“Cursed Child” Brings Magical Surprises and Announcements to San Diego Comic-Con 2019

With only months left until Harry Potter and the Cursed Child brings its timeless magic to the West Coast of the United States, it seems natural that it should make its debut at San Diego Comic-Con. And what a debut it was!

On the floor of the convention, the show’s booth was hardly ever empty. A fun photo opportunity awaited guests, allowing them to step onstage and wave their wands and House banners high! It’s an instant social media must.

Also at the booth were two of the stars of the show: Nicholas Podany, who currently plays Albus Potter in the New York production, and Jon Steiger, who was just announced today as the first cast member of the San Francisco production, playing Scorpius Malfoy! Both took pictures with fans and answered questions, giving insight into their characters and experiences on stage. They even took some time to play some trivia (and challenge us!). Catch our interviews with Nicholas and Jon in the videos below.




Later in the day, illusion specialists Chris Fisher, Skylar Fox, and Jamie Harrison gave attendees a crash course in the illusions and magic that are used in the show. They taught the audience the “French Drop” (used by Albus in the show) and explained the magic behind the Time-Turner and the trolley witch’s fingers. Apparently, the Time-Turner cost thousands of dollars to make and is designed to look like an upgraded version of what Hermione used in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, with the clock face replacing the hourglass. When Rowling first saw the device and how the “ticking” illusion is created with it, she reportedly was so impressed she asked to see it again immediately. However, all was almost lost when the device was taken for a harrowing journey on the New York City Subway: The case was caught in the train door and nearly left without the illusionists taking care of it!

All three magic artists then answered some questions about their craft and showed some examples of what they do in the show with never-before-seen footage of the play. They explained that many ideas come simply from playing around with what is available on set to achieve the desired outcome. For example, the trolley witch’s fingers began as paintbrushes and ended as extendable tape measure tapes in specially designed gloves.

Excitement is building as Cursed Child continues its story on stage, bringing the magic to more people all around the world.

Full Transcript with Nicholas Podany and Jon Steiger, Thursday, July 18, 2019

Transcribed by Marissa Osman

Alison Siggard: So hi, we're here with Jon and Nick from the San Francisco and New York productions of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. And we're going to test their Harry Potter knowledge a little bit.

Nicholas Podany: Apparently we're starting with the hardest question.

Alison: Yeah. So this is the hardest trivia question I've ever come across.

Nicholas: Oh no.

Alison: What is the name of the broomstick designer that is name-dropped in Deathly Hallows? Only once.

Helene Karp: Why are you so brutal?

Alison: They asked me to do this!

Nicholas: You know what? No, no, no, no, no. Well, I just wanted to hear... That is truly...

Jon Steiger: If you know, I'm going to freak out.

Nicholas: Wait, no, I don't... When is he name-dropped? Was he name-dropped because...

Jon: Is it the guy who did the Nimbus line?

Nicholas: Oh! Because he's talking to Krum.

Alison: No. It's during...

Nicholas: The wedding?

Alison: ... a hearing. It's during a hearing.

Nicholas: During a hearing?

Alison: Yeah.

Nicholas: Oh boy.

Jon: Is it the guy who did the Nimbus 2000 line?

Nicholas: Is it Nimbus?

Alison: Oh shoot, now I don't remember if it's the Nimbus one.

Jon: Because if it is...

Helene: Do you know the answer? You ought to know the answer.

Alison: I know the answer!

Jon: Because if it is him, I kid you not, I have his chocolate frog card.

Alison: Oh my gosh, that's amazing!

Nicholas: No!

Jon: I am not even joking! I'm not joking!

Helene: What's the answer then?

Nicholas: What is it?

Jon: I don't know!

Nicholas: But you have his chocolate frog card?

Jon: I do!

Nicholas: Let's see if it is correct. What is it?

Alison: His name is Archie.

Jon: Yeah!

Nicholas: No! You got it!

Jon: Yes! I'm so mad!

Alison: He's just won like everything right now. Just wanted to let you guys know. [laughs]

Jon: I'm so mad!

Nicholas: You have his chocolate frog card?

Jon: I have Helga Hufflepuff's...

Nicholas: I just have three Dumbledores.

[Alison laughs]

Jon: I'm furious.

Alison: I think I have [unintelligible]

Nicholas: I have three Dumbledores. It's infuriating.

Alison: Okay, so let's do some other ones.

[Jon laughs]

Alison: What are the three D's of Apparition?

Jon: Destination.

Nicholas: Deliberation.

Jon and Nicholas: Determination.

Nicholas: And deliberation.

Jon: Distance.

Alison: It's deliberation.

Nicholas: Deliberation, yeah. We got there. We got there together.

Alison: You got there together.

Jon: I'm reading [Book] 6 right now! I just finished that chapter!

