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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - One Part?

SouthernCakes
#25Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - One Part?
Posted: 7/22/20 at 12:45pm

Can you explain what makes the change over so elaborate? Really curious about it!

Dollypop
#26Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - One Part?
Posted: 7/22/20 at 1:33pm

I have a friend in the cast and he hasn't volunteered any information about the show being streamlined into one part.


"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)

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#27Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - One Part?
Posted: 7/22/20 at 1:38pm

BroadwayGuy12 said: "Scarlet Leigh said: "Can the play be trimmed down from one part to two? That's not as easy to do. It would basically mean totally overhauling the entire production and having to put it back into tech rehearsals."

This is true, but we should alsoremember that they're in a unique place where, regardless of whether or not they cut the show down, they're still going to have to re-rehearse and re-tech should they decide to reopen. Reducing the show to a single part would certainly make this process more laborious and more expensive, but I'm not surprised to hear that the producers are using this time to evaluate ways they can better position themselves if/when they decide to reopen.
"

Rehearsing and reopening the current show is night & day different than overhauling everything.  These two scenarios aren't comparable.

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uncageg
#28Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - One Part?
Posted: 7/22/20 at 1:41pm

yankeefan7 said: "I saw both parts in London at the end of 2018 with my entire family. My wife and two daughters are big "Harry Potter" fans and I was a casual fan. We had had no problem seeing both parts in one day, planned our day in London around it. Went to a few places in London in the morning before the afternoon show and we made reservation to eat at nice place called "The Cambridge" after Part 1. The restaurant was right across the street form the Palace Theater. Everybody really liked both parts of the play and I don't think they should change it to one part."

 

I agree with you. I saw it here in NYC and enjoyed every moment of it. 

Who knows, the show may have done much better had it come out sooner after the final book and movie. I have been wanting to read the books for a third time. My copies are in storage so tried late last year to borrow them from the library. Still a waiting list. on most of the books, so people are still reading them, but it is interesting that the show is not doing better. It seems that it being a two parter is the factor even with such a popular property.

I was planning to see it again with all of the discounts that came out back in March. Had decided that it would be the first thing I saw when Broadway re-opened (If it re-opened). Now I am thinking twice because of those tweets. I may just do it as I am an Imogen Heap fan. Hearing that music in the theater was thrilling and a big reason that I want to return to see it again. I just wish Rowling would issue a believable apology to make me feel better about going again! Just my random thoughts. 

 


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Fosse76
#29Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - One Part?
Posted: 7/22/20 at 1:46pm

SouthernCakes said: "Can you explain what makes the change over so elaborate? Really curious about it! "

Having seen the show enough times to be in that Repeat Attenders documentary,  it looks like the rigging used for the Part 1 finale is "removed" before part 2. I recall one day looking the ceiling before part 1 started and seeing it, but it was totally gone by part 2. Aside from that, I can't imagine anything else being intensive. 

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VotePeron
#30Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - One Part?
Posted: 7/22/20 at 2:05pm

Fosse76 said: "SouthernCakes said: "Can you explain what makes the change over so elaborate? Really curious about it! "

Having seen the show enough times to be in that Repeat Attenders documentary, it looks like the rigging used for the Part 1 finale is "removed" before part 2. I recall one day looking the ceiling before part 1 started and seeing it, but it was totally gone by part 2. Aside from that, I can't imagine anything else being intensive.
"


The rigging is always in place (details) - 

 
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The flying rig uses the same 4-point system that Pink uses on her tours (and ironically Spider-Man used in the same theater). There are four cable points in the theater: 2 on the ceiling of the balcony, and 2 in the ceiling towards the proscenium. During Part 1, the four wires are connected together (like a web) to a single point in the middle of the auditorium, so if you look hard enough, you can see the four wires across the ceiling. At the end of Part 1, a trap door opens and the actor lowers for the trick. For Part 2, the 4 cables return to their axis points. You can see the 2 in the balcony connected together on the ceiling. 
 

It could be done during an intermission but people would much more clearly see the wires.  

 

Updated On: 7/22/20 at 02:05 PM

Fosse76
#31Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - One Part?
Posted: 7/22/20 at 3:18pm

A producer friend of mine told me that the the reasons Harry Potter wasn't doing as well as believed was a direct result of its 2-part nature. Even Angels in America was constantly on TKTS.

