When I hear the word “magic” I automatically think of two things. There is the magic of theatre and of course one of my favorite stories from when I was a little kid and that is the magical world of Harry Potter. Audiences in the Twin Cities can now be treated to two of my favorite magical things...at the same time! The show Potted Potter - An Unauthorized Harry Experience is now playing at the Pantages Theatre in downtown Minneapolis.
Potted Potter takes the hilarious comedic duo that is Joseph and James and puts them directly into the world of Harry Potter. Over the course of seventy minutes, the two act out all seven books. That’s right. Roughly 4,000 pages of stories including dragons, mystical witches and wizards, my favorite sport and only sport I would watch if real which is Quidditch and more! The two former Children’s BBC hosts work through costumes and fun special effects to help tell the stories.
The show originally was created to be a street show in which Dan and Jeff (the writers) were asked to create a five-minute show recapping of the plot of the first five books to entertain fans who were waiting for the midnight release of the sixth book. Little did they know that this show would expand into one of the funniest parodies to enchant audiences since the original movies.
While the plot is simple, the laughs are big. James is depicted as the Harry Potter expert as Joseph is the one who is assisting James in telling the stories. James wishes the show to have a huge production value with a Broadway ensemble and incredible effects. Joseph, who was in charge of these tasks by James, spent a large portion of the money on a giant fire breathing mechanical dragon...that ended up being merely a puppet.
One of my favorite parts of this show was the audience participation element. At one point they began to introduce the wonderful sport of Quidditch. They pulled two kids up from the audience to participate in finding the golden snitch, after dividing the audience into two groups. While they looked for the snitch on stage, the audience had to try to hit a beach ball through one of two large hoops on the opposite side of the stage. It was a fun way to get the audience involved in the show and garnered a lot of laughs.
What I think is so brilliant about this show is the vaudeville sketch comedy hour feel it gives. They’ve been touring with this show since 2005 and yet somehow it still feels like the books and movie just came out. It still feels like the story of the boy who lived was fresh and relevant as ever. It also is the perfect show for all ages. Whether you’re an adult who grew up with this magical tale or a child who just received their Hogwarts letter, it’s really adorable, charming and absolutely hilarious.
Below there is also a limited amount of discounted seats on Gold Star that you can purchase as well!
Potted Potter plays now through March 10th at the Pantages Theatre through Hennepin Theatre Trust.