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'Puffs' bring magic to CCP stage

Fans of a certain famous boy wizard are sure to enjoy the latest show from Capital City Productions — "Puffs.

Liv Paggiarino/News Tribune Margaret Graham, second from the right, dances in a “Puff formation” during Wednesday’s rehearsal for the upcoming production of “Puffs” at Capital City Productions. Graham, like many of the other actors in the show, plays several characters, including Hannah, Professor McG and Professor Sprouty.

Fans of a certain famous boy wizard are sure to enjoy the latest show from Capital City Productions — "Puffs."

Opening Sept. 10, the play centers on three characters at a famous school for wizards in England (you know the one ), who attend at same time as the more famous boy wizard with the lightning bolt scar. These students, Wayne Hopkins, Oliver Rivers and Megan Jones — played by Patrick Pollock, Ian Freeland and Madelyn Beach, respectively — are members of the Puffs, one of the four houses at the school that include the Braves, Snakes and Smarts.

Director Natalie Eickhoff said the show goes through all seven years at the wizarding school, a feat for a 90-minute play that makes it an incredibly fast-paced, high energy production. Outside of the main characters and the narrator, played by Matthew Raymer, there are seven cast members, Eickhoff said, with each one playing several roles (one actor plays 11 different characters). The fact that the cast has to shuffle and change so quickly behind the scenes only adds to the fast-paced energy of the overall show, she said.

"It's very fast paced and exciting," Eickhoff said. "It's a roller coaster a lot of emotions and rapid character development."

It's a show that's meant for adult millennials who grew up with the famous wizarding book series and would enjoy a comedic spoof on the tales they know, Eickhoff said, noting the language and some content of the scenes may not be ideal for children, though everyone is welcome to attend. Eickhoff herself is one such fan of the book series, which is why she was excited to take it on for CCP.

"As someone who grew up with the books the whole spoof is fun and exciting for me, just as a whole, because you get to see a different side of the same story that everyone knows, the popular story," Eickhoff said. "It's a cool take."

It became a perfect fit for CCP's Spotz on the Artist series, which started when the group moved to its new Wicker Lane facility earlier this year. The series allows for smaller plays to do one weekend of shows in between regular CCP productions. Eickhoff said she's been working on the show for 10 months, though rehearsals have been somewhat crammed into the past month as CCP's packed schedule of productions keeps the theater busy.

"We really can't have multiple shows rehearsing at the same time, in order to keep everyone safe," she said, noting the public health protocols at the theater that are meant to keep cast, crew and audiences safe and healthy. "Luckily, we have such a talented pool of featured people, both on the tech side and the acting side, that it's a lot of work, but it's easy work at the same time."

The show opens at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 10 and runs through Sept. 12, with a matinee set for 1 p.m. Sept. 12. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at ccpjc.org. The show will not include a buffet dinner, but concessions will be available for purchase. Capital City Productions is located at 719 Wicker Lane.

"If you are a fan of that popular book series, you are going to love this show," Eickhoff said. "There's so many jabs and inside jokes and everything, it's definitely a must see for anyone who is a fan."