GALENA, Kan. — With the success of the “Harry Potter” books and movies, it’s only natural that a good-natured parody of the Hogwarts universe would receive its fair share of love and attention.
As the off-Broadway stage play wraps up its three-year run in New York City this weekend, the Cherokee County Arts is bringing the play — “Puffs, Or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years At A Certain School of Magic and Magic” — to the Galena High School James C. Christman Performing Arts Center, 702 E. Seventh St. at 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday.
While Harry Potter is mentioned in the play, “Puffs” isn’t about the good guys and their heroic deeds. Rather, the Matt Cox-penned play embraces the not-so-famous students that comprise the same school class as Harry and his pals, focusing primarily on Wayne, an American from New Mexico who’s off to England’s premier school of witchcraft and wizardy upon learning he’s got magic in his veins. There, he quickly befriends Oliver Rivers, a math genius, and Megan Jones, a true ’90s Goth girl.
“Though this show pokes a lot of fun at a certain wizard, it is its ‘own thing,’” said director JoAnna Derfelt. “There are some jokes that are connected to certain events, both in that world but also to the pop culture of the ’90s. There are so many jokes and the show moves so fast, we can guarantee anyone in the audience will be laughing at something — just maybe not the same thing.”
A huge fan of J.K. Rowling’s sprawling universe, Derfelt said she was “hooked” with “Puffs” after watching it. “This was a win-win for me.”
She’s also happy it will be the first time ever “Puffs” has been performed on a local stage in the Joplin metro area.
“This show embraces a snarky, silly wit, while telling a sweet story at the same time,” she said.
While the story may focus on Wayne, Oliver and Megan, this play’s version of Harry, Ron and Hermione, “this story is really about recognizing your own worthy and acknowledging that a supporting character is just as amazing and important as the hero,” Derfelt said. In other words, think of “Puffs” as a comedic tribute to all the outsiders.
The cast includes: Louis Morgan, Kara Baylor, Tyler Lloyd, Sarah Medley, Meridith Lynn, all of Joplin; Sydney Shannon, Doug Steele, Trey Shannon, Nathan Coleman, Derfelt and Jocelyn Donegan. The stage and tech crew includes: Amanda Feurt, Kaylee Denton, Madalyn Weeks, Shelly Tarter, Diana Sly, Travis Crusa and Mary Johnson.
“Watching the original show, the actors did an amazing job making everything appear seamless and funny,” said Lloyd, who plays at least five different characters. “We didn’t realize the true number of costume changes, props and prat falls we were getting ourselves into.”
Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at www.cherokeecountyarts.com. The show is rated PG due to language, and is recommended for guests 12 and older.
‘Though this show pokes a lot of fun at a certain wizard, it is its “own thing.” There are some jokes that are connected to certain events, both in that world but also to the pop culture of the ’90s.’