If I were in charge, and I've been told repeatedly I'm not, I would slash the entire plot as follows. 

 
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They can keep the basic plot in tact, but I would 100% eliminate Lily Potter from the show. She serves no purpose, and it would shorten the opening scene considerably.

The time turner would still feature, but after Harry finds it, Delphi steals it (off stage from Hermione's office). Instead of Albus and Scorpius trying to save Cedric, they'd be trying to Stop Delphi, and end up getting kidnapped by her and taken to Godric's Hollow. It'd really be a combination of Part 1, Act 1, and Part 2, Act 2. Delphi would be about Harry's age, because instead of being the daughter Voldemort, she is still the daughter of Belatrix (and her husband), raised by two death eaters because her parent were imprisoned. No rumors about Scorpius being the son of Vodemort,but still ostracized because he is a disgraced Malfoy. They'd be able to eliminate all of the flashback scenes, Harry's scar nonsense, no Dumbledore scenes, no "general meeting" scenes, and no alternate timelines. I'm sure there's a way to keep the dementors. And no rightous indignation speeches from McGonnagall. 

It'd still be long, and some of the spectacle might be lost (such as the bookcase and even the polyjuice potion), but they can can still keep the old wizard's home, the dementors (somehow), and even duel between Harry and Draco.

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#32Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - One Part?
Posted: 7/22/20 at 3:28pm

quizking101 said: "Sutton Ross said: "As we have seen from shows like The Inheritance, the two part model is just not popular anymore. I love them personally, but I understand why this show asked people those things, I don't know a thing about anything Harry Potter related, but I'm sure people would feel fine with it being just a one part play."

I think the problem with THE INHERITANCE was that it was a primarily unknown entity with unknown actors riding in on a good wave of London press. Where they shot themselves in the foot severely was 1) the ridiculously high initialprice the tickets were being sold for and 2) creating an uneven performance schedule and not bothering to offer any sort of discount or incentive to buy both parts at the same time (like Harry Potter or AIA). They got cocky and closed earlier than intended (though COVID was what ultimately put it out of it’s misery).
"

COVID didn't close The Inheritence - they weren't selling long before Covid was a thing and announced closing a month before Broadway shut down. Terrible marketing, a mediocre play, and arrogant producers closed The Inheritence. 

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quizking101
#33Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - One Part?
Posted: 7/22/20 at 4:21pm

itsjustmejonhotmailcom said: "quizking101 said: "Sutton Ross said: "As we have seen from shows like The Inheritance, the two part model is just not popular anymore. I love them personally, but I understand why this show asked people those things, I don't know a thing about anything Harry Potter related, but I'm sure people would feel fine with it being just a one part play."

I think the problem with THE INHERITANCE was that it was a primarily unknown entity with unknown actors riding in on a good wave of London press. Where they shot themselves in the foot severely was 1) the ridiculously high initialprice the tickets were being sold for and 2) creating an uneven performance schedule and not bothering to offer any sort of discount or incentive to buy both parts at the same time (like Harry Potter or AIA). They got cocky and closed earlier than intended (though COVID was what ultimately put it out of it’s misery).
"

COVID didn't close The Inheritence - they weren't selling long before Covid was a thing and announced closing a month before Broadway shut down. Terrible marketing, a mediocre play, and arrogant producers closed The Inheritence.
"

They announced closing for March 15th, 2020, though their last performance was a few days prior because COVID shut down all the theaters.


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Ravenclaw
#34Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - One Part?
Posted: 7/22/20 at 4:37pm

Cursed Child is so fast-paced and already races through plot at the great expense of character that I truly can't see how it could be condensed to one part. The only things that could conceivably be cut--the subplots with the adult characters and the big special effects sequences--are the reasons people buy tickets to the show.

I am the target audience for this show--I am deep in the HP fandom, and I am an avid theatre goer, but I have yet to see the show because I have read the script and hated it. And most of my fellow Potterheads feel the same way--the most positive reactions I've heard within the fan community are "Even though the script is disappointing, the visuals are amazing and make up for that," which is not winning praise.

If they condense it to one part, I suppose that would lower a barrier for entry, but it wouldn't solve the real problem--the rabid fanbase of Harry Potter, the people who should be paying hundreds of dollars to book seats several months in advance, aren't interested in a poorly-written piece of fan fiction that doesn't even bother to follow the canon of the original books.

