The Unauthorized Harry Potter Experience
I remembered when my son Anthony first asked me to take him to the movies to see Harry Potter and how I was not looking forward to being in the theater for around three hours, however, I made a promise to take him. His excitement to see it was like opening presents on Christmas Day and it was the first book that he read from cover to cover in less than one week. I had to see why he was so engaged to read a book that had over 300 pages and boy I wasn't disappointed. All seven movies were great!
Well, like any great films these days, someone has to make a parody, and Harry Potter was a perfect Squib (Potter Slang) for such a play.
Duo Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner star in this zany, wacky yet surprisingly funny parody where they race through all seven books in 70 minutes; 80 for us and I will tell you why soon. These two have been playing too sold-out crowds all over the world and won the 2012 Olivier Award nomination for Best Entertainment & Family show with this unauthorized Harry Potter production.
Created and written by Dan and Jeff who presented it on CBBC as part of comedy, the duo brings back to life the great days of comedy. Their slap-stick humor reminded you of an episode of the Carol Burnett show when Harvey Korman and Tim Conway use to ad-live on stage or when Monty Python use to rule the Brits with comedy.
Dan and Jeff were brilliant with their off colored jokes which makes you feel like you are in a live studio watching Laugh-In. They don't make comedy like that anymore, but Dan and Jeff remind you what true comedy is all about. But hold your hippogriffs, if you think there is no way they can do justice to all seven books.
Well, of course, they can't. You can't do one Harry Potter book justice in 70 minutes, but that's not to say they don't pull off a fantastic feat of Potted Potter presentation. They don't lose a Knut and find a Galleon (another Potter term), they were able to magically bring to life a renewed joy of seeing Harry Potter to hundreds of kids and a few adults as well.
So remember when I said 80 minutes instead of the 70 listed, well the most interesting and somewhat bizarre part of the evening was when they requested two kids to come on stage to play Quidditch. There was a little girl that came on the stage and completely went crazy, screaming at the actors, hitting them with the hat which amazed the audience but somewhat terrified the actors.
What do you do when someone not a part of the performance starts their own performance? Daniel and Jeff handle it like professionals; laughing while making lite adult humor about the incident that was way above the kids head. Dan jokingly said she would be the first female president; which made the audience laugh while they were trying to figure out how to get this little rascal off the stage.
Speaking of things being over the kids head, I felt most of the play was geared more towards adults than kids. Their slapstick humor was far above most kid's comprehension, but they were still able to amuse them with their wacky reenactment of certain Potter characters.
I'm still not going to say the Potted Potter is for kids but if you bring them, don't expect to reminisce via a thorough analysis of the seven books of Harry Potter.
Potted Potter is more like the cliff note version with a lot of humor. From what we experience on opening night, the kids seem to enjoy it so; we recommend a trip to the Chicago Broadway Playhouse at The Water Tower Place to see Potted Potter this holiday season
The cast includes:
Writers and Performers
BROADWAY PLAYHOUSE Presents
A Parody by Daniel Clarkson & Jefferson Turner
Now Playing Through JANUARY 21, 2018!
Filed under: ChicagoNow