BWW Review: PUFFS OR SEVEN INCREASINGLY EVENTFUL YEARS AT A CERTAIN SCHOOL Opens at the Coterie
PUFFS is not the Kleenex tissue, though you may need one to wipe away the tears running down your cheeks from the sustained laughter. PUFFS OR SEVEN INCREASINGLY EVENTFUL YEARS AT A CERTAIN SCHOOL OF MAGIC AND MAGIC opened Friday, February 28 at The Coterie Theatre in Crown Center. Matt cox has written a hilarious parody of the famous boy wizard series of books and movies which should not be missed. Amanda Kibler, the Education Director for The Coterie, directs this look at the secondary characters from the seven years that Potter was at that school whose name we cannot say.
PUFFS is the tale of Wayne a boy from New Mexico that discovers he is a wizard and must attend the now-famous school in England to learn magic and wizardry. There he meets Oliver Rivers and Megan Jones (Harry had Ron and Hermione, who appear as props with wigs) and forms a friendship that lasts throughout the play. The three are thrust into the house of Puffs by the sorting hat. The Puffs is a house of misfits who are looked down upon by almost everyone at the school. Their intent isn't to win the award for the best house at the end of the year but to come in third. Wayne and his newfound friends face many tasks and characters that take them through the seven years they are at the school.
R. H. Wilholt gives a dynamic performance as the Narrator, Harry, Professor Turban, and Professor McG among others. His portrayal of a Certain Potions Teacher brings an uproar of laughter every time the character comes on stage. Wilholt's performance is, without doubt, one of the best comical performances I have seen on Kansas City stages this season. It was amazing to watch as he switches from one character to another of the twelve without missing a beat.
Darrington Clark gives a wonderful performance as Wayne Hopkins and has previously appeared in several productions at The Coterie, the last being as Snoopy in A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS. Jazlyn Epps stars as Megan Jones, and J. Will Fritz as Oliver Rivers and Mr. Voldy, both give outstanding performances.
The only regret anyone could have about PUFFS OR SEVEN INCREASINGLY EVENTFUL YEARS AT A CERTAIN SCHOOL OF MAGIC AND MAGIC would be to miss one of the remaining performances. PUFFS runs through March 22 and tickets may be purchased online at www.thecoterie.org
Photos by Erin Stricker and courtesy of The Coterie Theatre.