When Solo: A Star Wars Story failed to live up to box office expectations, there was all this speculation from executives about how it was released too close to another Star Wars film, or that the marketing was wrong. You heard every explanation except that it was a bad movie.

If Cursed Child were as great a piece of writing as the original books, the two-part thing wouldn't be such a problem. You can't blame The Inheritance's failure on its two-part structure when it got such middling reviews and word-of-mouth over here. It failed to live up to the expectations of its target audience. The people I know who love Cursed Child the most are the people who went in with the least knowledge about the books. Which is fine, I'm glad people do enjoy it, but that's a much tougher crowd to market to than the millions of people who visit the theme parks and the studio tour every year.

Fosse76
#35Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - One Part?
Posted: 7/22/20 at 4:56pm

Ravenclaw said: "Cursed Childis so fast-paced and already races through plot at the great expense of character that I truly can't see how it could be condensed to one part. The only things that could conceivably be cut--the subplots with the adult characters and the bigspecial effects sequences--are the reasons people buy tickets to the show."

Easily. I outlined in my post how it can be done. Altering the premise of the show slightly, combining Part 1 Act 1 and Part 2 Act 2, and eliminating nonessential scenes and characters (some of which would be excised anyway) would easily work. Having the play in 2 parts was a cash grab. 

 

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JBroadway
#36Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - One Part?
Posted: 7/22/20 at 4:58pm

Hey, while they're at it, why don't they bring in a better writer to replace Jack Thorne? 

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hork
#37Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - One Part?
Posted: 7/22/20 at 5:03pm

For what it's worth, I've read all the books multiple times and watched the movies multiple times and I loved Cursed Child. I thought it was a worthy continuation of the saga and is actually better than a couple of the novels. I really don't see how it could be cut, nor should it be. Nobody would ever consider cutting Angels in America. Whether you love Cursed Child or hate it, there's something to be said for maintaining the sacredness of the text of any play, and making drastic cuts to an established play sets a bad precedent, I think.

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itsjustmejonhotmailcom
#38Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - One Part?
Posted: 7/22/20 at 5:15pm

quizking101 said: "itsjustmejonhotmailcom said: "quizking101 said: "Sutton Ross said: "As we have seen from shows like The Inheritance, the two part model is just not popular anymore. I love them personally, but I understand why this show asked people those things, I don't know a thing about anything Harry Potter related, but I'm sure people would feel fine with it being just a one part play."

I think the problem with THE INHERITANCE was that it was a primarily unknown entity with unknown actors riding in on a good wave of London press. Where they shot themselves in the foot severely was 1) the ridiculously high initialprice the tickets were being sold for and 2) creating an uneven performance schedule and not bothering to offer any sort of discount or incentive to buy both parts at the same time (like Harry Potter or AIA). They got cocky and closed earlier than intended (though COVID was what ultimately put it out of it’s misery).
"

COVID didn't close The Inheritence - they weren't selling long before Covid was a thing and announced closing a month before Broadway shut down. Terrible marketing, a mediocre play, and arrogant producers closed The Inheritence.
"

They announced closing for March 15th, 2020, though their last performance was a few days prior because COVID shut down all the theaters."

But they announced the closing on Feb 20th, and it was clear to everyone in the industry long before that. Their grosses were low and they were looking for priority loans. I don't think COVID had anything to do with it.

Fosse76
#39Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - One Part?
Posted: 7/22/20 at 7:22pm

hork said: "Whether you love Cursed Childor hate it, there's something to be said for maintaining the sacredness of the text of any play, and making drastic cuts to an established play sets a bad precedent, I think."

They do it with Shakespeare all the time, and Cursed Child is no Shakespearean play.

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JBroadway
#40Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - One Part?
Posted: 7/22/20 at 7:48pm

Fosse76 said: "They do it with Shakespeare all the time, and Cursed Child is no Shakespearean play."

 

Haha, I was thinking the same thing. Nobody cares if you cut Fortinbras from Hamlet, so why not the Trolly Witch from the Harry Potter Play? 

Having said that, I've reflected on this a bit more, and I actually don't necessarily think this would be the best thing for the play artistically.

