I'll bet you've never seen a Golden Snitch personified.

You'll get this wonderfully strange sight in "Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience," a two-man theatrical spoof of J.K. Rowling's seven fantasy novels about the boy wizard. Actor Jesse Briton perfectly describes performer James Percy's ridiculously glitzy Snitch getup as looking "like a Ferrero Rocher with legs."

The show, which opened last weekend at Crocker Park's Market Square, runs through the holidays until Jan. 6. The Snitch is just one of many clever, comical touches in the 70-minute show, a touring production of the London West End hit.

This parody and its many fun surprises will be best enjoyed by those who know the books and/or movies. But it's written and performed in such a way that even those not up on the Potter stories will have fun.

British actors Percy and Briton play the straight man and the goofball, respectively. Percy says he's a Harry Potter expert and claims he's close, personal friends with Rowling. Naturally, he plays only boy wonder Harry. Briton, on the other hand, plays the guy who knows nothing about the books and says he'll compensate by just making stuff up. He plays all of the other characters, with the help of wild wigs and other costume accessories.

One of the funniest parts of the show is when the audience plays Quidditch with a big plastic globe that serves as the Quaffle. This extended gag even has two volunteer kids from the audience playing Keepers.

The comedy show has a little bit of everything, including craziness with a squirt gun, a card trick, broomsticks and even a nutty song wrapping up the war between Harry and the evil Voldemort. That battle is introduced in grand style like a wrestling match and the insults and clever allusions are a hoot.

The show, written by Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner, started out as a five-minute street entertainment in London in 2005, created on the spot by the comedy duo as crowds of fans waited in line for the midnight release of Rowling's sixth book. This is the third time the full show has played in the Cleveland area, the first time at Crocker Park.

Briton is a lot of fun playing the dunce, like when he gets confused about what kind of animal Professor Lupin represents. When this guy takes over the narrative, he says it's time to "skip 700 pages of very important dialogue" in book six, "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince."

The show even includes some wacky pop cultural references to "Annie," "Les Miserables" and "Scooby Doo." Expect the ridiculous when it comes to the Hogwarts Express and lots of other sight gags. "Potted Potter" also has a creative video segment that adds to the fun.

Comedy is a hard thing to do well. These accomplished performers pull off this nutty love letter to the Harry Potter works in great style in a show that appeals to all ages.

 

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