People are falling for Harry Potter on Broadway — and not in a magical way.
Producers spent $33 million to renovate the Lyric Theatre to make it a home for the two-part hit play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” — and the house is an accident waiting to happen.
Make that an accident waiting to happen again — since it’s already happened, and more than once.
The design of the aisles in the theater has caused a number of audience members to either trip or fall, leading to scrapes, bruises and, worse, several busted bones.
Call it “Harry Potter and the Cursed Aisle.”
“I was heading up the aisle at intermission,” a longtime theater journalist told the Daily News. “I tripped on one of those narrow, shallow steps in the aisle and fell forward.
“I caught myself before my head hit the ground, but I scraped my knee and my ankle,” the reporter added. “You don’t expect little steps like that in the middle of a theater.”
Veteran reviewer John Simon, 93, confirmed that sentiment.
“That center aisle is vicious,” he told The News. Simon fell during a preview performance he was there to review.
“I started up the center aisle,” he said. “I tripped. I fell backward and broke three ribs.”
Hospitalized for three weeks, Simon is now back home.
“I’m getting some physical therapy,” he said.
Wall Street Journal critic Terry Teachout tweeted that he fell “ass-over-teakettle” at “Harry Potter.”
“I didn’t hurt myself,” he told The News, “but it shook me up.”
And it inevitably led to a review of the stairs.
“Then I dusted myself off and took a closer look at the steps, which appeared to me to be both too shallow and poorly lit,” Teachout said.
Full disclosure: This reporter also tripped and nearly face-planted while hustling to the rest room at intermission.
That aisle could use some therapy of its own. One possible remedy could be adding lighting to indicate the stealthy steps.
John Rogers, general counsel for the Ambassador Theatre Group, which owns the Lyric, confirmed hearing reports of “one or two falls.”
Rogers had no comment when asked if changes have been made or are planned to fix the problem.
“We’re routinely looking at ways to improve safety and navigation in the theater,” he told The News.
Changes should be made presto, according to the scraped-up journalist.
Source: Ny Daily News