Nearly eight years after its London debut, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is coming to Chicago and making the rounds.
The West End and Broadway hit show, the spectacular sequel to JK Rowling’s blockbuster “Harry Potter” book series, will play on Broadway at Chicago’s Nederlander Theatre. Previews will begin on September 10, 2024, with the official opening scheduled for September 26, 2024. The final performance of the 21-week engagement will take place on February 1, 2025.
Chicago will be the starting point for the first national tour. The months-long rush here is expected to be a boon to the Chicago Loop’s economic fortunes next fall, potentially drawing tourists from across the Midwest. The show’s arrival could also be a rare opportunity for Chicago actors, as director John Tiffany is known for his love of the city’s theater artists. Longtime Chicago actor Steve Haggard is currently playing the title role on Broadway.
Based on the original story by Jack Thorne and written by Rowling, Tiffany and Thorne, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is set approximately 19 years after the end of the original fantasy series and follows Harry Potter’s son, Albert Severus Potter. She tries to plan her own journey at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where having a famous father is no fun and many unresolved conflicts remain.
To date, “Cursed Child” has been seen in London, New York, San Francisco, Toronto, Melbourne, Hamburg and Tokyo. The first London stage to receive enthusiastic response and spread critical praise, was a six-hour, two-part affair that required viewers to purchase two tickets to see the entire show, typically attending all afternoons and evenings on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. broadway production It opened like thisbut it was later changed to a one-show version, which increased the show’s attendance and grosses in the wake of the pandemic, although the creators were known to have preferred the original two-part idea, which continues to this day in London.
For US tour purposes, a single-evening experience (with a running time of approximately 3 hours 30 minutes) and a standard week of eight performances is obviously much more practical. The narrative is necessarily shortened, but all the magical effects remain – as is a story arc full of exciting revelations for Harry Potter fans who haven’t read the widely published script.
Chris Jones is a Tribune critic.