For more than two decades, the “Harry Potter” series of books has captivated legions of readers. If the thought of devoting time to reading thousands of pages about the ins and outs of wizards and witches is daunting, a Broadway production that has condensed and puréed seven Potter books into 70 hilarious minutes will land at the Madison Center for the Arts October 28-30.

“Potted Potter – The Unauthorized Harry Experience – A Parody by Dan and Jeff” is a magical show created by a duo of two-time Olivier Award-nominated actors that together expertly portray over 300 characters in one play! Co-writers and Co-creators of “Potted Potter,” Jefferson Turner and Daniel Clarkson have performed this unabashedly original production around the globe for the past 16 years.

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Back in 2005, Turner was doing what he calls “street theatre” on his own and trying to make ends meet performing one-man fairy tales while utilizing silly wigs and hats. Fate then intervened in the form of Clarkson. “The way Dan tells it; he had just come away from a meeting where he’d been offered to do something with a Harry Potter book in London and he was looking for someone to do it with and he saw me, and thought, ‘Aw, he might be funny,” says Turner. Although the duo’s paths had crossed previously on the London acting scene, they hadn’t work together. Clarkson invited Turner for a drink (a butter brew, perhaps) and a chat, and the rest it “Potted Potter” history.

It takes a frenetic pace to cram so many colorful and memorable characters into one show. “I play Harry because that’s all Dan trusted me with in the beginning and Dan plays pretty much everybody else.” muses Turner. So, how does Clarkson keep all the characters straight? Turner explains with a slightly devious laugh, “Back when we started, he was in his mid-20s. Now that he’s pushing 40, and he struggles a bit more!”

The Broadway show was on a bit of a hiatus during the pandemic, but is reemerging in the U.S., first in Charlotte, North Carolina, then Santa Fe, New Mexico before it materializes in three shows at the Madison Center for the Arts. Notably, Turner says that he and Clarkson have performed “Potted Potter” more than 2,000 times. Whether you are in the House of Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin, all fans will enjoy the fantastically silly and over-the-top show that is performing for the first time ever in Phoenix.

“Potted Potter” is coming to the Madison Center for the Arts.

One bit of interesting phenomena of the Potter series is that its audience has matured. Kids who grew up with the “Harry Potter” series are now adults. “What’s absolutely amazing is because we’ve been doing this for 16 years, a kid who was 12 years old when we started doing the show, now has an eight-year-old kid of their own.” says Turner. “It’s happened a couple of times here in the U.K. and in the States, where someone has come up to us and said, ‘My mom and dad took me to see this show and now I’m bringing my kid.’”

Turner continues, “The thing with ‘Harry Potter,’ and there aren’t many things in the world like this. He appeals to all generations and has from the outset.” Indeed, the show is family friendly.

Turner points out that one of the biggest challenges of “Potted Potter” is moving from venue to venue, getting acclimated to a new stage each time and procuring the right props while physically navigating the theater’s space. “Poor, Dan. He’s the one who has to do the pace… I’ve seen Dan wipe out spectacularly!” Turner gushes. “The audience loves it, but not as much as I do!” Have you ever wondered what a live game of Quidditch looks like? Audiences are about to find out next week.

During “Potted Potter,” If the actors stumble over a name or refer to the wrong Hogwarts House, they can poke fun at themselves, or the diehard Potter fans will be sure point out the errors to them. Either way, it’s all in good fun.

“Harry Potter” author, J.K. Rowling is fully aware of this unauthorized work, and she even once came to see the show, although unsuccessfully. Turner explains, “When we very first did the show in 2006 in Scotland, we sold out a little 60-seat venue. We were delighted! On the last show of the run, as we were packing up and about to go buy a whiskey, this poor box office girl, who must have been about 18, came to us in a flood of tears and her manager was with her. It turns out a lady came to see the show and this girl said, ‘I’m sorry, it’s sold out.’ She didn’t know what J.K. Rowling looked like.”

“So, the manager comes back in the venue and passes (the author) and says, ‘Oh, goodness, was that J.K. Rowling that just walked out?!? And he ran out after her and didn’t see her. Ever since then, there’s always one ticket to each show that isn’t sold just in case she turns up… Anywhere in the world!”

Five years ago, Turner and Clarkson were formally introduced to J.K. Rowling at a fundraiser by the “Potted Potter” producer. “She said, ‘Oh, yes, the ‘Potted Potter’ boys,’ and that was honestly it,” says Turner. “We were like ‘If nothing else happens in our careers, she knows who we are.’”

The Madison Center for the Arts is hosting a costume contest each night of the “Potted Potter” run and fans are encouraged to dress up as their favorite Potter character. Winners will receive 2022 season tickets to future performances at the Madison. Performances are at 7 p.m. October 28, 29 and 30. Tickets are $29-$59 and available at