[Alison and Jon laugh]

Jon: I need to go home.

Nicholas: Oh, that character description of that guy who looks like he could be blown over by [the] wind. Oh, that's amazing.

Alison: What's Ron's middle name? That's easy.

Helene: You got this.

Nicholas: Ronald... B-b-b...

Helene: You got this.

Helene: Yeah. It starts with a B.

Alison: It starts with a B.

Nicholas: God, it's so perfect. Bilius?

Alison and Helene: Yes!

Nicholas: Yeah.

Alison: What's Hermione's middle name?

Nicholas: Oh! Oh! Hermione something Granger. Oh boy. It's not Rose.

Jon: I was about to say that!

[Alison laughs]

Nicholas: I was going to say Rose too.

Jon: I was about to say Rose.

Nicholas: But that's just...

Alison: That's her daughter. That's her daughter. You're close.

Jon: It's got a J in it.

Helene: It does start with a... it has a J in it. He's right.

Jon: Jane.

Helene: Close. Close.

Alison: You are close.

Nicholas: Jenny? Jennifer?

Jon and Nicholas: Jean.

Alison: It's Jean, yeah.

Helene: Jean.

Alison: Okay, so here's a followup question. What was her name going to be, and which character got that middle name instead?

Nicholas: Luna.

Jon: Well, you know, it's Philosopher's Stone in London.

[Alison laughs]

Nicholas: Ernie Macmillan.

[Alison and Helene laugh]

Nicholas: Hermione Ernie Macmillan Granger.

Jon: Ernie Macmillan!

Helene: So accurate.

Alison: Close.

Nicholas: Is it Ginny?

Alison: No.

Nicholas: I have no idea.

Alison: So it was going to be Jane.

Nicholas: Jane? Who's Jane?

Alison: No, for her middle name.

Helene: Dolores Jane Umbridge.

Nicholas: No!

Alison: Yeah.

Nicholas: Y'all are crazy!

Alison: [laughs] What'[re] some other good ones we've got?

Helene: What is Harry's wand wood and core?

Alison: Oh that's a good one.

Jon: His core is a...

Nicholas: Phoenix.

Jon: ... phoenix.

Nicholas: Spoilers.

[Alison and Helene laugh]

Nicholas: His wand is... I actually don't know.

Jon: Oak?

Nicholas: No, it's not oak.

Alison: It's holly.

Nicholas: It's holly.

Alison: Holly and phoenix, yeah. My backpack is in the way of everyone.

Jon: Holly and a phoenix, yeah.

Helene: You can you guys tell us your characters, Scorpius and Albus's...

Alison and Jon: Yeah.

Helene: ... wands and cores?

[Jon looks at Nicholas]

Jon: Do you know yours?

Alison: His face!

Nicholas: Absolutely not.

Jon: I don't either.

Nicholas: Has this...?

Jon: Is this canon?

[Alison and Jon laugh]

Nicholas: Okay, okay, so here's...

Alison: Oh no, let's not get into that debate. [laughs]

Nicholas: So here's my thing about canon stuff about my character because I looked up his birthday, and got about 10 birthdays. And I was like, "Well, I guess it's up to me now."

Jon: Oh wow.

Nicholas: So I actually don't know the...

Jon: I don't know.

Helene: Isn't Albus's cherry?

Alison: It was mentioned once somewhere, and I have to go look it up again.

Nicholas: I've just been using...

Helene: Because there'[re] the cherry pits in the wand, right?

Jon: We don't even know this stuff.

Nicholas: I know.

Helene: Am I wrong?

Alison: You'll have to go up to the high levels and figure this out.

Nicholas: Higher levels, I know.

Jon: Go through the Harry Potter backchannels.

Alison: Get the hookup stat.

Jon: Darknet Harry Potter.

Helene: Okay, how about this. This isn't a trivia question. Favorite Harry Potter characters.

Alison: Oh, and I have a followup one.

Helene: Of the whole series.

Nicholas: Luna Lovegood.

Helene: Luna Lovegood?

Jon: Hedwig. He counts.

Alison: Aw!

Nicholas: Nice.

Alison: What's your favorite book? Of the seven books, what's your favorite?

Jon: Ooh!

Nicholas: [Book] 3.

Jon: Yeah. Honestly, I can't argue with that.

Alison: Yes. The right answer. Right answer. What's your favorite movie?

Nicholas: [Movie] 3.

Alison: The right answer. [laughs]

Nicholas: Both.

Jon: Yeah.

Nicholas: Which is not to say that all of them are bad, it's just like, boy...

Jon: It's great, because it's a tough question in its own right. It's a tough question. Honestly though, after being a part of this and stuff like that, [Movie] 4 is starting to become...

Alison: [Movie] 4 is underrated, I think.

