Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has a … mixed-to-negative reputation among die-hard fans of the book series, but the Tonys awarded the spinoff play with six Tonys awards out of its ten nominations.
Cursed Child walked away with Best Play, Best Scenic Design of a Play, Best Costume Design of a Play, Best Lighting Design of a Play, Best Sound Design of a Play, and Best Direction of a Play.
For those who have avoided the story—I can’t say I fully blame you—Cursed Child centers around the youngest, and most tragically named, Potter child, Albus Severus Potter, and his sweet baby angel best friend, Scorpius Malfoy. There is a Time-Turner and prophecy involved. Cursed Child was not written by J.K. Rowling, although she came up with the story, and while there are some elements of fun and interesting character stuff depending on which characters you like (fans of Ron Weasley will be bitterly disappointed), it overall reads as fanfiction.
However, on the stage, from what I’ve heard, it is a truly magical experience, despite being over 4 hours long. Still, as a fan of Harry Potter, I’m happy to see it doing well, not to mention the complete joy I feel about having Hermione played by a woman of color. The eight-year-old in me feels very satisfied.
The constant expansion of the Harry Potter universe has largely been a mixed bag for me. Some of it is really interesting and gives us a larger understanding of what the wizarding world looks like, but a lot of it has worked to undermine some of the things that make it fun, by retconning flaws in a way that seems disingenuous. It has been strange watching Harry Potter grow into this thing that is very meaningful to me, but is also a giant monopoly of movies, films, etc. that has some of the heart of the books and all of the cash-grabs of a company.
Despite it all, watching Harry Potter thrive feels mostly good, even if the material is just fanfiction—without all the fun parts of fanfiction. Cursed Child doesn’t have to be part of my Harry Potter experience for me to be happy for it. There’s already a great Harry Potter musical that I love.
(via Variety, image: Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
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