Best Of 2020

Best Unlicensed stage Adaptation of "Harry Potter": "Puffs, or seven increasingly eventful years at a certain school of magic and magic"

The cast of "Puffs"

If you caught our review of Puffs, or seven increasingly eventful years at a certain school of magic and magic at Know Theatre, you’ll notice great pains were taken to avoid use of the play’s unlicensed source material’s name, but we’ve got too much to say about the show to tiptoe through the copyright tulips here: Harry Potter fans showed up in such large numbers to see the magical adventures of Hogwarts’ archetypal sidekicks that this became the Know Theatre’s best-selling play…of all time. A standout comedic performance by lead actor Ben Dudley elevated Puffs beyond glorified fan-fic and connected the dots between those seven glorious years spent at that school of witchcraft and wizardry. Funny and heartwarming with rapid-fire jokes and callbacks, Puffs featured an impressively designed set that gave audiences a look into what happened behind the major scenes Potter-heads know like the back of their hands (where, hopefully, you don’t have “I must not tell lies” scarred thanks to Professor Umbridge). The cast and crew combined their talents (like polyjuice potion) to achieve a success we can only hope will be topped by the inevitable unlicensed play about CityBeat (you can call it Beats, playwright). Know Theatre, 1120 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine, knowtheatre.com.