Jon: You're going to hate me, [Movie] 4 might be my favorite movie.

Alison: Alright, thank you so much, guys.

Full Transcript with Jon Steiger, Thursday, July 18, 2019

Transcribed by Marissa Osman

Jon Steiger: Hey everyone, my name's Jon Steiger. You can see me in San Francisco as Scorpius Malfoy.

Alison Siggard: [to camera] This is really exciting! We get to introduce you to one of the first cast members that we're knowing about for the San Francisco production. [to Jon] Thank you so much, Jon!

Jon: Of course.

Alison: First of all, we're going to do a quick round of Potter [questions] as you. Do you know your House?

Jon: Gryffindor.

Alison: Nice. Do you know your wand?

Jon: Ooh. I don't.

Alison: Okay.

Jon: I don't. That's something I'd have to sit down for five hours and figure out.

Alison: It's a fun one. Do you know your Patronus?

Jon: I do! It's a hedgehog! Which is so accurate!

Alison: Oh my gosh! I don't know if I've met anyone...

Jon: It's disgustingly accurate.

Alison: Oh my gosh. I love it. Okay. So tell us a little bit about what it's like getting cast in San Francisco. What's it like? What are you looking forward to?

Jon: Oh, everything. [laughs] I've been looking forward to today for a really long time. It's been about nine, ten months since I found out and I couldn't say anything. So this is a nice way to announce that we're doing this. I have a very unique relationship with the show. I was actually an usher at the Lyric Theater in New York and I was there for the whole Year One cast. So between Nick [Nicholas Podany, Albus Potter, New York] and I, we've probably seen it done - the show - about 300 times.

Alison: You got this!

Jon: [laughing] I'm going to walk in and be like, "Script? That's cute." [pauses] No, I'll need it.

[Alison and Jon laugh]

Jon: There'[re] so many things that I'm looking forward to. There'[re] so many things. One of the big things is I'm looking forward to putting on the full costume. I've done little costume fittings but I haven't done the full attire yet, so I'm really looking forward to that.

Alison: What do you think some of the differences between - well, you were there for Year One - New York and San Francisco... What do you think they're going to be? You've got the different theaters, you've got different spaces, you've got different coasts. [laughs]

Jon: Yeah. I'm sure the audience will be different. The cast will be different, and that's great. You love to see these different casts because they always bring something new. There's a very big difference between the Year One cast and the Year Two cast and they're doing the same thing essentially on paper, but what's actually happening is so very different. And it was amazing to watch, because I caught some of the beginning of Year Two, and just the differences they were making made me go, "Oh, I never actually thought of it that way. That's a really interesting way to go about it." I'm really interested in the relationship between Scorpius and his family. Without going into too many details, I think there's a lot there and I think a lot of it affects him whether he shows it or not. I think it goes into how he interacts with people, and I think it's definitely how he wants to be treated and how he's been brought up. I'm very curious to dive into his family.

Alison: Awesome. What is your favorite part of the show that you've done so far? What's your favorite thing to just be like, "Yes, I love this scene! I love this moment"?

Jon: We haven't started rehearsals yet.

Alison: Oh! That's true; I'm sorry.

Jon: No, you're fine! Fortunately, I know exactly. My personal favorite scene is the library scene between Scorpius and Albus. Without going into too much detail, a lot of things happen and you really see this big strain on their relationship and there's a very big tipping point for Scorpius, and I love that scene. I adore that scene because there's so much in it. There's so much in it. This is my first comic-con! This is my first ever comic-con.

Alison: Yeah? What do you think? Tell us about that. [laughs]

Jon: I can never go to another comic-con without being on something like this. [laughs] This is nuts! I am so under-prepared for this, but it's amazing; it's so cool.

Alison: Yeah. What do you hope people take home from Scorpius?

Jon: For me, I think the one thing that I would love people to get from Scorpius is everybody has something that makes them special, makes them important. Scorpius... He goes through a lot in this show, and he's not popular, and he gets bullied, but he's such a wonderful person. And unfortunately, not enough people - characters in the show - get to know that. So I think that's what I want people to take away from Scorpius is that it really doesn't matter who you are, what your upbringing is, there's something special about you and that's beautiful. That's really beautiful.

Alison: Well thank you so much; we're so glad we got to talk to you and we're so excited! [to camera] Don't forget: San Francisco, it's coming soon. This is your Scorpius right here.

Jon: Previews are October 23. Tickets are on sale and then we open December 1!

Alison Siggard

Alison is a Gryffinpuff and probably what Hermione Granger would be like in real life, from bossiness to reliance on books to bushy brown hair. She is a teacher, writer, traveler, and a lover of all kinds of stories and storytelling. She is MuggleNet's staff coordinator and a host on Alohomora!