Muggles and wizards alike gathered in New York's Times Square last night to celebrate the global expansion of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Led by actress Sarah Jessica Parker (Hocus Pocus) and a few other key influencers, the "Welcome Back to Hogwarts" event (which placed an Imperius Curse on most of the large video screens in the place) proved to be the largest takeover of the city center on record.
“Harry Potter has such a special place in my heart, and seeing the characters from the stories come to life on stage was true magic for me,” said Parker. “From the astounding stagecraft to the magic and illusions, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child brings true storytelling to life that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Being part of the whole experience tonight was one that I’ll never forget.”
Moreover, the takeover event was a chance to announce a brand-new campaign for the wholly immersive and innovative stage play. In honor of more than 2 million tickets sold all around the world, 934 lucky fans — the number being a tip of the hat to Platform 9 3/4 — will get to see the show for free. You can find out if you're one of the lucky few by heading to the show's website here and choosing a specific location.
Even Potter author J.K. Rowling got in on the magical shindig by cryptically tweeting about it — her first social media post since January.
"We are very proud that J.K. Rowling chose to tell her eighth story on stage. Just as she created a generation of lifelong readers with the Harry Potter book series, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is now doing the same for theatre, with over half of our audiences worldwide being first time theatre-goers of all ages,” said Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender, producers of the show. “Three years in and over two million tickets sold thus far, it is so exciting to watch audiences all over the world be transported ‘Back to Hogwarts’ to revisit their beloved characters. There is nothing like the experience of being in a theatre with a community of others, seeing and experiencing in real-time as the magic unfolds live before your eyes. The Boy Who Lived lives on, and the story continues on stage across the world because, as J.K. Rowling herself said: ‘Sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.’”
Cursed Child currently has active productions in London, New York, and Melbourne. Future shows will soon open in San Francisco, Hamburg, and Toronto. Based on a story by Rowling and Jack Thorne, the play's script was written by Thorne and John Tiffany. The story follows the children of Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy, Albus and Scorpius, as they try to prevent the death of Cedric Diggory in Goblet of Fire. As expected, the two friends end up royally messing with the Wizarding World timeline and the very fabric of reality itself.