Sunday, July 25, 2010

It's like fanfiction. But on stage.

Due to the massive success of A Very Potter Musical, fans all over the world, thanks to the power of YouTube, eagerly waited for the release of probably one of the most anticipated sequel in Harry Potter fandom.

Receiving almost 200,000 hits on its first three days of being uploaded, it's no doubt that StarKid Productions developed a lot of fans within the months that they've been on YouTube.

A Very Potter Sequel takes place in Harry's first year, thanks to Lucius's time turner that paved the way to plot of the sequel. With almost all of vital Harry Potter scenes and characters that weren't included in the original musical put together into this show, it's no doubt that this is going to be an interesting ride.

The production numbers looked more choreographed and rehearsed with better props and set design. For that I applaude the cast and crew. Also, kudos for recreating a Quidditch match on stage with matching slow motion effects. Pretty wicked. Great original songs like "To Have a Home", "The Coolest Girl", "Guys Like Potter" and "Days of Summer" made is as addicting as the first musical.

New characters such as Umbridge, Lupin, Sirius, Rita Skeeter and most of all Lucius Malfoy are amusing at best but I can't help but miss the old characters like Ginny, Voldemort, Quirrell. They were pivotal identities in the original production that I really feel their absence in the sequel although the same actors are still in the musical (playing other characters) and it's understandable why they got cut off.

I'd say the songs on the original play were  catchier than in the sequel but the latter has more effort and is more detailed than its predecessor. Although more song numbers would be appreciated.

On the down side, I think the characters and the plot have become sillier than necessary. We loved the natural wackiness of the original play and the fact that it followed the general outline of the Harry Potter series made it more amusing. But this time, since the theme is pretty much "whatever goes", some of the scenes felt forced and over-the-top. That doesn't mean that the whole act seemed that way but it would have been useful if they toned down the shennanigans a bit. I'd say the sequel are for die-hard fans of the musical and not for first timers.

The disappearance of Lauren Lopez's Draco is also obvious in the middle of the show. Which is a shame because she's such a great actor and the stage just lights up whenever she's on. However, the twist in the middle of the story is ingenious, I must add. It almost made up for the missing Draco scenes. But of course if this is a perfect world Draco would have his own musical. Preferably with his father Lucius Malfoy.

But don't get me wrong. There are so many laugh out loud moments that this musical is still considered a HP Fandom Classic at least in this blogger's point of view. The story slows down for a bit in the middle but picks up on the 2nd Act and shines with its wonderful heart warming finale.

However, one thing I've noticed, if they let curses just get bleeped out of the final cut and even include blatant sexual references throughout the show to be published on YouTube, then I don't see why they can't also upload the unedited version of the A Very Potter Musical. Now, that would be totally awesome.

Watching this fan made musical made me think of how wonderful it is to have the privilege to be a part of a generation who praises quality literature that reiterates the importance of loyalty, friendship and the power of love. Kids nowadays may be doing blood rituals and biting each other because it's considered the hype in these depressing times, but I think we got the better part of the bargain.

Yes, I am a Harry Potter fan and I'm proud to be one.


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