Potted Potter is a family-friendly delight, aimed mostly at a young audience, and is fairly short (70 minutes with no intermission). They’ve figured out the formula for pacing and solidly entertaining show that includes everything from wig rotation on demand, audience participation, and a Georgetown Cupcake smeared across the face.
What on earth does this have to do with Harry Potter? Quite honestly, it’s more of a supplemental meme gone wild. The parody covers all seven HP books, some in more detail than others, and plays pretend with the idea that the actors know the details of the books. The show is more of a panto than a traditional American play (note that the creators have also made a show called Potted Panto), meaning that there is by nature a vagueness to the interpretation, bound to have a tremendous number of costume changes and usually at least one musical moment.
If you enjoyed A Very Potter Musical or Potter Puppet Pals this is show like those YouTube classics. The staging is relatively minimal, with “real props” from the film set, and a wardrobe that doubles as a video screen.
The two actors probably have one of the best gigs in town with this show. It’s clear that their fantastic performances, while scripted, also are buoyed by a lot of improvisation. I’m still thinking about the chocolate cupcake crumbs covering the floor.
Before the audience gets to their seats, they are handed a program in the form of a scroll. Though I advocate the scroll making a comeback, the program is literally the same length as my leg. It’s a bit unwieldy, though it is smile-worthy and a fun keepsake.
One of the most appealing parts of the show is the game of quidditch, during which one of the actors described the person dressed as the flying snitch as “Bob The Builder on a night out.” I can’t pretend like I wasn’t tempted to raise my hand to volunteer for a position on the team. They ended up choosing two elementary-age kids, which is fine, and they had alternative roles for the audience.
The show is playing at Sidney Harman Hall, the home of the Shakespeare Theatre Company, directly across the street from the ex-Verizon Center now-Capital One Arena. This means that after you escort your visiting relatives or unaware date to see the cherry blossoms to the Tidal Basin, you can then drag them to “go eat” and catch the show.