Theater Round-Up: Broadway & San Francisco Suspend Shows, ‘Cursed Child’ Toronto Announces Cast & More

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Mar 13, 2020

Posted by: Dawn Johnson

Actor Interviews, Anthony Boyle, BigNews, Broadway, Casting, Fandom, Fans, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Honors/Awards, HP Cast, Interviews, Jack Thorne, Lynch, Neil Austin, News, Producers, Round-Up, Sonia Friedman, Television Programmes, Theater, Theater Round-Up, West End

This week’s theater round-up covers a broad range of news, including recent updates on the theater industry’s response to the spread of the coronavirus. The reaction has been decisive and, though undoubtedly disappointing to theatergoers, there’s much to celebrate and look forward to.

The Canadian production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child announced their cast, Evanna Lynch has been cast in an all-female adaptation of Hamlet, a new trailer released for Anthony Boyle’s The Plot Against America, Cursed Child’s Katherine Reis was cast in ABC’s The Brides, Toby Jones and Sonia Friedman Productions scored Olivier nominations, Jack Thorne has been tapped to pen a television adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities, Nicholas Podany released his first single and Jon Steiger appeared on a Bay Area news program.

Read on for more details!

Broadway Goes Dark as New York Public Gathering Ban Announced

In the wake of escalating health concerns regarding the spread and containment of the coronavirus, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a statewide ban on public gatherings exceeding 500.

According to Deadline, the ban is set to take effect Friday, April 13. In advance of the restriction’s implementation, the Broadway League announced the suspension of all theatrical productions Thursday, effective immediately.

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The ban will run through April 12 and will affect all 31 productions currently playing, including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, as well as productions scheduled to begin previews. Previews and openings will be postponed, and theatergoers holding suspended tickets are directed to contact the original seller to arrange for refunds or exchanges.

Reps for Cuomo tweeted additional details of the ban:

“We are taking new actions to reduce the density of people across the state. Starting Friday at 5pm, gatherings with 500 people or more will not be permitted in NYS. Additionally, for facilities with an occupancy of 500 or fewer, we are reducing the legal capacity by 50%.”

Similar actions are being taken across the country to minimize the impact of the virus. The producers of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child San Francisco that it will suspend performances. The Harry Potter Play announced:

“In line with the latest advice from the Governor of California, who has restricted mass gatherings to no more than 250 people due to the spread of CV-19, we must temporarily suspend performances of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child through March 31, 2020.

“We fully understand that this is disappointing and inconvenient for ticket holders and that many will want to change their plans for attending the show, so we have a ticket exchange policy in place now for March performances. A decision about performances in April and beyond will be made at a later date in line with the recommendations of health officials.”

Fan should contact the [email protected] or other original point of purchase for exchanges.

Of course, this also means that the Year 2 cast of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway had to say their goodbyes early, and without warning. We’ll miss them terribly (and can’t wait to welcome back those returning, along with London and New York’s original Ron Weasley, Paul Thornley!), and hope that the cast are able to have a proper send-off! For now, we’ll leave you with a last photo of the Year 2 Granger-Weasleys (Jenny Jules as Hermione, Nadia Brown as Rose, and Matt Mueller as Ron) – in equal parts heartbreaking and heartwarming!

We also can’t get over this short but sweet goodbye from Nicholas Podany (Albus Severus Potter) to Bubba Wieller (Scorpius Malfoy):


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“Love you. Can’t wait to meet you.” -every night before Act 1

A post shared by Nicholas Podany (@nicholaspodany) on

And while Harry Potter will not be able to shine its light from the stage during these dark times, it can still shine through media platforms such as these while public distancing is encouraged. So enjoy engaging with the fandom–and pick up a book for another reread and get to know your favorite wizards anew until you’re able to meet again in theaters! As J.K. Rowling herself said, “Wherever I am, if I’ve got a book with me, I have a place I can go and be happy.”

Cast Announced for Cursed Child Toronto

Meanwhile the Canadian production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child continues to prepare for performances opening at Toronto’s Ed Mirvish Theatre on Oct. 23, and the first cast of the new production has just been announced!

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Introducing the new, all-Canadian cast for @cursedchildcan! Performances begin at Toronto’s Ed Mirvish Theatre on 23 October. Head to the link in our bio to find out more (including how to get tickets!) ?

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Trevor White will play Harry Potter, Sarah Afful will play Hermione Granger-Weasley, Gregory Prest will play Ron Weasley, Trish Lindström will play Ginny Potter, Brad Hodder will play Draco Malfoy, Luke Kimball will play Albus Potter, Thomas Mitchell Barnet will play Scorpius Malfoy, Steven Sutcliffe will play Severus Snape, Susan Henley will play Dolores Umbridge, Sara Farbe will play Delphi Diggory and Fiona Reid will play Minerva McGonagall.

For more information on this production, visit the official Harry Potter Play site–tickets go on sale April 4!

Evanna Lynch Cast in All-Female Hamlet

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WhatsOnStage reported that Evanna Lynch, best known to Potter fans for portraying Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter films, has been cast in an all-female re-imagining of Hamlet at the Watermill Theatre.

Lynch joins a stellar ensemble cast, which will act under the direction of artistic director Paul Hart and Abigail Pickard Price. Katie Lais heads set design, Tom White will manage lighting design, Annie May Fletcher covers sound design and Chi-San Howard will act as movement director.

Of the ambitious re-telling, Pickard Price said:

“By presenting Hamlet as a woman we will tell Shakespeare’s timeless tragedy through the female gaze, fusing music and text in a manner unique to The Watermill Ensemble. Our Hamlet is a woman lost in a man’s world steeped in history and tradition, desperate to break the mould and fight the notion that frailty is personified by womanhood.”

