When pressed for what magical power he’d like to have, Jamie Parker, who plays the title role in the Broadway blockbuster “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” picks a spell that any New Yorker would give anything to have.
“I’d love to be able to apparate, that would be pretty awesome,” he says. “You wouldn’t have to travel for an hour and a half to get to where you need to go. I mean, how cool would it be to have any spell? Any spell. Pick one out of the book, that would be awesome.”
While Parker, 38, doesn’t have any real otherworldly powers, he has worked his magic on the stage, taking the lead in the perpetually sold-out show. For that, he has landed a Tony nomination for best actor in a play, which comes on the heels of him winning the West End equivalent, the Olivier Award for best actor, last year.
Parker, who made his Broadway debut in the 2006 production of “The History Boys,” said he was surprised at winning the prize, saying that he expected that the show, kind of like with the “Lord of the Rings” movies, would be up for a lot of awards and take home wins in the production categories.
“The whole thing was all a surprise in London and it was brilliant,” he says. “But of course then, with that history, you turn up to New York and I slightly had my fingers crossed, if I’m honest, because it would have been anticlimactic to get this far and then suddenly it didn’t come through . . . I’m very chilled out about the whole thing. Now we’ve got all those nominations, that’s great as far as I’m concerned. Now we can get on and sort of do the job and not be too distracted.”
And what a job it is. Unlike most shows, “Cursed Child” is a two-parter, clocking in at more than 5 hours, which is a lot of play. That’s a long period for any theatergoer to sit through — just imagine how it is for the performers who have to learn it, master it and perform it multiple times per week.
Of course, having done the role for so long — Parker originated the character back in 2016 — the role is old (sorting?) hat by now, but the actor reveals at first it was a daunting task.
“When you start, you don’t think you’re ever going to be able to remember all of it, or get through all of it in the day,” Parker says.
“There’s absolutely no room left in your concentration for anything else. But it is amazing how much you can retain and after a while there comes a time when you find yourself kind of with room to spare in your head. And that’s when the discipline sets in, in the course of repeating over a year.
“But, yeah,” he concedes, “it seems impossible at the outset and you just make, you just do whatever is possible.”
Just like magic.
‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two’ plays an open run at the Lyric Theatre, 214 W. 43rd St., harrypottertheplay.com.