Mastering the Magic: Steve Haggard Is Broadway’s Harry Potter

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Magic at Every Turn

An hour before performances for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (HPCC) begin, the Lyric Theatre opens its doors to theatregoers: witches, wizards, muggles, squibs, house elves…anyone with a ticket and the desire to deep dive into the thrill-a-minute Potterverse sequel, live on stage.

steve haggard harry potter broadway

Photo by Matthew Murphy.


And should you be among the savviest of the savvy who take advantage of early entry, you’ll be privy to front-of-the-line quaffs like Butterbeer and theme cocktails, plus first dibs on site-specific QR conjuring that (through the magic of Instagram) animates portraits, produces Patronuses, and sparks the lobby’s Enchanted Ceiling. A five-star orientation!.

If you’re a HP neophyte—or feel a refresher course is in order—the website and the show’s program not only summarize the seven original novels, they also offer a crash course in wizarding world lingo.

cursed child harry potter

HPCC Cast, photo by Matthew Murphy.

The play itself picks up 19 years after Harry triumphed over the dark wizard, Lord Voldemort. Now grown up with three kids, including his 11-year-old son Albus (Joel Meyers), who is anxious about becoming a first-year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry shares a good-bye moment on Platform 9¾ and offers reassurances. But once Albus boards the Hogwarts Express and bonds with Draco Malfoy’s nerdy son, Scorpius (Erik C. Peterson), second generation adventures take off—and go wildly awry, leaving Harry (at least temporarily) at a loss.steve haggard harry cursed child potter

Steve Haggard as Harry Potter. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Steve Haggard has been Broadway’s official Harry Potter for the past two years with no immediate end in sight, which is no surprise when you take into account his affinity for the character, both past and present. “It’s incredible and such a privilege to play Harry. I’ve loved him as a character and related to him so much in the book series, and being able to continue his story is truly a gift,” he says, adding that he’s read and re-read the books many times.

steve haggard harry potter broadway

Angela Reed as Ginny Potter and Steve Haggard as Harry Potter. Photo by Matthew Murphy,

Theatrically speaking, the Tony-winning HPCC is a visual marvel, with gorgeous choreography sidling up to mind-blowing special effects spanning everything from time-turning travel and wand pyrotechnics to nightmarish Dementors and Haggard’s favorite: the Polyjuice illusion. Adding to the drama (and yes, humor) are an iconic assortment of familiar characters—some, like Hermione (Cara Ricketts), Ron (Daniel Frederick), Ginny (Angela Reed), and Draco (Aaron Bartz) playing substantial parts, while others like Dumbledore, Snape, and Moaning Myrtle showing up in extended cameo appearances.

According to Haggard, there was definitely a learning curve when it came to mastering the skills necessary to pull off believable magic. “It was a bit like trying to walk and chew gum at first,” he recalls. “But we have an amazing team of actual magicians who taught us the illusions and help us refine them routinely. The magic is such an integral part of the story and so it needs to be perfect...[and it’s] real in this world. And it is so much fun to watch the audience not believe what they just saw.”


steve haggard harry potter broadway

Photo by Matthew Murphy.

A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Haggard’s family moved to Columbus, Ohio when he was five and it was there, while performing the lead in a high school production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” that Haggard locked into the idea of acting as a career, eventually moving to Chicago to study at DePaul University. And while he stuck around the Windy City as a working actor for several years after graduating, his time playing Harry Potter has proven especially poignant.

“The cast and crew feel a bit like a family unit. We work so closely together and depend on each other,” he says, adding, “There’s no way to do any part of this show by yourself. You may not always see them but there’s an army of folks backstage keeping everything running smoothly and having a lot of fun.”


News Flash or Remembrall: In the wizarding world, traveling back and forth in time is accomplished with devices known as Time-Turners—at least it was when Harry and Hermione saved Sirius and Buckbeak in The Prisoner of Azkaban. But by HPCC, the cool but dangerous gizmos have been outlawed. Still, kid-wizard savvy prevails and Albus and Scorpius manage to get their hands on one. From this point on things accelerate into all kinds of crazy, opening the door to a satisfying assortment of subversive plot twists and pyrotechnic thrills.

harry potter cursed child broadway

Scorpius Malfoy with the Dementors. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

To ensure all this heart-stopping hocus-pocus comes off without a hitch, the company is carefully groomed by the same illusionists who conjured the production’s effects. As a result, all or most of the HPCC cast has the power to execute anything from sleight of hand to cunning stage magic.

And while the roles of Albus and Scorpius require above-and-beyond stamina and quicksilver moves to dart from present to past, causing havoc with their incautious shenanigans, they are not alone in their pedal-to-metal wherewithal. Credit for the playing of kids and cameos goes to the stellar ensemble who manage to keep up a fierce momentum while doubling and tripling up on roles and flying through some of the most demanding choreography on Broadway. For these performers, every show is a marathon, not a sprint.

Herein lies the real magic behind bringing Harry Potter to the stage…the talented people who give it life: creatively, theatrically, professionally…exquisitely. 


  • ...having opened on April 22nd, 2018, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the longest-running Broadway play of this century and the most successful to ever appear on Broadway;
  • ...Guinness World Records has named the show the highest-grossing non-musical play in Broadway history with over $270 million total sales and over 2 million tickets sold;
  • ...worldwide, the show has picked up 60 major honors, including Tony and Olivier “Best Play” awards;
  • …the red London phone booth outside the Lyric Theatre on 43rd Street is a dead ringer for the Ministry of Magic’s guest entrance in the films;
  • ...Forbes magazine has described HPCC as “One of the most defining pop culture events of the decade.”

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is playing at Broadway’s Lyric Theatre, 214 W. 43rd St. For reservations and show info call 212-305-4100, or visit

About the Author

City Guide Theatre Editor Griffin Miller moved to New York to pursue an acting/writing career in the 1980s after graduating magna cum laude from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Since then, she has written for The New York Times, For the Bride, Hotels, and a number of other publications, mostly in the areas of travel and performance arts. An active member of The New York Travel Writers Association, she is also a playwright and award-winning collage artist. In addition, she sits on the board of The Lewis Carroll Society of North America. Griffin is married to Richard Sandomir, a reporter for The New York Times.

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