Are you eagerly anticipating next season’s soon-to-be impossible ticket, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two? (Registration for tickets starts October 1st.) Have you read all the books and seen all the movies? Is Moaning Myrtle your favorite ghost of all time? Does the idea of sticking a Land O’Lakes label on a brown beer bottle make you laugh? If you answered yes to some of these questions, perhaps Puffs is the diversion you need.
I have read all the books and loved the series. My favorite was The Prisoner of Azkaban. I’ve seen some of the movies. The Pensieve, a magical memory bowl, was a remarkable plot device. So I have enough knowledge to comment on Puffs, Or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic. This play is a take on the series from the point of view of the House of Hufflepuff, the most underrated of the four houses in Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. If you care not, stop reading now. This show is not for you.
If you are fully aware that the Puffs were perennial losers in competitions and you’d like to see them try again to be great wizards, then this madcap sendup of the series is a silly, funny, entertaining comedy. The audience roared when a joke was made about the book, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Only after looking it up afterward did I learn that it was “written” by a Puff. Yes, it will help to be a total Potter nerd to get every joke. Those who did – and there were many – seemed to be beside themselves with joy. For the rest of us, this was ninety minutes of well-directed fun with a high energy cast and some very impressive staging. One more thing to consider before you go. The Puffs are a little over Harry Potter, his hero attitude and those two friends of his. They did not heed the “he who will not be ridiculed” motto.