Calling all Muggles for "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" release parties

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ADAMS — Expect to see wizards this weekend, and keep your eyes peeled for owls.

Just after midnight Saturday night, "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts I and II" will be released in this world.

Described as more script than book, with J.K. Rowling one of three people involved with its writing, the new story means tremendous excitement for Muggles (the Potterverse term for nonmagical humans), and local businesses are celebrating.

The book will be released for sale at 12:01 a.m. on July 31.

The Barnes and Noble, in Pittsfield, is being deliberately mysterious about their two events, said Reg Strickland, the shop's assistant manager.

"The company is keeping things kind of close to the vest for the Saturday night event," he said. "They want people to come in and have it be a wide-eyed surprise. It is Potterverse."

The mysteries unravel beginning at 8 p.m. on July 30, he said.

A second day-long event celebrating the release is set to begin Sunday at 9 a.m..

The Big Y in Adams also has big plans for Sunday. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Potter fans may use a "sorting hat"to discover which Hogwarts' house they belong with, or snap a few frames at a wizard's photo booth, or watch the brewing of butterbeer, a wizarding concoction with a butterscotch-like flavor. There will be an undisclosed number of book copies for sale as well.

The idea is to tie in with another recent Rowling headline; the Mount Greylock siting of the Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, said supermarket store director David Smith. Revealed in June, the fictitious 17th century school is part of the movie "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" backstory. The news of a local Rowling connection brought national attention to the mountain and the town, and also an abundance of interest and fun, Smith noted.

"It's been a big deal here, and with this event the kids can come and have a good time," Smith said. "It was an awful lot of fun to plan this, and it is something that you don't get to do everyday.'

Smith said employees working that day have the option to dress in wizardly attire if they wish but added he does not know if any workers plan to flaunt Potter-like fashions.

Rowling was involved with crafting the work but the play was written by Jack Thorne. Director John Tiffany also had a hand in the writing. The saga describes how Harry Potter is coping with life 19 years after besting Voldermort. The script finds Potter working as an Auror (similar to a detective working in the Wizarding World) and also a father of three children.

The play is being performed at the Palace Theater in London.


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