“And there is a giant whoosh of light. A smash of noise. And time stops. And then it turns over, thinks a bit, and begins spooling backwards, slow at first . . . And then it speeds up.” - Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
By now you've probably surmised that I am a tremendous Harry Potter nerd. So, I was incredibly excited when they announced that the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play was coming to Broadway in NYC this year. Both the fella and I signed up for the ticket lottery and were eventually able to snag a great set of tickets for May, which shaped the primary reason for our most recent trip to NYC.
Though I will openly admit that the script was incredibly disappointing to read when weighed against J.K. Rowling's original Harry Potter series, I was confident that the play would be spectacular fun. The production had wonderful reviews from its time in London and I was excited for anything Potter-centric after so many years without something new.
I will #keepthesecret and not divulge too much about the plot, however, I do want to gush for a moment about how wonderful the actual production was. The art and special effects were easily the best I've seen on any stage production and the acting was fantastic. Though I felt that some of the characters were not written identically to their novel counterparts, the actors themselves did a superb job. I particularly enjoyed the scenes that included Moaning Myrtle as well as Scorpius Malfoy.
The most magical part was the actual theatre, which was recently renovated specifically for the play. Everything from the carpet to the walls assumed a distinctly Harry Potter aesthetic throughout the lobby and rooms. Wall sconces in the shape of dragons and phoenixes, carpets and wallpaper in shades of the four houses and bearing a Hogwarts crest, the ceiling painted to resemble the night sky with thousands of twinkling stars, and a stage that morphed to resemble platform 9 ¾ at Kings Cross Station and The Forbidden Forest. What I appreciated most was that none of it was done in an overt or loud way, it was simply beautiful and fitting for such a gorgeous theatre.
If you need some additional encouragement to check it out, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child recently snagged 6 Tony awards, including Best Play.
Theatre District Eats
Honestly, who doesn't love a good taco? Especially, when they are hot, delicious, and directly across the street from the Lyric Theatre. Intermission? You mean "Taco Break"? The lines are always long but move quickly and you'll always wish you ordered just one more carne asada taco than you did.
Friedmans is a solid choice for simply prepared fare made with whole ingredients, which you will need to sustain all of the walking you'll do in NYC. I've visited for brunch twice now, but they also serve lunch and dinner. On my most recent visit to this little eatery I went with a simple Cobb salad that.hit.the.spot and the fella went with a classic steak and eggs. Start the morning out on a reasonable foot, like you have no idea your night will inevitably end with a midnight Shake Shack.
Though this is part of a sizeable chain, and we generally like to avoid those when traveling, the fella suggested this for dinner on our theatre night as it was close by and we could easily eat grain-free. If you've never had Japanese BBQ, it's essentially meat cooked on a gas or charcoal grill right at your table. Alternatively to teppanyaki, you grill the food yourselves. The paper-thin short rib and toro beef, salmon, and broccoli made for the perfect dinner between parts 1 and 2 of the play.
This restaurant is definitely not SIBO friendly, but you can find (very limited) gluten-free options. If you're on the hunt for ramen, this is the best I've ever had. The Ippudo steam buns are nothing to scoff at either. We loved this place so much we went twice in 4 days on an earlier trip this year.
This is the one super touristy place that I love for the sole fact that their banana pudding is just so good. Skip the cupcakes and other baked goods and just get a container of classic banana pudding and get out of there as fast as possible. Eat it in your hotel room in bed and feel zero regrets.
Cereal milk soft-serve. I mean, that's really all you need to know. Also, do not trust Google when it tells you that it's open until 11pm because you will inevitably walk 23 blocks to get there only find out it closed at 10:30 and the only thing that's happy is your Fitbit.
LOOKING FOR MORE HARRY POTTER CONTENT?
I’m celebrating Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling’s birthdays on July 31st by filling the month with all things Potter. Check back regularly this month to see additional Harry Potter recipes and content linked HERE.