If you've never heard of Harry Potter, you may need to get out more. Suffice it to say that the series of Harry Potter books and the resulting eight films have become a cultural icon. So naturally, leave it to Magic Smoking Monkey Theatre, that's brought us hilariously condensed versions of Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings, to now present Stupefy! The 90 Minute Harry Potter. That's right. All eight films condensed and accelerated to a riotous pace.
Our crew of Harry Potter leads -- Harry Potter (Michael Pierce), the boy wizard, the studious Hermione Granger (Betsy Bowman), and our awkward gingy sidekick Ron Weasley (Jaysen Cryer) were marvelous. And all of the additional cast of characters were there, too -- everyone from Hagrid (Andrew Kuhlman) and Snape (Rob Suozzi), to "He Who Must Not be Named" (John Foughty) and Bellatrix Lestrange (Sarah Porter).
Photo credit: Brian Peters
The more familiar you are with the series of books and/or films, the more jokes you'll be in on, but under the ingenious direction of Suki Peters, and all of the additional cultural references that are included, it's a guaranteed good time whether you're a Harry Potter fanatic or not.
The projections courtesy of Juan Schwartz are brilliant -- from the talking portraits to the retro video-game screen that announces a Horcrux has been destroyed. Seriously -- you just have to see it for yourself. Oh, and Harry's Patronus! Hilarious! (I've read all of the books and seen all of the films so... yeah. What?!) Schwartz is also responsible for the scenic design with a neat backdrop of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and lots of room for the sizable cast to romp around in, on and under. Jaime Zayas provides the lighting design, Jeffrey Roberts contributes great sound design and Katie Donovan provides the vast array of spot-on costumes.
Magic Smoking Monkey has built up quite a following, so get your tickets quickly -- the rest of the run is sold out, but there is a wait list you can get on for Friday and Saturday by emailing a request to firstname.lastname@example.org. They've also added a performance for this Thursday the 13th at 7:30pm.
You'll have a lot of laughs, and a very good time. It looks like the cast is having a great time, too. Keep in mind that the 7:30pm performance is "family friendly." The late show is recommended for audiences 16 and over. Go see it!
STUPEFY! THE 90 MINUTE HARRY POTTER
Adapted by Jaysen Cryer
Directed by Suki Peters
Emerson Black Box Theatre at Lindenwood University, 2300 West Clay
through December 15 | tickets: $10 - $15
Performances Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm & 10:30pm *Added performance on Thursday the 13th at 7:30pm
Michael Pierce (Harry Potter), Betsy Bowman (Hermione Granger), Jaysen Cryer (Ron Weasley), and featuring Blaine Adams (George and others), Robert Ashton (Dumbledore and others), James Enstall (every freakin' dark arts professor, except Snape), Roger Erb (Draco and others), John Foughty (Voldemort and others), Max Knocke (Neville and others), Andrew Kuhlman (Hagrid and others), Carl Overly (Fred and others), Jamie Pitt (McGonagall and others), Sarah Porter (Bellatrix and others), Rob Suozzi (Snape and others) and Tasha Zebrowski (Ginny and others). Morgan Hatfield & Jaiymz Hawkins - creature operators and others.
Projection & scenic design by Juan Schwartz; sound design by Jeffrey Roberts; costume design by Katie Donovan; lighting design by Jaime Zayas; projection operator, Bob Singleton; stage manager, Maggy Bort.