Sunday, January 03, 2016

Harry Potter, This Time With More Hufflepuffs!

If you love Harry Potter, but think the secondary characters are way more interesting than the whiny Boy Who Lived, get yourself to the P.I.T. for Puffs, Or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic & Magic. Even if you like the character of Harry, you'll still enjoy all seven books told from the perspective of Hufflepuffs (with enough details changed so writer Matt Cox doesn't get sued).
Cox parodied anime with the three-part epic Kapow-i GoGo and again he sets himself apart from other parody writers by writing funny jokes for the fans while creating three-dimensional characters that you can care about despite your level of fandom. This time, his protagonist is Wayne Hopkins (Zac Moon), a boy from New Mexico who finds out he's a wizard and goes off to wizarding school in England where he gets sorted into Puffs. Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin have hilariously and accurately been changed to Brave, Smart, and of course, Snakes. Wayne becomes friends with fellow Puffs Oliver (Langston Belton), who is good at math and terrible at magic, and Megan (Julie Ann Earls), whose attempts to be a badass can't hide her greatest desire--to have friends, and their adventures parallel a certain other trio. The few Hufflepuffs that J.K. Rowling mentions by name are also here, including the most famous, dreamy Cedric Diggory (Evan Maltby).

There's a lot packed into these "80-ish minutes"--after all, it took eight movies to cover the same events--and director Kristin McCarthy Parker keeps the action from becoming too chaotic. Like the Harry Potter series, this play has plenty of magic, snogging, fighting, and friends bonding. Those who have read the books and seen the movies will find the most to laugh at, such as when they get to year five and Wayne says, "Apparently we don't have to wear uniforms anymore. You can just wear regular clothes now," but anyone can relate to these characters who don't get any breaks and aren't worshipped as heroes.

Tickets for January are sold out online (you can try to get in at the door). The show has been extended until the end of February, so I suggest you get on booking those $10 tickets now. That's less than what you'll pay to see Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.

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