Cursed Child Bailing Out BroadwayCon? Distancing New Version from Rowling?

It looks like the cast and producers leading the Broadway production of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ is going to make an appearance at Mischief Management’s 8-10 July edition of BroadwayCon. This is news to note on several levels. BroadwayCon is the first Mischief Management gathering since the pandemic closed their popular LeakyCon and Con of Thrones as well. Is this last minute agreement for the most popular Broadway show in recent history to make a stage interview panel a la ComicCon with movie ensembles a life-saver to Melissa Anelli’s company? They are certainly more likely to sell out of Day Passes for the opening night of BroadwayCon now that the ‘Cursed Child’ cast will be there for a meet-and-greet.

The friends who sent me this news were more than a little surprised by the news, however. They know that LeakyCon has anathematized Rowling as a transphobe and bigot — so why would the Sonia Friedman Production decision makers reach out to help or just agree to participate in a venue whose Mischief Management owners libel Rowling left and right? They sent me this link to a Good Morning America interview on 19 May with the actors playing Scorpius and Albus in which Brady Dalton Richards explains why he is so excited about the new ‘Cursed Child’ one-part version that is opened in May (cf. 1:20 in this clip):

Reporter: What responsibility do you feel to the millions of people who love Harry Potter?

Brady Dalton Richards: As a queer person, a gender non-conforming person, to be a visible voice, gives the gift of ‘anyone can be a part of this world’ — and that’s a responsibility, y’know, to be this open and visible force for inclusion and representation in presenting this newer version of the story.

Hermione would explain that word-salad to a confounded Harry and Ron this way: “Look, the guy is paid to read other people’s lines not be coherent on his own. This answer, though, I think was quite deliberate, even staged to broadcast to GMA’s national audience the message that the new, concentrated ‘Cursed Child’ is much more, shall we say ‘open’, in presenting the Albus-Scorpius relationship as gay love than the previous two-part version. It proclaims that, unlike the famous author (who didn’t write the play), the new ‘Cursed Child’ staff and actors are totally on board with everything LGBTQ+. You noticed no one mentioned Rowling, right?”

If you think Hermione is over-reading the actor’s proclamation, check out Richards’ comments to ‘Backstage Live’ about the new show:

Here Roberts says the new version was intentionally re-written to “clarify and specify” a “deeper and romantic vibe” in Albus and Scorpius’ relationship and that the two actors who are playing these parts  are determined this is the “direction they want to take this chemistry.” It turns out this was a great problem in the Wizarding World until now, there was “no precedent for queer expression” and he is thrilled at last to be able to “inject a more literal queer vision into a universe in which we have lived for so long.”

If you’re asking yourself why a production that is a J. K. Rowling property in all but name is participating in BroadwayCon, a Mischief Management Harry Potter fandom for-profit venture that slanders her as a transphobe and bigot, there is your answer. Because the NYC cast and producers share the same idea about Rowling and want to communicate their fidelity to the Zeitgeist and Mob Action contra the author’s stand for women’s rights. BroadwayCon is the perfect venue for this Eighth of July Declaration of Independence.

In my post last month about the draconian mask and vaccination policies of the 2022 LeakyCon this summer in Orlando, I closed with a review of their full-on Woke mission statement, in which every department of the con pledged to do all they could to further the ideals of inclusion, diversity, and social justice, specifically with respect to transgender attendees. That mission statement is still up, but BroadwayCon’s ‘Event Mission’ page has been disconnected. Their Health and Safety requirements are, if anything, more bizarre and demanding than LeakyCon’s: there will be no children under 5 because vaccinations have not been approved for them, everyone in attendance must have proof of vaccination, those who will be presenting must also “show proof of a negative COVID test” no more than 72 hours old, and everyone, everywhere will be masked. 

Their only tip of the hand about BroadwayCon’s gender hysteria akin to Leaky’s is on their Code of Conduct page. It’s almost exclusively about gender inclusivity, because, y’know, the Broadway community is a noted destination for transphobes wanting to harass transgender folk with weaponized “structures of oppression:”

We have a zero tolerance policy for harassment of any kind, including but not limited to: verbal or written comments or displayed images that harmfully reinforce structures of oppression (related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion, geographic origin, or class); deliberate intimidation; stalking; body policing (including gender policing in all bathrooms); unwelcome photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; inappropriate physical contact; and unwelcome sexual attention.

Whew! What a relief…

Pardon my sarcasm. It’s too bad that ‘Cursed Child’ couldn’t stop with Black Hermione as their feature virtue-signaling twist on canon (you’ll note that the claim back in the day was that a black actress was chosen because she was the best actress available — and that now Hermione in this show is black in every production). Now we have to have the two child protagonists discover they are gay or queer or even transgender. I hope that parents whose children beg them to come to this show are aware that it now comes with new messaging that was not in the original play, movies, or books.

There’s a saying growing in currency in the US due to the Disney sell-off this Spring, namely, ‘Go WOKE, Go Broke.’ I will be following the fortunes of the new ‘Cursed Child’ to see if the new version has anything like the popularity and success that the old two-part, no in-your-face political messaging, play had.