If you’re a fan of the Boy Who Lived, you’ll want to make a trip to “POTTED POTTER – The Unauthorized Harry Experience – A Parody by Dan and Jeff” when you’re in Las Vegas (you can find the show at The Magic Attic inside Bally's Las Vegas). The show condenses all seven of the Harry Potter books into a spellbinding 70-minute production that encompasses all of your favorite parts of the wizarding world. We interviewed one of the show’s performers, James Edwards, about his career and his favorites in Las Vegas.
James Edwards’ Guide to Las Vegas
WT- How did you get your start as a performer?
Edwards: (This sounds like a first date!) I remember growing up with “the classics” like the Sound of Music on VHS (a very old-fashioned sentence). Our family always had an appreciation for the arts and helped my sister and me audition for our local theatre when we moved to the US in 2001.
I always like to (try) and make people laugh, and when I found out that that could be a career, I told my parents, “That. I want to do THAT!” (cue the parental panic). After majoring in Performing Arts from SCAD, New York was home while doing regional theatre and some tours; I eventually taught musical improv at The Second City in Los Angeles, where I was living before this new adventure!
WT- Where are you from, and how long have you lived in Las Vegas?
Edwards: Well, how much time do you have? I’ve moved around…a lot. Originally, I’m from the UK; that’s where I fittingly went to a school very similar to Hogwarts; church grounds, uniforms, the lot (nerd alert)! I was there for my formative years.
Then, after moving all around the US due to my father’s success in aviation sales, one not-so-special day, I found the audition for “POTTED POTTER” online, submitted it, and after landing the role, I moved to Vegas in July (after our rehearsal process in Mexico, what an adventure).
WT- What is your favorite thing about living in Las Vegas?
Edwards: I’d say the vibrant energy and retro aesthetic! 9 times out of 10, anybody you meet here is on holiday and looking for a fun and fulfilling moment; that helps me (somewhat an introvert) let loose and make new friends over late-night beer-pong. The weather ain’t too bad either.
WT- What is your favorite spot to bring visiting family and friends?
Edwards: You mean besides a really awesome Harry Potter parody?? I’d have to say, The High Roller at The LINQ Promenade. However “touristy” it seems, how often do you get to enjoy drinks…in a bubble…floating over a city? Area 15 also satisfies my surprising need for axe-throwing, pinball and arcade games, and I’m a huge fan of the psychedelic-meets-futuristic vibes in there (chefs kiss*).
WT- If someone asks you for dinner recommendations in Las Vegas, what do you suggest?
Edwards: Ya gotta love Vegas; you can have an experience that’s five stars or $5. After our show, I’d recommend Vanderpump à Paris for great cocktails and incredible ambiance and bites. But I’m a pad thai guy (hands down). Luckily, I live near Lotus of Siam, so for a quiet respite from the strip, I find some En Tuan soup or slurping up some noodles—a cure for a fun day.
WT- Where are some of your favorite places to go and things to do in Las Vegas on your day off?
Edwards: Well, there’s a lovely dent in my couch that fits me just right! You can find me there after I’ve had a proper workout and dip in the pool (not a bad life…). When it’s not hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk, I’d be mingled in with the tourists at the outlet malls.
I am dying to visit the sand dunes and explore more of the outdoor dining areas around as well. You might find me rocking out to any concert at Zappos Theatre. Nothing beats a live performance.