By Melissa Bryant
First, they captured fans’ hearts, now “The Band’s Visit” and “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” claim the first and second most wins, respectively, at the 72nd Annual Tony Awards.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Play, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” made the leap across the pond from London’s West End to New York’s fully renovated Lyric Theatre this spring to resounding critical acclaim. The eighth story in the Harry Potter series offers a fresh perspective on the narrative of the Boy Who Lived in a new play by Jack Thorne, based on an original story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, who is also the show’s director.
Led by Jamie Parker (Harry Potter), Noma Dumezweni (Hermione Granger), Paul Thornley (Ron Weasley), and four other members of the award-winning Original West End Company, the production is presented in two parts for theater patrons to enjoy on the same day (matinee and evening), on two consecutive evenings, or individually. In Part One, the enduring magic of Harry Potter and his friends continues as Harry, now an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, balances his adult life as a husband and father of three school-age children. In Part Two, Harry’s past finds its way into the present, where his youngest son Albus is struggling with the weight of a family legacy.
“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Colin Callender and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions. For more information, visit www.HarryPotterThePlay.com.
The Band’s Visit
Best Musical, Best Original Score (David Yazbek), Best Book (Itamar Moses) … and the list goes on of accolades bestowed upon “The Band’s Visit” — 10 in total — at the 2018 Tony Awards. The musical, which opened at New York’s Ethel Barrymore Theatre in November 2017, is now tied in third place for the most Tony Awards received by a single show, behind “The Producers” (12) and “Hamilton” (11). It tells the story of an Egyptian Police Band who wind up in a remote village in the Israeli desert with no bus until morning and no hotel in sight. The unlikely travelers are taken in by the locals for what can only be described as transformative. Featuring standout performances by Tony Award winner Katrina Lenk, Sasson Gabay, John Cariani, and Tony Award winner Ari’el Stachel, “The Band’s Visit” demonstrates the connective power of music.
The North American Tour of “The Band’s Visit” will launch in Providence, Rhode Island next June. Orin Wolf is the lead producer. For more information, visit www.TheBandsVisitMusical.com.