I don't have any objection to making drastic cuts to established plays. In fact, I think a lot of established plays would really benefit from major cuts, if only the authors and their estates would allows it. Hork, your comparison to Angels in America is interesting to me, because I actually think Kushner is incredibly rambling, and often self-indulgent. I think Angels has a lot of those qualities as well, and I think there's actually a lot of stuff in Angels that could be cut without harming the story.

HOWEVER, I like Angels anyway for 2 main reasons (1) while I think some of it is unnecessary, most of it is brilliant, and (2) the fact that he goes to SUCH an extreme with it - 8 hours of material - makes the fat more forgivable. Because like I said before, it becomes an epic experience, and the audience is along for the ride. If it were just as rambling, and indulgent, but only lasted 3 hours, I don't think it would feel nearly as good. And in a way, I think the same is true of Harry Potter. Because while a lot of it is easily cuttable, the main issues with the play, for me, are not in the length or the extra fat. For me, it really just comes down to shoddy dialogue and poor treatment of the canon. And I just don't think that would be fixed by cutting it down to 3 hours. 

So if you made all those cuts, the script still might suck, and maybe it would suck even more; and in the probess you've now also robbed the text of (IMO) its main positive attribute: which is the sense of being on a grand, epic adventure with these characters. 

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Scarlet Leigh
#41Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - One Part?
Posted: 7/22/20 at 8:42pm

Fosse76 said: "SouthernCakes said: "Can you explain what makes the change over so elaborate? Really curious about it! "

Having seen the show enough times to be in that Repeat Attenders documentary, it looks like the rigging used for the Part 1 finale is "removed" before part 2. I recall one day looking the ceiling before part 1 started and seeing it, but it was totally gone by part 2. Aside from that, I can't imagine anything else being intensive.
"

Think however though of all the things needing to be put away/put into preset between the two parts. It's not so much in changing anything like rigging or anything such as that that makes it intensive. It's swapping and setting the elements unique to each part. Things that are used in part 2 are stored out of the way of traffic during part 1. Most likely a lot of things are even hung up in fly space in the wings. So the time between parts is spent swapping these elements. Putting away elements that were used in part 1 but will not be used in part 2 and bringing in all the pieces that were stored out of the way during part 1 and putting them into preset for part 2 as well. With a show as fast pace and with as many moving sets, props, and magic that can be a lot. There is also a lot of pyro used in part 2, act 2 that needs to be safely handled and set as well.

It IS doable to cut it down to one part but that mean they need to pick and chose what pieces of set and props stay and what goes, remove the elements, rework where everything lives backstage and in doing so that might end up changing the flow of how things move around backstage and onstage as well. That is going to be the challenging part here. It's one thing to cut 5 pages of dialogue but when set changes happen in that cut script, you now need to go back in and rework all the action to get everything where it needs to be when it needs to be there. 

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itsjustmejonhotmailcom
#42Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - One Part?
Posted: 7/22/20 at 8:44pm

Dollypop said: "I have a friend in the cast and he hasn't volunteered any information about the show being streamlined into one part."

That's because they will literally be the last ones to know that info.

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trentsketch
#43Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - One Part?
Posted: 7/22/20 at 9:00pm

Reducing it to one part is the smart move at this point. When Broadway can reopen, the Harry Potter brand will obviously help the show. However, the cost of one Broadway ticket instead of two (with associated travel costs) will be a much easier sell to tourists. Dedicated Potter fans will surely come back to see how the story changed from the first time they saw it. It also gives them another much more manageable version of the text to license when it does close on Broadway. Do you know how many schools would want to do that Harry Potter play if it was one part instead of two? Enough to justify a one part reduction even if they never mount it on Broadway.

Ravenclaw
#44Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - One Part?
Posted: 7/22/20 at 9:43pm

JBroadway said: "Hey, while they're at it, why don't they bring in a better writer to replace Jack Thorne?"

That's the thing, isn't it? He must be a really kind person because he isn't getting all the work he's getting based on the quality of his writing. Multiple times now have I seen something so embarrassingly poorly written that I had to google who wrote it only to find Mr. Thorne's name and think "ah, that explains it." Even when adapting beloved properties (Harry PotterHis Dark MaterialsLet the Right One In) he fails to create characters that resemble human beings, reducing them to plot devices, often while finding the cheapest laughs possible. 

Even so, I can't put all the blame on Thorne's shoulders. Whatever input Rowling did or did not exercise, she did have story credit on that mess, and the story is ultimately where it's broken. Instead of moving the story forward, it re-litigates the events of the novels and, in doing so, contradicts many of the driving themes of the original work while betraying the integrity of its characters. 

