When it comes to the show "Potted Potter," the tagline should be an immense comedy with a twist on the Harry Potter series. "Potted Potter" takes its audience on a fun-filled journey through all seven Harry Potter books in 70 minutes.
The show starts off with an introduction to the series with a brief overview from one of the show’s leads, Jeff Turner. Upon hearing that his partner, Daniel Clarkson, did not use the money he was given to hire 20 of Broadway, television, movie and theater’s best actors, Jeff is furious. Dan promises him that by the fourth book, a dragon that will appear and breathe fire from his mouth, swoop above the crowd and give a miraculous show. Jeff gives into his word and waits for this dragon to appear.
The two eventually decide that the show must go on. Jeff plays the role of Harry Potter, while Dan takes on every other main character in the series. The journey through all seven books is not only limited to the actors, it is also an interactive show where they ask for help from the audience. They also shoot blasts of water onto the audience, and host a Quidditch match for everyone to participate in.
When you first hear of the show, you may think it will feature a full cast, music, spectacular lighting, stage props and costumes. But if that is the show you are looking for, this is not it. While the show does feature music, lighting, stage props and costumes, the cast consists of just Dan and Jeff with props, costumes and music that make you want to roll out of your seat and laugh till you can’t stop.
There is nothing more amazing than going to a show that lacks the elements of a flashy, loud, musical Broadway show, but still lets you have a good time. The actors work well with each other and easily prove that they can run a show with just the two of them. Halfway through the show there is a pause where Jeff asks Dan to read the seventh Harry Potter book and start filling us in on the main parts of the book. The gag is that, ultimately lets Jeff down every time he asks for what he found out about the book which causes tension and comedy between the two of them.
The staged Quidditch match where the audience is split into two sides, Gryffindor and Slytherin, was a fun break in the show. Dan plays the referee while Jeff suits up as the Golden Snitch. After the crowd tossed around an air-filled beach ball and tried to throw it into the goal settings, which are held above the crowd on either side of the stage, Jeff appeared and it was time for the Seekers of each team to catch him.
Hilarious as always, Jeff came out dressed in a gold construction worker hat, yellow cleaning gloves and a gold ensemble and ran around stage making the sound of the Snitch. Slytherin ended with a strong win of a little boy tackling Jeff to the floor and placing his foot on top of him. This sent the crowd into a roaring cheer and the actors could not help but laugh at each other.
Nearing the end of the show, Dan brings out a stuffed animal dragon, which infuriates Jeff. After arguing about the dragon the two continue with the comedy and with the show. "Potted Potter" ends in a fabulous song and dance between the two actors on stage and lights flashing left and right.
The ending number is a Harry Potter-themed take on the song "I Will Survive" between "Harry" and "Lord Voldemort" where Harry sings that he will survive while, Voldemort sings about not surviving. The crowd was dancing, moving and cheering for the two actors as they performed their song and Voldemort was ultimately defeated for the final time.
Not only do these two guys flow well together, but the comedy also is pure and genius. Their take on the Harry Potter series is a show that everyone will enjoy and want to see again and again. You can tell that most of the jokes were fresh and even had the two men laughing while on stage.
Dan brought the most comedy to the show with his different voices and outfits for the different characters, while Jeff was more of a serious comedian. His role of storyteller and Harry Potter had a more direct approach while everything with Dan was a joke. The show was enjoyable and if you’re a Harry Potter fan and want to see the books and movies in a different light then this is the show for you.
It is in no way blasting the series, but it is taking a different approach on it, and making a good time out of it. There is not a second where you will be bored with this show, or regret paying to see it. This is ultimately a good time for all audiences from children to adults. You will leave the Little Shubert Theater in tears from laughter and a smile on your face.
"Potted Potter" runs through September 2 at the Little Schubert Theatre, 422 West 42nd Street. For info or tickets, visit www.pottedpotter.com/