A Reworked 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' Brings Its Magic Back to the Curran

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Four young boys in robes wave wands in the air, leaning leftward
Benjamin Papac (center) and the San Francisco cast of 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.' (Matthew Murphy)

I need to start with a disclaimer: I am a Harry Potter fanatic. Not a casual “I watched the movies” kind of fan, either. I have two Harry Potter tattoos, my email address includes the word “potter,” and—you guessed it—I own my own wand.

So, when offered the opportunity to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which reopened last week at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco, I didn’t hesitate. I had read the play and admittedly wasn’t crazy about the story. It was long, too—and enduring six hours of the lesser Potter didn’t particularly appeal to me.

But now, after a redesign from its original, two-separate-performances form (read the KQED review here), The Cursed Child has been shortened to just one three-hour play. And maybe it’s the nostalgia of the 20-year anniversary special on HBO, or the release of the new Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but seeing my favorite trio back in action, I was not disappointed.

An epic battle against darkness in 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' at the Curran Theatre.
An epic battle against darkness in 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' at the Curran Theatre. (Matthew Murphy)

Immediately, the audience is transported to where the series left off in the epilogue of Deathly Hallows. Standing at Platform 9¾ is Harry, Ron, and Hermione, and soon we’re introduced to Albus Severus Potter, the timid and unsure son of the “Boy Who Lived.”

I don’t want to give too much away story-wise, but I can say what had me mesmerized was, simply put, the magic. Swooshing capes, flying Dementors soaring over the audience, duels to rival those that occurred in the Ministry of Magic—and I believed every second of it. My eyes twinkled in awe, consumed with the sheer magnitude of the production. I had almost forgotten how much I loved these characters.


If you’re one of the millions of Potter fans like me, I can tell you: It was that first-book feeling, when you feel energized by this world of wizards, witches, centaurs and most importantly: magic.

‘Happy Potter and the Cursed Child’ runs for eight performances each week at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco. Details here.