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Ziegfeld Theater’s parody of the Harry Potter series, “Fairly Potter,” will close this weekend. Everything fans of the books and movies know and love is turned on its ear in this musical comedy.
Rick Rea, artistic director for the Ziegfeld, writer of “Fairly Potter” and recent Weber State University graduate, said he, like so many other young adults, grew up on “Harry Potter,” and he always dreamed of making the series into a musical.
In March of this year, Rea had the opportunity to have another musical parody he wrote performed at the Ziegfeld Theater, entitled “May the Mouse Be with You,” inspired by the Disney/”Star Wars” franchise merge. Using portmanteau of Disney songs with “Star Wars” characters and plot, Rea parodied both companies. “Fairly Potter” is done in this same style, combining Harry Potter characters and plot with Broadway musicals.
“It’s the entire seven-book series in two hours. Basically, Act 1 is ‘Sorcerer’s Stone,’ and Act 2 covers the next five books, and the last part skims through ‘The Deathly Hallows,’” Rea said. “It’s not really about being accurate to the books; it’s about making people laugh.”
Rea said he had long wanted to do “Harry Potter” as a musical, but was worried it would be too big of an undertaking. When the opportunity to do another parody arose, Rea knew this was the perfect format for a “Harry Potter” musical.
Rea said that, while there is much musical theater and “Harry Potter” humor in the show, it’s written in such a way that it’s a funny show for every audience member.
“We’ve had so many college- and high school-aged kids come to this show, and they have just had a ball,” he said. “Especially if you’re into musical theater, you’re going to find a lot of little Easter eggs . . . The more you’re into ‘Harry Potter,’ the more jokes you’ll get, but it’s written so that if you don’t know musicals and you don’t know ‘Harry Potter,’ it’s just a funny-a** show.”
Kaylee Orr, a freshman at WSU and the actress playing Bellatrix Lestrange, said her favorite song in the show is a spoof off of a “Les Miserables” song entitled “Six Years More.”
“I also really like one of the songs from ‘The Producers,’” Orr said. “Originally it was called ‘Springtime for Hitler.’ Now it’s ‘Springtime for He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.’ That one’s really funny.”
Orr said she would encourage her fellow students to attend “Fairly Potter,” not just because it’s a fun and entertaining show, but because their attendance supports local artists and theater.
“’Fairly Potter’ is hilarious,” she said. “I’m not saying that because I’m in it. In the beginning, I wondered if people would really like it, but people who come think it’s really great and it’s really funny. It’s also really great to get involved in your community. Everyone in the show lives here in Ogden. There are also some Weber State students involved in it, so people should come and support their classmates.”
Quinn Kapetanov, the technical director for the Ziegfeld and the actor playing Ron and Voldemort, said being in the show has been a lot of fun. In particular, Kapetanov said he enjoys the difference between the two characters he plays.
“Out of the two, I enjoy being Voldemort more,” he said. “He does more fun things on stage, and I love being the bad guy . . . It’s a fun parody on something that’s near and dear to their hearts, and it’s a fun show. It’s stupid and wonderful.”
“Fairly Potter” will be playing on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the Ziegfeld Theater, around the corner from 40th and Washington. Tickets are available online at Zigarts.com, over the phone at 855-ZIG-ARTS, or at the theater.