desired and the female characters in general aren't written with the same care as their male counterparts. For all its spectacle, the conjuring of "Cursed Child" feels somehow incomplete.
Linda Hodges, BroadwayWorld: Since we've all be sworn to secrecy, I won't say more about the story, but I will say that the acting in "Cursed Child" is uniformly stellar. Special accolades must go to Benjamin Papac (Albus) and Jon Steiger (Scorpius) who command the stage for most of the five hours of the show. Yanna McIntosh (Hermione Granger-Weasley), David Abeles (Ron Weasley), Angela Reed (Ginny) and of course John Skelley as Harry Potter had a synergy that honored the decades of friendship and love that their characters share.
Ellie Vengala, Mugglenet: It's a testament to the incredible cast that the audience's vision of magical realism is never shattered. The set may begin the elaborate storytelling experience that a play promises, but it falls the cast to truly embody and let the audience engage with this story, and they were unforgettable. Even the way John Skelley takes up space on the stage was unmistakably Harry Potter - he captures the character's fierce and stubborn personality with ease. Jon Steiger, who had previously worked on the New York production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, plays Scorpius Malfoy effortlessly. In one scene, while other characters were discussing a course of action, Steiger is still the embodiment of the perpetually anxious Slytherin. He taps his feet, fidgets, and when he interrupts with his dialogue, it's incredibly natural. Benjamin Papac's Albus Potter is every inch the despairing, fierce teenager that Harry himself was. Papac's thoughtful representation inspires the audience to draw parallels and truly understand the character of Albus as he struggles to understand himself.
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