Without a doubt, like many, I am a Disney kid and a Potterhead. So, naturally, part of my trip planning would include finding places and activities that have to do with Disney movies and Harry Potter. And New York City is the perfect place to do that as there are many events, cafes, museums, and Broadway shows that are inspired by and that are of Disney and the Harry Potter franchise.
Here's my recent adventure.
A History of Magic Exhibition
5 October 2018 – 27 January 2019
New-York Historical Society
My niece, Cher who's a math wiz and a Ravenclaw (of course), scored discounted tickets for A History of Magic Exhibition. It was such a treat to get to experience it as it's only available for a relatively short period of time. I would have willingly paid the full price. The exhibit, which is inspired by and divided into the Hogwarts' classes (i.e. Charms, Astronomy, Potions and Alchemy, Divination, Care for Magical Creatures, and Defense Against the Dark Arts), showcases:
rare books, manuscripts, and magical objects from around the world, which are from the British Library's collection
original handwritten drafts, diagrams and character drawings by JK Rowling herself when she was writing the HP books
It was not only wonderful to get a glimpse of her creative process, but at the same time, have a better understanding of the centuries of folklore, myth and legend that provided the inspiration for her stories.
One of the things that I like about the experience is finding out that Mary GrandPré (original books), Jim Kay, Kizu Kubuishi, and Brian Selznick, the artists of the Harry Potter books, are all Hufflepuffs. Hardworking, loyal, and patient, and JK Rowling’s favorite Hogwarts House. I would have to say the same valuable characteristics for those who curated the exhibit as it was apparent in the level of detail and care the way these rare items were displayed. Photographs weren't allowed inside though.
Harry Potter & The Cursed Child
Part I and Part II - Lyric Theatre on West 43rd Street
I had some doubts about the Harry Potter & The Cursed Child play, I must say. I bought the book or the play script as soon as it came out. But the more that I read about reviews from fans and news articles about it, the more I became curious. What better way to showcase the magic of the Harry Potter world than in Broadway, when the audience can see live and up close.
The show is an epic two-part event, which you can choose to watch all in one day (2:00 PM and 8:00 PM); but Cher and I preferred to watch it on two (2) consecutive evenings. And, boy oh boy, what a treat!
The costumes, music by Imogen Heap, performances, and even the transitions between scenes were spell binding! I truly loved Noma Dumezweni, who played Hermione; her voice and commanding presence was, well, magical! But my favorite character was Moaning Myrtle. Although she only had only two (2) scenes as far as I remember, she was quite remarkable and incredibly funny.
The Broadway show has already won six (6) Tony Awards including Best Play. In 2019, Cursed Child is not only in New York and London, but Melbourne, too. A must see, Potterheads!
Lifespan of a Fact
18 October 2018 - 13 January 2019
Studio 54 on West 54th Street
Lifespan of a Fact was an opportunity to see Daniel Radcliffe in person! So, I gladly went to the city. I'm glad at this point, I was quite comfortable going around New York City on my own via subway and a lot of walking.
In Harry Potter, Daniel Radcliffe can be fun but not particularly funny. In this new play, which also stars Cherry Jones, and Bobby Cannavale, Dan plays the role of a nitpicking magazine fact checker, who is witty and hilarious. I'm glad I got to see him in person. The final performance is on the 13th of January 2019. Catch it if you can.
Frozen the Musical
St. James Theatre on W 44th St
I consider myself converted. I didn't particularly love Frozen, the movie, which I thought was just okay. I guess it's one of those things that you have to see and experience first hand to be a believer. Like the rest of the world, I became intrigued when I saw the viral video of Caissie Levy (Elsa) performing Let it Go for the US daytime talk show, The View.
I thought I had to see Frozen the Musical. It was also part of my bucket list to complete Disney on Broadway shows (i.e. Lion King, Aladdin and Frozen), which I have happily ticked off. All three are so good, I cannot simply pick a favorite.
Caissie Levy and Patti Murin (Anna) were perfect for their roles, were pitch perfect, and they bumped up the vocal range from the movie. My favorite cast was Zoe Glick as young Anna; she set the stage for everything. What a lovely singing, dancing little thing she was. I also loved the new music made for theater. The effects were mind-boggling magical; I had goosebumps! Take your kids to see it!
Aladdin on Broadway
New Amsterdam Theatre on West 42nd Street
Before heading back to Dubai, Aladdin on Broadway was my last Broadway show. I must say, the music, dances, costumes, and Arabic food references made me feel that although I was extremely happy to be in New York, I was also ready to go home. The costumes and the flying carpet were my favorite. Imagine seeing 80 costume changes in just a 3-minute song performance. Mind blown!
Aside from the movie music, Alan Menken's song that got cut from the original 1992 animated film, "Proud of Your Boy" sung by Al, is my new favorite.
I am even more excited that the live-action Aladdin movie comes out this year. Nevertheless, this is one Broadway show that should never be missed especially that it's at the New Amsterdam Theatre, which I think is the most beautiful Broadway theater that I've been to so far.
And, bravo, Disney, for having more Asian performers!
What Disney movie would you like to become a Broadway/West End musical?
Thank you, fellow Disney Kids and Potterheads!
Love always and #Lumos,
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