“Puffs the Play: or 7 Increasingly Eventful Years At A Certain School of Magic and Magic” by Matt Cox

“Puffs the Play: or 7 Increasingly Eventful Years At A Certain School of Magic and Magic”

by Matt Cox

Publisher : Independently published (December 10, 2018)

Paperback : 132 pages

I’m still reading a bunch of plays for “reasons.” But this play I’m reading for another reason. That reason is; a couple of years ago our local college/community theatre performed this play. I wanted to be in the play but I was just simply too old to be in the cast. The play doesn’t require the young to play the parts, but in order to be consistent it is good for the director to keep the cast within the same age range. They are all playing kids from ages 10-18 years old. So I didn’t pass the audition. I wonder if it was because I wouldn’t shave my Van Dyke beard. My son got a part in the show, so I was happy and went to all 4 performances.

So this play is what happened to the other kids at that famous school for wizards and magic. The Puffs. The student’s who were going for third place or nothing (out of 4) Basically this was like the “Breakfast Club” but nerdier, more pitiful at times, and waaaaayyyyy funnier. The one thing I completely enjoyed about this play is the allowance for or rather demand for improv moments. I love Improv and love watching it done right. The actor I saw play the character of Zach Smith was so funny. Each performance he had a different improv for his big improv moment. One of the nights he managed to sum up the last 2 years worth of performances at the college/community theatre into one story that just had me rolling.

If you are a fan of those Harry Potter books, please do yourself a favor and either read this script or go find a performance of this play. The inside jokes are worth the price of admission alone. Matt Cox is a fan of the wizarding series and especially a fan of the 90s. This comes to fruition in this play that is chock full of fun, pop-culture references that is sure to keep any audience entertained. The copy I read and the one I saw performed had some language that may restrict where the play is performed, however, I understand Matt Cox has written a younger version of the play in order to make it safe for all ages.

Matt Cox not only has written a funny pop-culture play, but he creates characters that drag you into the story more so than J.K. Rowling. When reading the original books, there were times I would just say these kids are stupid. But in Matt Cox’s play I was involved. I wanted to know what they were doing at all times, especially the 3 main characters; Oliver, Megan, and Wayne. In fact throughout the play there were times when I had tears in my eyes from laughter and I was thankful because a scene or 2 later there would be tears from sadness and I didn’t want to seem like a crybaby.

My experience after watching 4 performances and now reading this play is one I will cherish. I was moved several times between laughing out loud to drying the tears from sadness. After talking with the cast of this show (besides my son, there were many in the cast I am friends with) I found the same happened to them, in fact to this day the cast cherish their time in “Puffs.” The only other time I have seen such bonding in a play was a 2 week run of “Godspell.” The cast became the closest of friends from there after same as with “Puffs.” So,yeah, “Puffs” has a bit of a religious experience to it.

Thank You Matt Cox for such a great emotional rollercoaster!!!