HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD PART 2: BROADWAY PLAY REVIEW
I realize this post is quite belated, but wanted to share my follow-up to the HP and the Cursed Child Part 1 Review previously posted. A few months after I saw Part 1, I actually won the $25 each person lottery tickets for both parts, including a weekday evening showing for Part 2. It was a great deal (and the result of many failed efforts at the lottery previously), so my advice is keep trying if you're a NYC local! And of course weekday showings are easier to get because there's not nearly as many people that can attend.
Overall, my opinion hasn't changed much from Part 1. The biggest strength and reason to see the play remain the special effects (which are actually a smidgeon more impressive in Part 2 - those who have seen it will understand the blackout theater moment which was truly an amazing testament to how much work went into this production). The magic stage tricks are aplenty, the time travel effect never gets old and the set is lovely in its spooky dark minimalism.
Unfortunately, the non-canon, fanfiction-like story remains the biggest weakness, exacerbated by at times shrill and overacting stage actors who don't quite fit my vision for these characters. I read up again and it makes sense, as this play was written by two people completely removed from JK Rowling, although supposedly she "blessed" the script (I mean it's a financial enterprise for her to license out at the end of the day).
Part 2 is at least more plot-driven and emotionally involved than Part 1, with a pivotal moment featuring a flashback to Harry's past which undoubtedly evoked some tears from the more committed fans. We also thankfully get more of Harry, Ron and Hermione and less of Albus and and Scorpius (who are the most one-note and irritating characters, no offense to them).
That said, the ending itself, while beautifully lit and scenic, remained rather hollow and very cringey. It gives me the shudders to even recall and frankly is a pretty disappointing and unoriginal ending to the franchise if we're to believe it. I personally don't take it as part of the HP universe - again this whole production is better thought of as a fun diversion separate from the true story.
It'll probably be a while before this play reopens (I pity the NYC production's economics with this disruption, though undoubtedly they'll make it back in the end), and when it does I'll say I recommend it but I do not recommend it at any ticket price >$100 per person. Ideally, try for the lottery if you're not in a rush to see this. And hopefully you don't get stuck behind a very smelly and tall person who obstructed my view and reeked the entire time :(