When it was announced that John Tiffany would direct a play set in the world of Harry Potter under J K Rowling's supervision, I was excited beyond words. If I had any positive feelings toward the script, I would have paid so much money that I couldn't afford to get myself to London to see the show in its first year. I would have paid top-dollar to see it on Broadway several times by now. But once I read the script, I suddenly felt all the desire to see it drain from me completely. And I know an astounding number of people who feel the same way. And that wouldn't change if it were only in one part. When the bones are broken, a band-aid won't fix it.

Jarethan
#45Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - One Part?
Posted: 7/23/20 at 4:38pm

hork said: "For what it's worth, I've read all the books multiple times and watched the movies multiple times and I lovedCursed Child.I thought it was a worthy continuation of the saga and is actually better than a couple of the novels. I really don't see how it could be cut, nor should it be. Nobody would ever consider cuttingAngels in America.Whether you love Cursed Childor hate it, there's something to be said for maintaining the sacredness of the text of any play, and making drastic cuts to an established play sets a bad precedent, I think."

Actually, I have long felt that Perestroika is not nearly good as Millenium Approaches, and could benefit for some extensive cutting.  I doubt that would result in AIA being one part, although there are a number of O'Neill plays that run close to 5 hours.

Fosse76
#46Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - One Part?
Posted: 7/24/20 at 12:51pm

VotePeron said: "Fosse76 said: "SouthernCakes said: "Can you explain what makes the change over so elaborate? Really curious about it! "

Having seen the show enough times to be in that Repeat Attenders documentary, it looks like the rigging used for the Part 1 finale is "removed" before part 2. I recall one day looking the ceiling before part 1 started and seeing it, but it was totally gone by part 2. Aside from that, I can't imagine anything else being intensive.
"


The rigging is always in place (details)-

 
Click Here To Toggle Spoiler Content
The flying rig uses the same 4-point system that Pink uses on her tours (and ironically Spider-Man used in the same theater).There are four cable points in the theater: 2 on the ceilingof the balcony, and 2 in the ceiling towards the proscenium. During Part 1, the four wires are connected together (like a web) to a single point in the middleof the auditorium, so if you look hard enough, you can see the four wires across the ceiling. At the end of Part 1, a trap door opens and the actor lowers for the trick.For Part 2, the 4 cables return to their axis points. You can see the 2 in the balcony connected together on the ceiling.


It could be done during an intermission but people would much more clearly see the wires.

"

I never said it wasn't (it's why I put "removed" in quotes). But it goes from being visible during part 1 to not visible in part 2. It doesn't do that on it's own. And I was there enough times to not be misremembering.

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BroadwayNYC2
#47Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - One Part?
Posted: 7/24/20 at 1:43pm

I’d be said to see this happen. The show remains one of my favorite theatre-going experiences

DrewJoseph
#48Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - One Part?
Posted: 7/25/20 at 5:14pm

If there was a time to do it, it would be now. But I dont see how.. it would be a completely new production. It’s definitely not simple and I would personally be against it. But if thats what it takes to keep running it might be the right thing.

I agree with everyone that the story and characters are not canon to the original books. But I do massively love the experience of the two parts!

Very curious to see what will happen. I’ve got tickets for december in London.

Fosse76
#49Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - One Part?
Posted: 7/25/20 at 7:34pm

DrewJoseph said: "If there was a time to do it, it would be now. But I dont see how.. it would be a completely new production. It’s definitely not simple and I would personally be against it. But if thats what it takes to keep running it might be the right thing.

I agree with everyone that the story and characters are not canon to the original books. But I do massively love the experience of the two parts!

Very curious to see what will happen. I’ve got tickets for december in London.
"

I pretty much concluded that they borrowed the plot form Back to the Future part II for the simple reason that they probably thought they needed to have familiar characters for it to appeal to fans. Snape, Dumbledore, Hagrid, and Voldemort were significant characters in the series. The only way to integrate them was time travel. They also needed interaction with those characters But they also had to have reversible consequences with those interactions, which, unfortunately, contradict how the book treats time travel. Personally, I like my previous suggestions to simplify the plot. It also wouldn't require the audience to have an encyclopedic knowledge of the series.