Harry Potter and the Cursed Child's creative team sound off on conjuring an 'emotional journey' with Broadway debut

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Apr 22, 2018

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child premiered today at Broadway's Lyric Theater in Manhattan, and the red carpet was studded with stars. Ezra Miller, David Hyde Pierce, Fran Drescher, Chris Rock, Liev Schreiber, Emma Thompson, Allison Williams, and none other than J.K. Rowling herself were all present to watch the transplanted show from London's Palace Theatre. In particular, Miller and Thompson have both been in film adaptations of the Harry Potter universe as Credence (a powerful Obscurus) and Sybill Trelawney (Hogwarts's Divination teacher), respectively.

In addition to all the celebrities were the production's producer Sonia Friedman; director John Tiffany; and Jack Thorne, who co-wrote the script with Tiffany. Friedman spoke at length about the freedoms awarded to her by Rowling, the creator of this fantasy universe. 

"It's about trust," she said. "Fundamentally, Jo [J.K. Rowling] trusted me and my co-producer Colin [Callender] to put together the team that was going to be able to deliver what we've finally put on stage, and I think trust engenders love and respect and responsibility, and it's a great honor to carry that responsibility for her, and that's my job, and that will always be my job."

When asked about what fans can expect from the show, Friedman said that it will be a "new experience" for them. "It's a new story for those that haven't read the script yet. I hope they will experience the beauty of the power of the imagination, which theater can deliver. I hope they will love seeing some of their old friends on stage, Harry, Ginny, Hermione, Ron, and a few others that we don't say because we still keep the secrets. A lot of Potter fans who grew up with Harry Potter are just so happy that Harry's back, and they cherish Harry, and we cherish Harry for them."

As for Tiffany and Thorne, both were gushing at the seams at how much they love the show and the way it re-introduces longtime fans to the world of magic. Finding the best theater and retaining the show's original spirit were two of the top priorities when bringing the show over to America, according to Tiffany. 

"I work with a lot of very, very clever people to enable and realize that magic," he said. "There's a real Victoriana to Harry Potter, there always has been, and we wanted to explore Victorian illusions and magic tricks. Of course, we do it in a 2018 way, but still, that's the kind of aesthetic of it. It's amazing being in that auditorium and hearing a number of gasps that we elicit every performance, it's really fun."

"Hopefully, they feel we do justice to who Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Albus and Scorpius are now and why they're like that," added Thorne. "And hopefully we take them on an emotional journey, that was what we tried to make. The work that John's done is just extraordinary, and the staging is fantastic and unlike anything else." 

(With reporting by Tara Bernie)