How can you not love "Puffs or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic?" I did!
Max Cox has taken my once Harry-Potter-loving-self and made me see another side to the 7 years of magic that I have been raised on, and it was absolutely amazing... shall I say, "Magical?"
We follow the well known-story of the “Boy who lived” from a very unlikely perspective, the not-so-famous (at all), Wayne. A lesser known "HufflePuff" who is busy enough just trying to figure out how to live his own life. In case you are wondering, Hufflepuff House is one of the four Houses of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and was founded by Helga Hufflepuff. Hufflepuffs are known for being trustworthy, loyal and hardworking. According to author of the original source, J.K. Rowling, Hufflepuff roughly corresponds to the element of earth. But Wayne... well, that's another story.
This new twist on the tale is told by the endearing Narrator (A.J. Ditty). He introduces us to Wayne, played by a very hilarious Zac Moon, does have some things in common with Harry. He too is an orphan (Harry Potter lost his parents in a very famous, but ugly way at the hands of "he who must not be named"... yet magically survived), and now Wayne he is headed to that same incredible school we all fantasized about and we get to see his very unique point of view on those same seven years.
We begin with book 1. Like any kid heading off to school, Wayne faces a similar adolescence as us muggle folk, on top of those very familiar “pings” that come with awkward young friendships and relationships. He finds himself striving to become the best student in Hogwarts. During this journey he befriends Oliver (Langston Belton), his math-obsessed housemate, who also has a tough adjustment to make…… math just isn’t as important in a school of witchcraft and wizardry. With the help of his new friend, Wayne takes on the task of being friends with Megan (Julie Ann Earls), who has a few dark family secrets of her own. With her mother being a follower of the Dark Lord, Megan feels even more like an outcast than the others; dreaming of being different like her mother and lacking in Puff Pride. The three unusual friends must partake in a very strenuous seven years of living in the limelight.
Throughout the 90-minute or so play, the audience laughs, cries, and laughs some more at the incredible growth of the "Puff house" characters. Audiences are introduced to Cedric Diggory, the Mag-tastic , as not just the (undermined) heart throb, but as the man who encourages all of his young Badger-wearing wizard friends. He teaches those in his house that life will not always be easy or glamorous like it may seem for others, but that life is about trying again and again until you do finally get it. In fact, that is part of the glory of being a HufflePuff. Each and every character in this performance is an essential part of the story. They make you feel like a true Puff. Showing off their true versatility, Madeleine Bundy, Jessie Cannizzaro, Nick Carrillo,James Fouhey, Andy Miller, Eleanor Philips, Alex Haynes, and Stephen Stout wowed me with every character they played.
This is the perfect play for not only the biggest (or smallest) of Harry Potter fans, but for anyone who has ever felt like they did not belong. This is the play for the underdog, for the hard-worker, for the goth, for the loner, for the goofy, and the downright lost! We can all stand together in perfect Puff Pride! The Director, Kristin McCarthy Parker, did nothing short of magical job. Don’t walk, fly, to the New World Stages
Performances at New World Stages, 340 West 50th Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues)
Schedule: Mondays at 8:00pm; Thursdays at 8:00pm; Fridays at 8:00pm; Saturdays at 2:00pm; Saturdays at 8:00pm; Sundays at 3:00pm.
Elle Genevieve, Managing Editor and Contributor, is a graduate from SUNY Cortland. She currently teaches, travels, writes, and is working on getting her masters, while pursuing her dreams in theatre. Elle lives in Queens, New York.