Puffs, or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic

Theater, Comedy New World Stages , Hell's Kitchen Until Monday December 31 2018
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Puffs, or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic
Photograph: Courtesy Hunter Canning

Theater review by Diane Snyder

For seven Harry Potter novels, the mediocrities of the Hogwarts house Hufflepuff lived in the shadow of their overachieving schoolmates. Matt Cox’s Puffs, or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic & Magic gives them their due. In this funny and affectionate homage to J.K. Rowling’s world of wiz kids, Harry, Hermione and Ron take a back seat to average American wizard Wayne (Zac Moon), goth gal Megan (Julie Ann Earls) and math genius Oliver (Langston Belton), who is stuck at a school that doesn’t even teach his subject. They may not be at the top of the class, and they’re not wild about Harry, but they persevere through adversity and find power in friendship.

A press release asks that the word parody be avoided in describing Puffs, but much of the show’s comedy is clearly aimed at Potterphiles. The 11 cast members play an assortment of characters, from a mumbling potions master to a squeaky house elf, and some of the jokes will be lost on those with no knowledge of the films or books. But even Potter virgins will enjoy the show’s witty wordplay and well-executed physical comedy. At times, the pacing is so frenetic that jokes can’t find a place to land, but there’s heart as well as humor here. In the past two years, Cox and director Kristin McCarthy Parker have shepherded their silly, subversive show from the People’s Improv Theater to Off Broadway’s New World Stages. Like its main characters, Puffs illustrates the heights to which underdogs can soar.

New World Stages (Off Broadway). By Matt Cox. Directed by Kristin McCarthy Parker. With ensemble cast. Running time: 1hr 45mins. No intermission. (Matinee perfomances are suitable for audiences of all ages; evening performances are aimed at adults.)

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By: Diane Snyder

Posted:

Venue name: New World Stages
Contact:
Address: 340 W 50th St
New York

Cross street: between Eighth and Ninth Aves
Transport: Subway: C, E, 1 to 50th St
Price: $67–$87
Event phone: 866-811-4111
Event website: http://www.puffstheplay.com
    • New World Stages $67–$87 Buy tickets
    • New World Stages $67–$87 Buy tickets
    • New World Stages $67–$87 Buy tickets
    • New World Stages $67–$87 Buy tickets
    • New World Stages $67–$87 Buy tickets
    • New World Stages $67–$87 Buy tickets
    • New World Stages $67–$87 Buy tickets
    • New World Stages $67–$87 Buy tickets
    • New World Stages $67–$87 Buy tickets

Average User Rating

4.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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LiveReviews|7
2 people listening

I am a Potter fan.  I took Rowling's Sorting Quiz and ended up in Hufflepuff.  Thus began my badger pride.


I stumbled upon this show about a year ago and bought tickets straight away.  I have now seen the production 4 times and plan to go again as soon as I can.  The acting is stellar!  And, OH, THE JOKES!  I have never laughed harder in my life...ALL FOUR TIMES!  It would be better if you knew the story of HP and the famous 7 'years at a certain school,' but even if you haven't followed that story, I imagine you'll still have a great time at this show and should still be able to follow along as there are all new characters with their perfectly carved storylines in this production.  RUN!  Get tickets before they're gone!


As a huge Harry Potter fan I was excited to see this play. It was funny & witty & thoroughly enjoyable. I laughed so much. The cast did a wonderful job. If you haven't seen yet you should!


As someone who wears his Hufflepuff pride on his sleeve, this show was already up my alley -- but it definitely EXCEEDED my already sky-high expectations. The production values are incredible and the hilariously tongue-in-cheek nature of the show had me rolling in the aisles. My cheeks hurt after the show because I was smiling so much. It's a must see. 

tastemaker

So yes, you do have to have read/watch the Harry Potter series in order to get all of the jokes of this show - but it's so much more than a Harry Potter parody.  The cast is incredibly talented and their comedic timing couldn't be more spot on; they make the show what it is and elevate it from being just a "thing for Harry Potter nerds." (Which, even if it was just that, is not a bad thing!) 


The script is amazing and does an excellent job of intertwining the Hufflepuffs with that of Harry Potter/the plot from the books and films.  If you love Harry Potter, or even if you think you might but don't know it yet, you have to go see this show.


If you love to laugh just as much as you adore Harry Potter, you must see this show! My sides were splitting the entire time. The show takes you through all seven years of Hogwarts from the Hufflepuff's perspective, and the cast and characters are hilarious and do not disappoint. This is small, no-frills show, but their clever use of props and music truly make it a slam dunk.  


This show was so damn funny. I am a huge, lifelong Harry Potter fan, so I may be biased, but it was so fun to see this spin on the hero tale. I also loved how they didn't dumb it down for non-serious fans either—there's all sorts of Easter eggs only true Potter-heads would really catch on to. But that doesn't mean it's not fun for everyone. The characters are loveable and hilarious, the use of props is heavy and impressive, and the set pieces are so fun! The giant dementor was my favorite part. Ron in this story is just a mop with red fibers, and that killed me every time. I love the shows this group puts on, I'd see them all.

tastemaker

From the incredibly energetic and imaginative team that brought Kapowi-Go-Go to the same stage, comes the newest riff on nerd pop culture: Puffs, lovingly inspired by the Harry Potter series. Although I personally haven't read the books (I know, I know), there was still much to enjoy in this fast-paced, silly, but heartfelt tribute to the worst class at Hogwarts. The young actors do double and triple duty, making the best of limited resources, and Kristin McCarthy Parker takes full advantage of Matt Cox's delightful script to keep the entertainment coming at you (literally) with full, unapologetic force. Get a ticket while you can - the show is already selling out!