Review: Potted Potter (Broadway Playhouse)

| November 19, 2012 | 6 Comments

Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner star in Broadway in Chicago's "Potted Potter", directed by Richard Hurst. (photo credit: Carol Rosegg)        
      
Potted Potter 

Written and performed by Daniel Clarkson 
      and Jefferson Turner
Directed by Richard Hurst 
Broadway Playhouse, 175 E. Chestnut (map)
thru Dec 16  |  tickets: $40-$85   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     



     
       

Though starting slow, show ends on evil-squashing, fun-loving high note

     

Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner star in Broadway in Chicago's "Potted Potter", directed by Richard Hurst. (photo credit: Carol Rosegg)

    
Starvox Entertainment and Potted Productions i/a/w Broadway in Chicago presents
    
Potted Potter

Review by Katy Walsh 

Starvox Entertainment and Potted Productions presents Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience – A Parody by Dan and Jeff

Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner star in Broadway in Chicago's "Potted Potter", directed by Richard Hurst. (photo credit: Carol Rosegg)Harry Potter is a kid wizard.  He goes to Hogwarts School.  He plays Quidditch. His destiny is to battle an evil sorcerer named Voldemort.  His schoolmaster, Dumbledore provides guidance.  His friends, Hermione and Ron help too. These are the essential fictional facts from J.K. Rowling’s classic seven “Harry Potter” book series.  The best selling novels turned blockbuster movies get abbreviated in this zany lampoon.  Potted Potter is a family-style, vaudevillian, Harry spectacle. 

I’m a big fan of Harry Potter.  I’ve read all the books and seen all the movies.  I was geeked out about this show’s potential for a Potter marathon in seventy minutes.  Initially, I was disappointed.  The show starts out with a sketch bit where Jefferson Turner berates Daniel Clarkson for not having read the books.  Clarkson’s muggle ignorance is amplified as his scenery choices are revealed.  The oversize props don’t have anything to do with the magical world of Harry Potter.  Dang!  I felt like a Trekkie who goes to a convention and nobody is speaking Klingon. 

Turner and Clarkson meander through the first few books with not much substance but plenty of energy.  Turner is straight man to Clarkson’s buffoonery.  They know how to play to a crowd because the audience eats up the schtick.  The show even turns interactive with a beach ball-based Quidditch match.  It’s cute, but for a Harry Potter diehard, I’m left waiting at Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross station in London.  Eventually around book 4 or 5, Turner and Clarkson start actually going by the book.  Turner narrates the overview.  And Clarkson hilariously plays all the characters.  The finale is an evil-squashing, fun-loving climax to the song “I Will Survive.”       

Potted Potter is more madcap than magic.  These wack-a-doodles from London captivated the kids and their families.  Not only do you not need to be a Harry Potter fanatic to enjoy the show, it probably adds to the amusement if you’re not.  Me?  I need a little more Hermione and Ron in my Harry experience.  I’ll probably just sip on some butter beer and rewatch one of the DVDs.

  
Rating: ★★½
  
   

Potted Potter continues through December 16th at Broadway Playhouse, 175 E. Chestnut (map), with performances Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays at 7:30pm; Wednesdays at 2pm and 7:30pm; Saturdays at 2pm and 8pm; Sundays at 2pm.  Tickets are $40-$85, and are available by phone (800-775-2000) or online through TicketMaster.com (check for half-price tickets at Goldstar.com). More information at BroadwayInChicago.com(Running time: 70 minutes, no intermission)

Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner star in Broadway in Chicago's "Potted Potter", directed by Richard Hurst. (photo credit: Carol Rosegg)

Photos by Carol Rosegg 


     

artists

cast

Daniel Clarkson, Jefferson Turner

behind the scenes

Richard Hurst (director); Carol Rosegg (photos)

Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner star in Broadway in Chicago's "Potted Potter", directed by Richard Hurst. (photo credit: Carol Rosegg)

3words: An avid fan of Harry’s books and movies, Shawn describes PP with ‘it was okay.’

12-1139

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Category: 2012 Reviews, Broadway in Chicago, Broadway Playhouse, Katy Walsh, National Tours, Parody

Comments (6)

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  1. Jacquelyn says:

    I highly recommend watching a A Very Potter Musical, a parody musical theater production available on YouTube, for clever, funny and genuine Harry Potter-themed humor. Thanks for the tip about this show! As a Potterhead myself, I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed this as much as I’d hoped.

  2. Katy says:

    Thanks for tip, Jacquelyn! I think that’s Star Kids Productions. I heard rumor that there might be a staged sequel of that. :) Hopefully, it’ll come to Chicago!

  3. Kristi says:

    Katy, I laughed a lot but not necessarily at any Harry Potter references or lack thereof. You’re right about not needing to be a Harry Potter fan. I found Clarkson and Turner entertaining and decided they could probably make anything funny.

  4. Mary m says:

    Very silly. Intended for young children. My teenage boys did not find the humor entertaining. Would not recommend.

  5. BEL says:

    Tickets for Potted Potter are priced like any large-cast, big production Broadway in Chicago musical, but the show comes off as 70 minutes of not-terribly-clever-and-a-bit-too-frenetic silliness. I have seen far more amusing sketches done at any one of the many Chicago improv venues where the price of admission is less than $20. We spent over $400 for a family of 5, and came away feeling completely ripped off. Even the three kids — all Harry Potter Fans ages 14, 12, and 10 — were a bit befuddled afterward that there wasn’t something more to it. Potted Potter feels a lot like a case of the Emperor’s New Clothes: critics sing its praises, but the truth is that there isn’t there there.

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