Nobody knows New York City like a local. Some of the city’s notable locals are also the stars of Broadway’s multitude of fantastic shows. We talked with performer Erik Christopher Peterson who stars as Scorpius Malfoy in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
WG: Tell us about your role in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child!
Peterson: I play Scorpius Malfoy, the son of Draco Malfoy, though he isn’t much like his father. On his way to his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Scorpius befriends Albus Potter (son of Harry Potter), and the two get up to some magical misadventures. Scorpius is a beautiful, funny, and complex character. I love him deeply, and I am very lucky to spend so much time with him.
WG: How did you get your start in your performing career?
Peterson: I have been acting about as long as I could walk! My dad is a high school theatre teacher, so I was taken with the wonder and power of live theatre at a young age. It’s been incredibly gratifying to make my Broadway debut in this amazing show.
WG: What are your best tips for exploring New York City like a local?
Peterson: Alrighty, here are some local customs … on the Subway, always let folks de-board the train before you get on. Don’t block the doors, and above all else, never get on an empty train car. It’s probably empty for a reason. On the street, always walk with purpose! Nothing will irk a local like the sidewalk flow being interrupted, so keep it movin’, folks, and always be sure to tip 20% when dining out!
WG: What should be on every visitor’s “bucket list” when visiting?
Peterson: Along with Broadway, this time of year, the bucket list has got to include taking in the holidays. I especially recommend Fraunces Tavern in Lower Manhattan for the hot apple cider or mulled wine and holiday cheer. (Apparently, George Washington liked the Chicken Pot Pie!) Not to mention other classic spots like Joe’s Pizza, catching a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden, and taking in some of the great art museums
WG: What’s an excellent spot to capture a great selfie?
WG: What is the best suggestion you can give a first-time visitor?
Peterson: Explore the whole city, not just midtown. There is great theatre outside of the theatre district, wonderful food all over the city, and the true pulse of NYC is best felt away from the tourist destinations. Don’t be afraid to ask around for recommendations! I love Clementine Bakery in Clinton Hill, Ras’ Ethiopian in Crown Heights, and Jajaja Mexicana in The Village for a tasty bite.
WG: If someone only had 24 hours in NYC, where would you send them?
Peterson: To see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! And check out Scorpius’ costume and some other Cursed Child pieces alongside costumes and props from the Potter film franchise at Harry Potter: The Exhibition in Herald Square. But I might be a little biased.… see you at the Lyric Theatre!