Since starting Just Plain Something, I’ve found myself discovering more and more wonderful movies, musicians and videos that have somehow evaded me up to the present. I refer to this as the “How in the hell did I not know about this already??” list. This special edition of PotterWatch features the newest item on that list: 2009’s A Very Potter Musical.
This is a must see for Potter fans. Honestly, even if you aren’t a HP fan like me, you’ll still find it hilarious. Written and performed by Starkid, the University of Michigan based troupe, A Very Potter Musical takes aspects of all seven books and combines them into one storyline. As a parody, it’s not exactly kosher. Dumbledore wears flipflops, Draco wants to transfer to Pigfarts (a school which everyone is pretty sure he made up) and Cho Chang has a southern accent. Still, there are plenty of hilarious elements that parallel the real characters: Snape takes points from Gryffindor when Harry defends him, the kids’ first class involves the major plot point (and then asking if anyone knows the definition of a “plot point”) and when the sorting hat is unavailable, Dumbledore puts “the good guys in Gryffindor, the bad guys in Slytherin and everyone else in wherever”. What’s funny is that there are bits and pieces that are right from the stories. The “love shield” is explained and Harry is taught about the horocruxes. Of course, he is told about the horcruxes in the presence of a Zac Ephron poster (one of Dumbledore’s prize possessions). What’s interesting is how they were able to add so many elements from the seven books into one story and still explain pretty well what happens at the end of Deathly Hallows. And there are some actual dramatic moments within the story, too.
There are really too many funny moments to mention, but I especially liked how they teased about the characters. The show explores the relationship between Voldemort and Quirrell, who become a magical, evil version of the Odd Couple (the word “bromance” comes to mind). Snape is more or less an extremely exaggerated version of Alan Rickman’s performance, but that’s not an insult by any means. Dumbledore’s accent can only be described as “Curly-eque”. Draco, who is played by a petite young woman, likes to roll around semi-gracefully around the stage. I know it doesn’t sound that funny, but it becomes funnier with every scene he does it. Harry is pretty cocky and takes complete advantage of Hermoine’s willingness to help him stay alive (and do his homework).
I think my favorite was Ron, simply because he wasn’t very far off from the real character. His relationship with Hermoine is only slightly exaggerated (a line he says near the beginning of the 2nd act pretty much sums up how he feels about her until Deathly Hallows, so see if you can figure out which line it is) and every scene has him eating something new.
As a fan of musicals, I also appreciate a musical parody that has good music. The music (co-written by the guy who plays Harry) is catchy and delightful. My favorite songs are the opening one and the one Ron sings once he realizes Hermoine looks really pretty in a dress. I’ve already downloaded the soundtrack.
Because the play is based on copyrighted material, the troupe did not charge admission for the show (A Very Potter Sequel, premiering this month in Michigan, will also have free admission, but tickets are already scarce). The production is on YouTube and the soundtrack can be found for free on their website (where you can also donate to help support their upcoming projects).
The YouTube videos are split into several videos, so I’m only posting the first video, which features the first scene of the musical (and one of my favorite songs). I suggest going forward with the rest through the related videos. It takes a while to load, but completely worth it (although I should warn that it’s not for kids).
Thanks to Albacor for showing me this.