How do you get through all seven "Harry Potter" books in just 70 minutes?

You watch a two-man cast don nearly 300 costumes to play all the "Harry" characters while condensing all seven J.K. Rowling novels in "Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience — A Parody by Dan and Jeff." It plays at Crocker Park's Market Square in Westlake on Saturday through Jan. 5. The show contains a "real-life" quidditch game, illusions, a fire-breathing dragon, jokes, songs and crazy props.

The British comedy duo of Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner created their first zany Harry Potter parody as a five-minute street show recapping the first five books to entertain lines of fans waiting for the midnight release of the sixth book in 2005. That morphed into an hourlong "Potted Potter" show in 2007 that parodied the first six books and went on tour.

The Olivier Award-winning, family-friendly show made its North American premiere in Toronto in 2012 and played Off-Broadway the same year. It played at Playhouse Square in Cleveland in 2013 and 2015.

In the show's third visit to the Cleveland area, Crocker Park will host its first professional show ever at the indoor Market Square, 239 W. Market St., Westlake.

"Potted Potter'' will feature actors Jesse Briton and James Percy for the Westlake run, directed by Richard Hurst. Producers promise the Hogwarts magic is "perfect for ages 6 to Dumbledore,'' even if you don't know the difference between a Horcrux and a Hufflepuff.

The show is partnering with the LeBron James Family Foundation for the Westlake run. Those who buy tickets using the code IPromise will receive $10 off at the top two price levels. For each ticket purchased with the code, Potted Potter will donate $5 to the LeBron James Family Foundation to benefit the I Promise School in Akron. The cast and director will visit the I Promise School on Friday to give students a sneak peek of the show and talk about careers in the performing arts.

"Potted Potter" has been a critic's pick for numerous newspapers, including the Boston Globe and New York Times. Tickets are $39.99 to $99.99. See www.ticketmaster.com.

 

'Pageant' show

A bunch of highly judgmental adults and kids learn a thing or two about kindness and the true spirit of Christmas in the children's theater piece "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" at Coach House Theatre in Akron. Fifteen kids and four adults perform onstage while four other adults are heard in recordings in this play, based on the 1971 book by Barbara Robinson.

While Grace, played by Amanda Williams, is the adult heart of the show who keeps the pageant from being canceled, it's the kids that rule this story. They include the six delinquent Herman siblings, who dress in tattered, soiled, mismatched clothing and push people around a lot.

In opposition to them are prissy Alice, played by Delaney Smith, who's used to playing Mary every year in the church Christmas pageant, as well as Beth (Jillian Klauser), who serves as the narrator. The action occurs in front of unfortunately drab, orangey-brown stage walls of a low-budget set.

When the Herdmans show up at church for the first time for the snacks, they end up taking over the pageant's lead roles. Julia Martin does a nice job portraying tough girl Imogene, who is ultimately deeply touched by her introduction to the story of the Christ child. Sebastian Williams is also cute as Beth's little brother Charlie and Kynzli Vetrone is full of spunk as the littlest Herdman, Gladys.

This show is a slight work, running only 1 hour, 15 minutes with intermission. It's children's fare at mainstage prices, with tickets at $20 for adults and $10 for children. Call 330-434-7741 or see www.showclix.com.

 

Cleveland Orchestra

The University of Akron Chamber Choir will perform a holiday concert with the Cleveland Orchestra and Cleveland Orchestra Chorus at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Severance Hall. Richard Kaufman will conduct and Jamie Farr, best known as Klinger on the TV show "M*A*S*H," will be narrator. The Wooster Chorus from the College of Wooster also will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

The Cleveland Orchestra Children's Chorus also will perform at 2:30 p.m. matinees Saturday-Sunday and Dec. 22-23; and the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus Chamber Ensemble will sing at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20, 22 and 23. Cost is $54-$124. See www.clevelandorchestra.com or call 216-231-1111.

 

'Carol' remounted

Rubber City Theatre's remounting of its adaptation of Charles Dickens’ "A Christmas Carol" continues through Dec. 23 at the Black Box at Fort Romig, 2207 Romig Road, Akron. The show stars Jay Sigler as Scrooge, Abby Brown as the Ghost of Christmas Past, Mira Lamson Klein as the Ghost of Christmas Present and Amy Balsinger as the Ghost of Christmas Future.

Cost is $10-$25; student rush tickets are $5. Call 234-252-0272 or see rubbercitytheatre.com.

 

Another Nutcracker

Can you imagine the Mouse King and his army battling the 1920s Cleveland Indians? That's what happens in City Ballet of Cleveland's "The Uniquely Cleveland Nutcracker." Guest artists, including dancers from Verb Ballets, join the cast of the pre-professional company for performances at 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Breen Center for Performing Arts, 2008 W. 30th St., Cleveland. 

Advance tickets cost $30, $20 for seniors and $10 for children. Prices are $5 more at the door. See www.cityballetofcleveland.org or call 216-848-9088.

 

Arts writer Kerry Clawson may be reached at 330-996-3527 or kclawson@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow her at @KerryClawsonABJ or www.facebook.com/kclawsonabj.