My best friend is a huge fan of Harry Potter and she was dying to see the Off-Broadway show, Potted Potter. To be honest, I’m not the biggest Potter fan — I read the first three chapters of the first book and I watched the second movie — so I wasn’t sure if this show was for me. As soon as I learned that it was a parody though, I became interested.
Potted Potter is a two-man show that spoofs the critically acclaimed book and movie series, Harry Potter. The parody covers all seven books in about 70 minutes… it’s like a funny version of SparkNotes, which is good for people like me who barely know anything about Harry and his posse.
Like I said before, I was a bit skeptical about seeing this show since I’ve read/seen next to nothing in terms of HP books/movies, but I can assure you that you can still enjoy this show with a very basic knowledge of the franchise. With knowing as little as I did, I was still laughing my ass off. I didn’t feel like I was watching a(n Off-)Broadway show… it felt more like a standup comedy. I don’t mean that in a bad way whatsoever though… it was just very different from shows I’ve seen in the past, but I was very much expecting that. Plus, I’m not the biggest Broadway person, so this was much more my style.
To be honest, I thought the show started off a little slow, but it picked up quickly. Daniel Clarkson and Jeff Turner, the stars of Potted Potter, were really funny and their on-stage chemistry was great. I don’t know how long they’ve known each other, but they give the impression that they’ve been best friends for years. They played off of each other really well, even during some of their impromptu moments. Things went awry at times, but I think it worked in the show’s favor, thanks to the quick wit of Dan and Jeff. These unexpected moments in the show were where I got some of my biggest laughs. Furthermore, there’s a good chunk of the show that requires the audience’s participation, which I enjoyed. Quidditch, anyone? The audience was split up into two teams and the actors took two young volunteers up on stage (one seeker per team). The audience got to throw around an inflatable globe, trying to score a goal for their team. A goal? Is that right? I told you, I don’t know much about Harry Potter. Jeff dressed up as The Golden Snitch, which was hilarious… especially when one of the volunteers (a little girl, mind you) took him down to the ground. This is a great example of the impromptu-ness. Dan often joked about Jeff being pummeled by a little girl, which always got a good laugh from the audience. My only qualm with this show was that the humor was a bit corny and repetitive at times, but it was very minimal. Definitely something I can overlook.
Overall, I give Potted Potter 4/5 stars. As I mentioned, the show’s only about 70 minutes so I’m glad I got discounted tickets at tkts, which — I think — is the way to go for this particular show. Also, it was at The Little Shubert Theatre. In my opinion, there wasn’t a bad seat in the house (unless you really want to participate in the quidditch match). Unfortunately, the show’s leaving NYC tomorrow. If you need to make some last-minute plans for Labor Day Weekend, I’d definitely recommend getting tickets to see this show before you can’t anymore. You’ll definitely get some good laughs out of it.
Lastly, both guys seemed super nice. Before the show, Dan was going up to people in the audience and shaking their hands. I think he might’ve gotten to a good 20% of the theatre. Also, Jeff tweeted me, thanking me for coming (after I tweeted the show). They both seem like really funny, down-to-Earth guys. Keep up the good work, guys! Thanks for the laughs.