We had an excellent first day in New York. It started with a great breakfast, exploring Rockefeller Center, which led to a nice afternoon nap at the Hilton. Most importantly I reunited with my true love. Of course, out of fairness, I had to reunite Stephanie with her true love, theatre. Up until recently, Stephanie’s entire life has been theatre. She lives and breathes theatre. There is no way we were going to go to new york and not see a few shows. The first show on the list was Puffs or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic
New World Stages
Puffs is currently an off-broadway show playing at the New World Stages Theatre Complex. New World Stages is a cool concept that I have never really seen before. It basically a movie theater for stage shows. The complex has 5 stages of various sizes and currently is showing 7 different productions. This is promotes good shows, while cutting down on operating costs as there is one box office and one set of theater staff. It also provides a unique experience to mingle with people who just saw a different show.
As a Harry Potter Nerd who did not want to shell out several hundred dollars to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Puffs was the perfect alternative. The events of Puffs happens at the same time as the events in the Harry Potter Novels. But, it follows the Hufflepuffs!
“For seven years a certain boy wizard went to a certain Wizard School and conquered evil. This, however, is not his story. This is the story of the Puffs… who just happened to be there too. A tale for anyone who has never been destined to save the world.”
It follows the Story of Wayne Hopkins and orphan from New Mexico an extraordinarily average boy who is neither brave, nor smart, nor cunning, but tries really hard. Immediately upon arriving at his magical school in england he is sorted into a house of well-meaning misfits…the Puffs.
The Puffs are the joke of the school. Every year the get last in the house cup, lose at the intra school sports, and never receive notariety. Years of losing has tempered their expectations. They know that they have no chance of getting first place in the house cup, so they set an obtainable goal Third or Nothing!!!
My Take on Puffs
If you read the Harry Potter Books or watched the movies and thought to yourself “Why would a parent let their kid go to Hogwarts it’s so dangerous?,”Harry Potter is such a dick in the fifth book”, “Why did they overly sexualize the sixth movie?,” or “when do the kids learn math?” this is the show for you. While the story of the show is different from the books, the best parts are when it intersects with books. This is because at its heart Puffs is a cleverly written parody of Harry Potter. Our main characters, the background characters in the book, get to play the Statler and Waldorf role. Say what is on the mind of all of the readers. For instance, how fun was it really to watch the Triwizard cup? The second task takes place at the bottom of a murky lake!
While the story follows three Hufflepuffs not named in the booked, several of your favorite characters do make an appearance. As this is a story about the Puff’s, Hufflepuff hero Cedric Diggory is a prominent feature of the first four years. Of course we all know what happens in the fourth year or “The Puffs and the Year they Mattered”. It would not be hogwarts without some appearances with our favorite characters. The main character Wayne has some great interactions with harry, that causes his some of his unexplained mood shifts throughout the books and movies. However, by far, the best cameo was Ron Weasley. The actor that plays Ron truly captures is essence, and possibly does an even better job than actor Rupert Grint. Unfortunately the actor that originally played Ron Weasley in this show died shortly after a recent performance.
Yes, Ron is a Mop. While Hermione is just a bushy rope wig (which is basically her description in the books).
One Puffs best attributes is it is an unofficial play. Without license or authorization, they can be extra tongue and cheek. As they are not allowed to use actual names, everything becomes a great joke. This could have been terrible, but in this case it was brilliant. The modifications add another level of humor to the play. Gryffindor are the Braves, Ravenclaw the Smarts, and Slytherin are the ones that look like they are about to throw wine in your face. Additionally, they do not reference characters’ full names. As it is a Hufflepuff story all the Hufflepuffs from the make appearances. You will get to know J Finch, Hanna, Ernie Mac, and the resident Hufflepuff d-bag Zach Smith. Zach Smith Really will steal the show. During tryouts for the “sports” team, he has a completely improvised pre-game talk that was so hilarious several actors broke and started laughing.
In all the show was absolutely fantastic. I laughed so hard that my face hurt. It is the most fun I have had at the theater in ages.
Compared to a broadway show puff is cheap, however, at their regular full price tickets to puffs start at $57 and go up to $97 dollars for premium seating. We ended up paying about $60 a ticket. However, I found out later that the Puffs team regularly runs sales that it advertises through its Instagram. In the time since we left new york, I have seen several sales with tickets as low as $12. In an extremely small and intimate theater, there are no bad seats in the house so don’t shy away from the cheaps seats. So while the tickets aren’t unreasonable to begin with, you can really get a good deal if you wait for a sale. Even at full price, Puffs is a show that is worth your money.
Puffs is a brilliant parody of the Harry Potter series. It is a must see for anyone who is a fan of the books/movies and way better than spending several hundred dollars on Harry Potter and the Cursed child. At prices that are much lower than what you would get on broadway, especially if you can get a sale, puffs is a great deal for an evening of entertainment in New York. Especially if you identify as a Hufflepuff!