The Broadway production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child allegedly has some bloodthirsty freeloaders in the house. A woman who attended a performance of the play at the Lyric Theatre last week says she and her husband were attacked during the performance by the dreaded "You-Know-Who": bedbugs. [Update from the theater below.]
The tipster, who asked Gothamist to withhold her name, says she and her husband had seats in the balcony, where they were "eaten alive during the play," she writes in an email. Afterwards, she says they found bites on their neck, arms, and hands, and sent us these triggering photos.
A bite from the reported bedbugs on the Lyric Theatre balcony. (Tipster)
The two also apparently discovered a bedbug on one of their bags upon exiting the theater, which they bagged as evidence for the photo below.
A bedbug reportedly found at the Broadway Lyric Theatre. (Tipster)
Of course, bedbugs aren't strangers to our city's theaters, though anecdotal reports show them infesting movie theaters more frequently than Broadway houses. In December 2018, City Councilman Mark Levine introduced a bill that would require movie theaters to develop a program that would issue annual reports that they are indeed bedbug-free.
Other online reviews of the theater show no mentions for previous incidences of bedbugs at the theatre. Our tipster says they reported the creepy-crawlers to the theatre, who "denied" the claims and "continue to seat people in those spots."
Update: Hayley Sharples, the General Manager for the Lyric Theatre, issued a statement on behalf of the Ambassador Theatre Group, "Since the complaint came in for this alleged incident, we have done two thorough inspections at the theater to look for any trace of bed bugs. We did our own examination, which involved completely dismantling the chair in which this particular patron sat, and another in which specially trained canines did a full search of the building. Both inspections yielded the same results: there is absolutely no sign of bed bugs at our theater. These findings are consistent with the regular reports we get from the pest control company we work with. We have a spotless record when it comes to bed bugs, and we will continue to take every step to ensure that never changes."