by Lorie Lewis Ham
Harry Potter fans rejoice, we may have to drive all the way to San Francisco to see Harry Potter and The Cursed Child but we can still enjoy some Harry Potter fun on stage right here in the Valley! Puffs, which is a Harry Potter inspired comedy, opened on the Selma Arts Center stage this past weekend and it is so much fun!
Basically, this play takes a look at the 7 years of Harry Potter from a new perspective, the perspective of the most overlooked Hogwarts house the Hufflepuffs—or the Puffs. The full name of the play is Puffs, or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic. While we follow the house as a whole, the focus is largely on three students-Wayne Hopkins (Josh Plowman), Megan Jones (Nwachukwu Oputa), and Oliver Rivers (Adam Chavez). We also see a lot of the one famous member of that house, Cedric, played wonderfully by Michael Brandon Fidalgo. We are guided through this story by the Narrator (Taylor Delgado). Wayne is from the United States and brings with him a lot of American pop culture that isn’t in Harry Potter, like Star Wars. He wants to be a hero more than anything. Oliver was a math genius in Muggle school, but is completely out of place at Hogwarts where they don’t study normal things like math. Megan, whose mother was a follower of “he who must not be named”, really wants to be a villain not a Puff.
This show is absolutely hilarious, with jokes that not only tie in to the books, but also the movies, and just a bit of The Cursed Child. Wayne and Oliver are adorable and they want so badly to do better that you can’t help routing for them and over time Megan as well. Their lives in many ways mirror the famous trio from Gryffindor. All three actors do a splendid job of bringing these characters to life and making you want to route for them. The entire cast does a wonderful job, with most of the actors playing more than one role. The rest of the cast members are Lexis Hamilton, Chris Ortiz-Belcher, Sami Moree, Steven Hayes, Brittany Toschi, Cyndle Cee, and April Volle. Michael Brandon Fidalgo also plays Mr. Voldy (he who must not be named) later in the play and has some of the funniest moments of the show.
The set for this show is also awesome! Co-directors Ben Deghand and Adam Chavez deserve major kudos for putting all of the pieces together of this fast moving, insanely funny show! If you are a Harry Potter fan DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW! I think that even if you aren’t it will still be fun for you, and the story is sweet and inspiring as well—very much a story of the underdogs.
Puffs continues on stage at the Selma Arts Center, 1935 High St, Selma, CA through February 29. Tickets can be purchased on their website or at the door, though they are going fast so best not to wait to buy yours at the door. Be aware this show isn’t for little kids, it is rated PG-13.
If you love local theatre, be sure to check out Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast, which features mysteries read by local actors–many of whom were mentioned in this article. You can find the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Play, and also on Podbean. A new episode went up this week!
Check out more theatre reviews & other local entertainment articles in our Arts & Entertainment section.