Wizard Magic: JK Rowling Hopes Harry Potter Play Goes Global | NBC New York

Wizard Magic: JK Rowling Hopes Harry Potter Play Goes Global

The script of the play is being published Sunday, with a global print run in the millions, so future audiences will have more opportunities to know the plot in advance if they choose

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    In this photo taken on July 28, 2016, the Palace Theatre in London shows advertising for the new Harry Potter play. Nine years after J.K. Rowling's final novel about the boy wizard, Harry has returned, on the stage and the page - and he's still producing commercial alchemy. "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child," a two-part stage drama that picks up 19 years after the novels ended, has its gala opening Saturday at London's Palace Theatre, and is all-but sold out through December 2017.

    London is under Harry Potter's spell once more — and J.K. Rowling hopes the rest of the world will eventually follow.

    The stage play "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" had its gala opening Saturday in London's West End and is already the theater event of the year.

    If the boy wizard's creator has her way, that will only be the beginning.

    "I'd like as many Potter fans to see it as possible," Rowling said on the red carpet outside the Palace Theater, as fans cheered and poked camera phones over crowd barriers in hope of getting a picture.

    'Tonight Show': Elijah Wood Is Friends With the Bachelor

    [NATL] 'Tonight Show': Elijah Wood Is Friends With the Bachelor
    Elijah Wood reveals his real-life friendship with "The Bachelor's" Nick Viall, causing him and Jimmy Fallon to get lost in a conversation about how "real" Nick is on the show, Corinne and who should get that final rose.
    (Published Friday, Feb. 24, 2017)

    There's already talk of a Broadway run, and Rowling said: "I'd like it to go wider than that."

    Co-producer Sonia Friedman said she had big hopes for the show, which has been more than two years in the making and is slated to run in London at least until December 2017.

    "Hopefully many countries at some point will get to see it," Friedman said. "But it's a big piece of theater, it's a big endeavor. You can't just turn this around overnight."

    The two-part play has been in previews at the theater for almost eight weeks, but few details of the plot have leaked (though those seeking spoilers online will find them).

    Meyers Celebrates Three-Year 'Late Night' Anniversary

    [NATL] Meyers Celebrates Three-Year 'Late Night' Anniversary
    Seth Meyers didn't want to bring up his show's anniversary, so an audience member does for him.
    (Published 5 hours ago)

    People leaving the show are handed buttons urging them to #keepthesecrets — and most have complied.

    Director John Tiffany said spilling the play's secrets was "like unwrapping children's Christmas presents for them in November, in front of their eyes. And why would anyone want to do that?"

    Rowling said fans have "been amazing, they've been incredible."

    "It is the most extraordinary fandom, so I'm kind of not surprised, because they didn't want to spoil it for each other," she said. "But I am so happy we got here without ruining everything."

    One Last Ride: Jackman on Playing Logan for the Final Time

    [NATL] Hugh Jackman Talks Playing Wolverine for the Last Time in 'Logan'
    Actor Hugh Jackman talks about playing Wolverine for the last time in "Logan", the latest installment in the X-Men franchise. Jackman first appeared as the clawed mutant in Bryan Singer's "X-Men" in 2000.
    (Published Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017)

    The script of the play is being published Sunday, with a global print run in the millions, so future audiences will have more opportunities to know the plot in advance if they choose.

    Without entering spoiler territory, it's safe to say that the play has much to make fans rejoice. This is both an eighth instalment in the Potter saga worthy of Rowling's seven novels, and a stage spectacle to delight even the uninitiated.

    The script — written by Jack Thorne from a story by Rowling, Thorne and Tiffany — picks up 19 years after the end of the final novel, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows."

    Harry — the orphaned boy whose destiny was to save the wizarding world — is now an overworked civil servant at the Ministry of Magic, feeling the approach of middle age. His younger son, Albus Severus, is a reluctant pupil at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, struggling with the burden of his family's fame.

    'Tonight': Fallon's Monologue Takes on Trump, Spicer, GOP

    [NATL] 'Tonight': Fallon's Monologue Takes on Trump, Spicer, GOP
    Jimmy Fallon kicks off the "Tonight Show" with some jokes about President Donald Trump's frequent vacations, Sean Spicer's press briefings and angry town halls.
    (Published Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017)

    Fans who know the saga inside out are likely to appreciate the teeming detail of the play, which runs for five hours over two parts. It captures Rowling's richly textured magical world, with its byzantine mythology, complex history and array of fantastical creatures.

    The plot is a rollicking adventure in which Albus' attempt to right a wrong goes awry. But it also has adult things to say about loss and grief, and about the complexities of friendship and family love.

    The cast is anchored by the adult trio of Jamie Parker as Harry, Noma Dumezweni as Hermione Granger and Paul Thornley as Ron Weasley, and there are touching performances from Sam Clemmett as Albus and Anthony Boyle as Scorpius Malfoy, son of Harry's childhood enemy Draco Malfoy.

    The actors draw both laughter and tears from audience members. But it's the work of the production crew that elicits gasps, with illusions that appear simultaneously simple and inexplicable.

    John Zimmerman (background) /Getty Images (inset)

    Characters levitate, transform and disappear, in magic that feels hand-crafted rather than high-tech, although a great deal of technical expertise has gone into it.

    Buoyed by the work of movement director Steven Hoggett and composer Imogen Heap, the show captures the warm spirit of the world Rowling has created — one that has moved from page to screen to stage with its magic intact.