It’s great time to be alive, Harry Potter fans, especially if you live in New York. You might be counting down the minutes until you can grab tickets to see ‘The Cursed Child’ when it comes to Broadway next year, but before that, you have to see the Off-Broadway show charming the pants off Potterheads. It’s time to see ‘Puffs’.
Full disclosure: I’ve seen Puffs, or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic, 3 times in the last year and each time I see it, I love it even more. For me, it’s a 90-ish minute laughfest on all things I love (and mock) about Harry Potter and his adventures. When I go, I know I’m in a room full of friends, both on stage and off, because there isn’t a person in the theater who isn’t there for the same reason: a love of the Potterverse. And now, the show has moved to it’s new home at the New World Stages, making the show bigger, funnier, and dare I say, more magical than before. At it’s core, Matt Cox’s show is playful, yet poignant perspective on the Potter universe and any true fan will love the unique story perfect woven in the tale we all know too well.
The play tells the story of a few loyal, hardworking students you never got the chance to meet while Harry, Hermione and Ron were pulling all the spotlight to their adventures. At the center of this story is a trio of very different friends: Wayne (Zac Moon) an orphan from New Mexico whose parents died in a tragic ‘chocolate frog accident’ and who’s desperate for fame and glory in his new school; Megan(Julie Ann Earls), the daughter of a Death Eater imprisoned in ‘WizPriz’ (because we can’t say Azkaban), who has issues with the fact she’s clearly been sorted into the ‘wrong house’; and Oliver (Langston Belton) a ‘Mug Born’ math prodigy who goes from top of the class to resident Squib in an instant in his new school.
Together, these unlikely friends stick together with their fellow Huffle… er, sorry, Puffs to overcome several dangerous, yet strikingly familiar situations: a troll in the dungeon, the Yule Ball, the death of the Puff’s most famous boy, and even the Battle of Hogwarts. The standout moments for any die-hard fan will definitely be the intersections of the ‘Puffs’ and the wizarding world created by J.K Rowling. Laughs will be had by any true Potter fan as the play both celebrates and mocks keys moments from all seven stories. Ever wonder what the hell everyone was doing during the second task of the Triwizard tournament? Yeah, ‘Puffs’ covers that. They also reveal the true dangers of underage Butterbeer drinking and that even at Hogwarts, there was an epic 90s playlist. Oh, and the role of Ron is played by my mop. Appropriate.
But by plays end, you’ll find yourself caring much more for Wayne and his friends than you thought you would. Maybe you didn’t grow up with them like Harry, but the Puffs are so lovable and relatable, you’ll leave the theater wishing they were in the stories all along. As a Potter fan from way back, I laughed, I wept, and I wanted to watch it again and again like it was an HP film marathon on Freeform!
Puffs is playing at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street, New York, NY 10019). The performance schedule is Mondays at 8:00 PM; Fridays at 8:00 PM; Saturdays at 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM; and Sundays at 3:00 PM and 7:30 PM.
HollywoodLifers, next time you’re in NYC, check out Puffs for sure! You won’t regret it!