Theatre Thursdays: A Very Potter Senior Year

What else could we possibly be talking about today??

Yes, as we all hoped when we heard about the reading at LeakyCon, A Very Potter Senior Year has been uploaded to YouTube! The third and final musical in the series by Team StarKid makes its way into the lives of eager fans—and it’s a bittersweet moment, to be honest. The show is as funny and energetic as we expect, but there’s a sadness in knowing that this is the end which is actually part of the show’s theme.

While the previous two entries were hilarious madcap romps, I would say this is the first time one of the musicals has a theme or message and that theme is directed to all of us as fans and says that it’s OK that Harry Potter has come to an end, that we can move on to other interests without forgetting or betraying all that the series has meant to us. The theme works its way into the story by showing that the wizarding world, including Harry’s peers at Hogwarts, have forgotten all about him and his accomplishments now that Voldemort and his followers have been defeated. This disregard for Harry is hastened by the arrival of new book crazes such as Twilight and The Hunger Games written by none other than Gilderoy Lockhart.

As Lockhart’s presence would indicate, the structure of this musical comes primarily from The Chamber of Secrets, but of course it has bits and pieces from the rest of the series mixed in and a healthy dose of its own original plot.

Ginny receives Tom Riddle’s diary and unintentionally revives Lord Voldemort, Harry keeps trying to regain his popularity but only sinks lower and lower in the eyes of his friends, and Draco Malfoy becomes the new most popular boy in school. What can be done to save the day? You’ll have to watch to find out, because I’m certainly not giving any spoilers here!

Though this is only a staged reading, the presentation is pretty complete and only the facts that the actors carry their scripts and a narrator reads the stage directions indicate that it’s anything less than a full production. The cast is in full hair, make-up, and wardrobe and there are plenty of props to help tell the story. Also, as an added bonus, Evanna Lynch is playing Luna, reviving her role from the films! Of course, though, what we all want to know is whether Lauren Lopez and Joe Walker will be reprising their roles as Draco and Voldemort and I am happy to report that they, along with most of the original cast, have returned! Unfortunately Bonnie Gruesen did not return to her role as Hermione and while that was sad, her replacement Meredith Stepien did a great job.

The show was great and really the message about letting go was a worthwhile one that we fans sometimes need to hear. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying new things, there’s no need to feel like anyone is abandoning Harry for some new hero/heroine, and we can be OK with things changing while appreciating what we’ve gotten from the series. While this made the show a little less funny, it made it very fulfilling as a conclusion.

Now stop reading and go watch if you haven’t yet!