How long does it take to tell a story?
It depends on the method, the storyteller, and the stage. A series of infographics might reveal a 900-page book in a dozen clever pictograms, while an excited grade-schooler might take more time to describe a movie's plot than the movie itself took to play out.
Then there's the Harry Potter series, which, you may have heard, contains a few pages. Those pages are in seven books -- books that grew impressively longer near the middle of the series -- and those hundreds of thousands of words penned by J.K. Rowling are now being interpreted in "Potted Potter," an on-tour stage show.
Let us board our broomstick and back up: "Potted Potter" interprets, with cheek, zest, and laughs, all of the Harry Potter books in 70 minutes. You might break that down to ten minutes per book, but snack on this, in the way one might snack upon Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans: There's also a game of Quidditch in the live, before-your-wondering-eyes production.
What to do, where to go and what to see
A production that will cast spells, over the audience and of the magical variety, in Beverly Hills from Wednesday, Feb. 28 through Sunday, March 1. The place? It's not Hogwarts, though it is full of storytelling of the highest order: The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.
Yep, it's a theater, so if you are going to wear your tall conical point wizard's hat, best plan to take it off and hold it in your lap. The wizard behind you will want to see.
Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner are the madcap realizers of the jauntily expressed Potterverse, and both have been nominated for Olivier Awards, twice.
As for appropriate audience ages? "Six to Dumbledore" is the span, so if you're reading your kid the books for the first time -- or she's reading them to you -- or you're going to re-read them again, in honor of your 100th birthday, you'll be as cozy as Hagrid in his hut.
Tickets? Best fly this way. Robes, potions, owls, ghosts, wands? You're on your own for those, but we're just betting you know a gnome an alley or two over.