In case you weren’t clued in by the $32 million advance sales (with 250,000 more tickets going on sale Thursday), Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two is a global theater phenomenon. Right now it’s only playing London’s Palace Theatre, but the global part will be coming soon. Producers Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender have not made any official announcements, but the production—directed by John Tiffany (Once) and scripted by Jack Thorne (Let the Right One In)—has got to be eyeing a Broadway house. Whether the transfer will happen next fall or spring, we don’t know. But we can winnow down the possibilities for what theater could handle Harry’s magic.
Palace Theatre (Broadway & W 47th St): After An American in Paris finishes its run Oct 9, the Nederlander property will undergo an extensive renovation which will literally raise the theater 29 feet higher to accommodate a new lobby and retail space. Hard to imagine the work will be completed in time. It’s sad, since Friedman and Callender would probably love to say Harry is playing two palaces across the Atlantic.
Lyric Theatre (W 42nd St between Seventh and Eighth Aves): The Lyric is the second-biggest Broadway house (after the Gershwin) and could deliver a massive box-office bonanza. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child features impressive special FX, but they could get lost in that barn. Plus, Cirque du Soleil’s Paramour has survived its mixed reviews and keeps drawing in the tourists. At present, it's not somersaulting anywhere.
Ethel Barrymore Theatre (W 47th St between Eighth & Broadway): Good fit, since The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time—also English, also about a gifted teen in danger—will end its two-year run there next month. Cate Blanchett will be appearing there in The Present through Mar 19. Maybe Harry will sneak in next April to qualify for Tony Award consideration?
Nederlander Theatre (W 41st St between Seventh & Eighth Aves): Nothing currently scheduled there, but the venue has had bad luck lately (Amazing Grace, the disastrous Motown revival). We hate to be superstitious, but... (also: 41st St is kinda gross).
Broadway Theatre (Broadway & W 53rd St): If Friedman and Callender want to upgrade to a bigger house, the Broadway will be available after Fiddler on the Roof closes at the end of the year. Possible drawback: The space is just down the street from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert's Ed Sullivan Theater and the TV host (while a Potter fan) joked about how “depressing” the thought of a thirty-something Harry Potter sounds. Still, it seems the likeliest.