The Magic of Long-Running Broadway Plays: “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” Joins the Elite Club

A New Chapter in Broadway History

On May 21, 2023, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” reached a major milestone, surpassing the 1978 play “Deathtrap” to become the fifth-longest-running play in Broadway history. With over 1,793 performances, this Tony Award-winning production has cemented its place alongside the most iconic and enduring plays on the Great White Way.

The Pantheon of Long-Running Broadway Plays

For over eight decades, “Life with Father” (1939) has held the top spot, followed by “Tobacco Road” (1933), “Abie’s Irish Rose” (1922), and “Gemini” (1977). These plays have captured the hearts of audiences and have become an integral part of American theater history. “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” joins this esteemed group, solidifying its status as a beloved and enduring production.

The Making of a Magical Masterpiece

Conceived by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is a unique and imaginative play that explores the next chapter in the Harry Potter saga. The story follows Harry’s son, Albus, as he navigates his own journey of self-discovery and friendship with Scorpius Malfoy, the son of Harry’s rival Draco. This thrilling adventure takes audiences on a thrilling ride of magic, adventure, and heartwarming moments.

A Record-Breaking Production

Guinness World Records has officially recognized “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” as the highest-grossing non-musical play in Broadway history, with a staggering total sales of over $330 million and over 2.583 million tickets sold. This remarkable achievement is a testament to the play’s enduring popularity and its ability to captivate audiences of all ages.

Behind the Scenes: The Production Team

The production team behind “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” includes Sonia Friedman Productions, Colin Callender, and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions. Their combined efforts have brought this magical world to life, transporting audiences to a world of wonder and magic.

The Evolution of Broadway: A Look at the Numbers

The Numbers Game

Broadway’s financial success is a reflection of its enduring popularity and the dedication of its audiences. From the 2009-10 season to the present day, we’ve seen a steady increase in gross revenue and attendance. But what does this mean for the future of Broadway?

The Seasons

Let’s take a closer look at the numbers over the past two decades. We’ve seen seasons like the 2018-19, which was the highest-grossing and best-attended season in recorded history. Then came the 2019-20 season, which was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021-22 season marked the return of Broadway, with a delayed start and numerous COVID-related cancellations.

The Numbers Breakdown

Here’s a breakdown of the numbers over the past two decades:


  • Gross: $1,578 million
  • Attendance: 12.28 million
  • Playing Weeks: 1,474
  • New Productions: 40


  • Gross: $845 million
  • Attendance: 6.73 million
  • Playing Weeks: 946
  • New Productions: 39


  • Gross: $1,358 million
  • Attendance: 11.14 million
  • Playing Weeks: 1,282
  • New Productions: 33


  • Gross: $1,829 million
  • Attendance: 14.77 million
  • Playing Weeks: 1,737
  • New Productions: 38

And so on…

Trends and Takeaways

What do these numbers tell us about the future of Broadway? One trend is clear: attendance and gross revenue are continuing to rise. This is likely due to the growing popularity of live theater and the increasing diversity of productions on Broadway.

However, there are also challenges ahead. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a lasting impact on the industry, and there are still concerns about safety and capacity. Additionally, there are ongoing debates about ticket prices and accessibility.


The numbers game is just one aspect of the complex and dynamic world of Broadway. As we look to the future, it’s clear that there will be both challenges and opportunities ahead. But one thing is certain: the magic of live theater will continue to captivate audiences around the world.

Conclusion: A Legacy of Magic

As “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” continues to cast its spell on audiences around the world, it’s clear that this play has become a beloved fixture on the Broadway landscape. Its enduring popularity is a testament to the power of storytelling and the magic of live theater. With its record-breaking sales and impressive run, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” has cemented its place as a true classic of American theater.

Author Profile

Stevie Flavio
Film Writer


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