The production is set to run from April 17 to May 23.

New Trailer for HBO’s The Plot Against America

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Leaky last covered HBO’s exciting new drama The Plot Against America a month ago when the initial teaser trailer for David Simon and Ed Burns’ limited series, adapted from the work of Philip Roth, was released. Now a full official trailer has hit media outlets and the result is chilling.

The show features Harry Potter and the Cursed Child star Anthony Boyle alongside veteran actors Winona Ryder, Zoe Kazan, Morgan Spector and John Turturro. They make up the Levin-Bengelsdorf family. Boyle, in particular, plays Alvin. The family struggles to navigate rising internal and external tensions in this alternate timeline of America’s WWII-era history in which Charles Lindbergh, an isolationist anti-Semite, presides over the nation’s swift descent into fascism.

Watch the latest trailer below and get ready for the limited series premiere on March 16 at 9 p.m. on HBO.

Cursed Child’s Katherine Reis to Star in Vampire Drama The Brides

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Another young Cursed Child star is set to traverse stage and screen. Katherine Reis, who made her Broadway debut in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, has appeared on television before, but her latest role may be the most exciting yet! According to Deadline, Reis has been cast as a lead in ABC’s new pilot The Brides.

The new drama from writer Aguirre-Sacasa and director Maggie Kiley is described as follows:

“The Brides, a sexy contemporary reimagining of Dracula, is a family drama with a trio of powerful female leads at its heart — Cleo (Gina Torres), Renée, and Lily (Reis). With strong horror elements, The Brides is a vampire soap about empowered, immortal women and the things they do to maintain wealth, prestige, legacy — and their nontraditional family.”

Deadline goes into even more detail to describe Reis’s role. As Lily Stevens, she’s the youngest bride. While struggling to make it as a singer in New York, she develops a relationship with a news reporter which may threaten her bond with her two “sister” brides. If that wasn’t interesting enough, her backstory will be well worth exploring–Deadline revealed that Lily roamed the dark streets of London during the reign of Jack the Ripper before being “rescued” by Dracula.

No production details or projected premiere date have been announced.

Toby Jones and Rosmersholm Garner Oliver Award Nominations

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The Official London Theatre announced this season’s Olivier Award nods, and there are a few Potter alums in the running!

Uncle Vanya, starring Toby Jones, voice of Dobby in the Harry Potter film series, and Rosmersholm, produced by Cursed Child’s Sonia Friedman, were both honored with nominations.

Bruno Poet (Uncle Vanya) and Neil Austin (Rosmersholm) were nominated for Best Lighting Design, Gregory Clarke (Rosmersholm) was nominated for Best Sound Design, Rae Smith was nominated for Best Set Design on both Uncle Vanya and Rosmersholm, Toby Jones (Uncle Vanya) was nominated for Best Actor and Hayley Atwell(Rosmersholm) was nominated for Best Actress. Ian Rickson (Uncle Vanya) was also nominated for Best Director, and Leopoldstat, also from Sonia Friedman Productions, received a nod for Best New Play.

In other awards news, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child London received nominations for two Mousetrap Awards: Best Ensemble and Top Tech Design.

Fans between the ages of 15 and 29 can vote here!

Jack Thorne Tapped to Pen A Tale of Two Cities Adaptation

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According to Deadline, Cursed Child writer Jack Thorne has been tapped to pen the script for a new television adaptation of Charles Dicken’s classic A Tale of Two Cities. The series is billed as a “relevant” reimagining of the story, which is set during the French Revolution.

Thorne is also known for his work on The Eddy, The Secret Garden, His Dark Materials, National Treasure, Kiri, Enola Holmes, The Aeronauts and numerous stage productions including Let the Right One In and A Christmas Carol.

And if you’ve missed it, watch the official teaser for the Netflix musical drama The Eddy, his collaboration with Damien Chazelle, below.

Nicholas Podany Releases Single “Telling Myself”

Nicholas Podany currently stars in the role of Albus Severus Potter in the Broadway production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, one of the few stage productions in residence that is not a musical, but Podany that doesn’t mean he isn’t gifted musically. In fact, James Snyder (Harry Potter) and he performed a magical duet last July at the Birdland. “The Pigeon Song,” as it came to be named, became an instant hit, and Podany has flourished in the months since becoming a wizard.

He has now released his first single, titled “Telling Myself.” In a recent blog post, he reflected:

“I first started writing the song while beginning my performance of Albus Potter. And if you listen to the lyrics… you can tell that character had a heavy hand in my writing style…

“I’m not trying to give any answers through this song, it was a gut feeling I had during the first few months of the run. But what I’ve learned since writing this, is the less you have to prove, the easier life is. So I’m trying to be loyal to the morals that guide me, and always listen to the people around me. But that’s not easy, and you can slip up. A lot. I guess this song is meant give those slip ups some catharsis, and get you back on your feet to try again.”

Listen to the single below, and read his full blog entry about the experience here!

Jon Steiger Appears on Bay Area News Program

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Finally, Jon Steiger, who plays Scorpius Malfoy in the San Francisco production of Cursed Child, appeared on a CBSN Bay Area news program to discuss the play.

The news anchor suggested that Scorpius sounds like an evil character, and Steiger quickly set her straight, explaining:

“Everybody thinks that, but actually he is one of the sweetest young men you’ll ever meet. He’s a very sweet boy, very human and he’s very shy. There’s a lot about his upbringing that has put him in a very strange position that he has to overcome, and he does in his own way, and Albus helps him get through a lot of his struggles.” 

It’s clear Steiger is deeply invested in the character and loves Scorpius for all the reasons Potter fans will probably grow to love him, too. If you want to know more about Scorpius–and want to catch a few precious glimpses of the carefully-guarded play–watch the full clip of the delightful interview below!





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