Of all the shows coming to Broadway, the most talked about this new season bears the most famous name in wizardry. Mark Phillips in London picks up the tale:
When we last saw Harry Potter, it was at the end of the final book and movie — “Deathly Hallows” — when the boy wizard, now a father, was sending his own son, Albus, off to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry — a trip that always began on the magical platform 9¾.
Seven books, eight movies and about a billion dollars to the good later for its creator, J.K. Rowling, that was supposed to be the end of it.
“I genuinely, I didn’t want Harry to go onstage,” Rowling said. “I felt that I was done.”
So what happened? “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” happened … a theatrical collaboration with director John Tiffany and playwright Jack Thorne.
It’s been the theater event of the year in London. It won a record nine Olivier Awards (Britain’s version of the Tonys). And it’s about to go to Broadway. Tickets for the New York production, which opens next year, go on sale next month.
So, Phillips asked, “What is it about the prospect of earning millions of pounds from bringing Harry Potter to the stage that most appealed to you?”
“Well, I’d said no to everyone for 10 years,” she replied. “Because to answer your question equally directly, we all know I don’t need the money. Life is too short.”
It was the prospect of working with Tiffany and Thorne, Rowling says, that finally convinced her.
That, and the temptation to tell the story of of Harry’s son, Albus, and the burden he carries as the child of a famous parent. The rest, we sort of can’t tell you.
The rest, we sort of can’t tell you. Part of the schtick of the Harry Potter production is that anybody who’s seen it is asked not to reveal the plot and spoil it for those who haven’t.
The first scene of the play is the last chapter of “Deathly Hallows,” explains John Tiffany: “Albus, it’s kind of suggested very beautifully, isn’t gonna have as easy a time. So, it’s all there for the kind of taking.”
And they do take their time taking it. The play is actually two plays –…