Sunday, December 28, 2014

Potted Potter Brings Hilarious Family Fun to the Panasonic Theatre

Boo and I have started a Harry Potter movie marathon this weekend, so it seems a great time to put up our review of this show. (For the record, he still hasn't seen all the movies, and has never read the books. I have to get him started on the books asap.) "Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience" is currently playing in Toronto at the Panasonic Theatre, and it is a must-see for any fan of J.K. Rowling's work.
Benjamin Stratton & James Percy in Potted Potter
Benjamin Stratton & James Percy in Potted Potter
"Potted Potter" is a parody of the Harry Potter series, covering all seven books in seventy minutes. There's a healthy dose of allusions to other great fantasy works, like the Hobbit and Narnia series, as well.  The show was written by Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner, and the Toronto run stars UK actors Benjamin Stratton and James Percy (or Jesse Britton and David Ellis for select shows during the holidays).

These guys are hilarious, and their interactions with the audience, both prior to and during the show, will have you in stitches. I actually had aches in my diaphragm from laughing so hard. (They apologised to me on Twitter for that.) The show hits on all the major points of the Potter story and even includes an audience participation Quidditch match. Of sorts. It's fun!

Sets, costumes, props, are all minimalist, and often quite silly, adding to the fun of the show. And the ongoing struggle between the actors - one of whom, Ben, has squandered the once lavish budget on a single scene and continually frustrates the more serious partner, James - provides a great "second story" full of laughs.

Boo and I highly recommend this one. He left the theatre loudly proclaiming how sad he was that they weren't videotaping the show so he could watch it again at home. Over and over again.

Oh! They were also serving butter beer at the theatre. Be sure to pick one up for a true Harry Potter experience.

"Potted Potter" runs through January 11, 2015, at the Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge St., Toronto. Tickets are available through or by phone at 1-800-461-3333, and range from $39.95-$99.95.

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