I am sorry to disappoint you if you came to this article expecting me to announce that they are finally making Harry Potter: The Musical. I am not, and that may be fortunate or unfortunate news (Lord of The Rings: The Musical is not doing that well anyway). What I’m here to tell is that I feel that maybe out there in the works there is a musical or a new play that will be to theatre, what Harry Potter was to literature. I was thinking about this while still reading the last volume of the saga. Honestly, before Potter how likely was to see a 7 year old reading a 700+ page book? How about reading 7 of those many times? And I am totally sure that while the kids where waiting for the next Potter adventure many of them started reading other books, I actually attribute the Lord of The Rings boom in the early 2000’s (that feels weird to say) to Harry. Same with Narnia, Golden Compass, etc.
So what do I expect from the dramatic version of J.K. Rowling? I ask to any playwright out there working on a new musical or play to remember that we must make a connection with those people that don’t go to the theatre very often. As I have said before, I believe that we are in an era of theatre where we need to attract people to our art. Yes, maybe we will have to tone down our craft (even dumb it down sometimes) but that believe it or not is what our art needs today. I have to admit that Disney did a little bit of that, bringing tourists back to NY with Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, but sadly I believe some of the magic of Disney on Broadway has been lost as well. And what about plays? Can you remember a play that suddenly all this people that didn’t go to theatre suddenly wanted to see? Cirque du Soleil did it for the circus guys, after Ringling Bros. there was no international circus left and suddenly there was Cirque and they even opened a Circus school here in Montreal and admission is incredibly competitive. Imagine that a single show could generate that enthusiasm for our media.
I still believe we can generate a phenomenon. I am not a playwright or a composer but I am willing to put all of my creative and productionn knowledge in finding that piece. Not an exquisit and brilliant piece that critiques will go wild about. I’m talking about a piece that a regular mortal will want to see and recommend to every single person he or she knows. It is also responsibility of our theatre community to allow that to happen. We need to embrace this kinds of shows, we need to invite people to see what we do and then grow with society, but if only our circle grows artistically without the community that surrounds us, we are doomed to low budgets, less venues, and eventually less theatre.