The night before we were scheduled to see Hamilton on our NYC trip, we were in New York City–in Times Square, to be exact, with animated glowing lights and signs screaming the names of well-known and unheard-of Broadway musicals all around us–and wanted to see another show. As I had mentioned in a previous blog, I was not interested in seeing another musical that might dilute the experience of seeing Hamilton. (Do not misunderstand me, under other circumstances I would have loved to see everything! Aladdin, Waitress, Miss Saigon, Groundhog Day, The Great Comet, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, you name it.) We considered seeing the Blue Man Group, but it was playing in another part of the city, too far away to get there in time. I had heard of a show called Puffs that had been appearing as a “promoted” post in my in my Facebook feed. I didn’t know anything about it, but when we lined up to purchase tickets at the TKTS booth in Times Square and I saw Puffs on the list of shows for a great deal, I thought, this could be awesome.
“I would like to let you know this play does contain some profanity.”
I had gathered that the show had something to do with being a Hufflepuff, the most mocked of the four school houses from the Harry Potter franchise. Perhaps, I thought, this show would be something totally different from Hamilton and a subject matter we knew pretty well. We purchased the tickets and made our way directly to the theater, a few blocks from the buzz of times Square.
We presented our tickets at the door to the theater and the woman glanced at my family, including my now-taller-than-me son and my nearly-as-tall-as-me daughter, and said, “I would like to let you know this play does contain some profanity.” My husband and I looked at each other and shared a grimace. That might have been a more timely warning when we purchased the tickets at the TKTS booth, instead of at the theater itself. As parents over the past fourteen years, we have worked diligently to clean up our language for our children’s benefit. (Maybe too much.) But they’re in middle school now. It’s not like they haven’t heard it before. There we stood, tickets in hand, the show about to begin in a few minutes’ time. We asked the kids if they would be okay with that. As expected, they both nodded (my daughter actually seemed eager); I think warning them helped set the expectation. We proceeded directly to our seats in the small theater, relieved that we weren’t going to let a little profanity get in the way of the Puffs experience–and I’m not even a Hufflepuff!
As parents over the past fourteen years, we have worked diligently to clean up our language for our children’s benefit. (Maybe too much.) But they’re in middle school now. It’s not like they haven’t heard it before.
If you are at all a fan of Harry Potter—books or movies—you would without question enjoy this play. If you were sorted into Hufflepuff via J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore website however, you might have many occasions to take offense. (Sorry, Badgers.) The show was a clever, tongue-in-cheek, delightful romp through HP’s “7 Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic.” The profanity–while definitely including more F-bombs than we drop at home–was nowhere near what I had braced myself for. Due to the last-minute ticket purchase, our four seats were not together but were grouped two and two with four seats in between. The kids sat together the few seats away from us, which unshackled them to appreciate the play separated from us, likely lessened any awkwardness they (or we) might have felt about laughing at anything that might normally be considered inappropriate for them. I stole a few glances at them during the show to catch them sharing belly laughs at the jokes–yes, even the inappropriate ones. The whole show was an inside joke with all Harry Potter fans on the inside. (Side note to sing the praises of my husband, who went along without a complaint even though he is not well-versed in HP lore. He leaned over to me occasionally asking, Why is that funny, who is that, what the hell. He should take a bow, he is a family man and and such a good sport.)
The play was an unexpected treat and provided another perspective on one of my favorite themes: Harry Potter. After the play ended, we strolled back to Times Square reminiscing about the jokes and quips of the show, and that’s when we discovered Hamilton’s evening show was letting out at that same time… and so we waited by the stage door for the actors to come out. (Read about the rest of that evening and Hamilton love in my Hamilton-themed blog!)
It was an unexpected bonus to the New York trip full of city lights. What about you, what Hogwarts house have you been sorted into? Do tell!