POTTED POTTER at the Orpheum Theater
potter in pot at the Orpheum is a rowdy roller coaster ride of inside jokes and sight gags, broad physical humor and a bit of audience participation sprinkled. The audience gathered was a mix of ages with many people in their thirties without children.
This is where I started to calculate who the average Harry Potter fan was. I personally remember reading these books about 20 years ago. I also remember adults and children alike being mesmerized by this series, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to see women in their thirties wearing stylish Harry Potter headbands. It was endearing to see muggle families with little wizards in their costumes in the hall before the show.
The set wasn’t much to watch as we waited for the show to begin, but it’s comedically revealed in the opening moments. The pre-show music, “on a loop”, seemed to play the same 150 bars of dramatic music loud enough to make me wish I had arrived early. I asked my girlfriend, a 13-year-old Potter fan, if she liked music, and she said “it sounded cool when we got here”. Note to future audiences, go there and queue for snack bar, popcorn or bowling would have been a welcome distraction while waiting for the show to start.
Once the show starts, it’s like a “shotgun start” with well-executed costume changes and sight gags and a talented and energetic artist duo taking the audience on this roller coaster with finesse and joy authentic. Daniel Clarkson, one of the co-creators and performers, has mastered the timing of sight gags and wide physical movements on stage and seems to be the steam engine that moves the parody of seven Harry Potter novels throughout this 70-minute journey. . Scott Hoatson, the performer playing Harry for most of the show, had a charismatic energy, a twinkle in his eyes and a cheerful essence that made me want to smuggle him out of the theater in an invisibility cloak to bring back at home.
Dan and Scott’s team immersed the audience in frothy excitement with their antics and calls for audience participation. The people in the front row looked like they were having the time of their lives as Daniel chose one of them as a “Hufflepuff”. My companion explained to me before the show that there is a website where you can take a test to find out which house at Hogwarts you would be in. Without access to the Sorting Hat, the rest of us have to resort to the World Wide Web, where I find my place in Gryffindor.
If you loved the Harry Potter series or have a fan in your family for all things “Potter”, you’ll be delighted to attend this somewhat irreverent gathering of fandom for the characters and inside jokes. . There’s something for everyone, even those of us who haven’t read all seven novels. I admit I got a bit lost in the scripts, but they get through it pretty quickly, and the real fun is anticipating what these two blunders will come up with next on stage.
potter in pot plays through Sunday at the Orpheum Theater, and judging by the audience reaction on Friday night, “word of mouth” will be strong, so get your tickets now.