Harry Potter play hopes for magic at Olivier stage awards

LONDON (AP) — Producers of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” hope the play will work its magic on Sunday at British theater’s Olivier Awards , where it’s nominated in 11 categories including best new play.

Jamie Parker, who plays a grown-up Harry in the stage sequel to J.K. Rowling’s wizarding saga, is nominated for best actor. He’s up against Ian McKellen for “No Man’s Land,” Tom Hollander for “Travesties,” and Ed Harris for “Buried Child.”

Other nominations for “Cursed Child” include director John Tiffany; Noma Dumezweni, a supporting actress contender for playing the adult Hermione Granger; and supporting actor nominee Anthony Boyle, who plays Slytherin student Scorpius Malfoy.

Best-actress Olivier nominees include Glenda Jackson for “King Lear” and Ruth Wilson for “Hedda Gabler.”

The movie-inspired comedy “Groundhog Day,” which recently opened on Broadway, has eight nominations, including best new musical, at Britain’s equivalent of Broadway’s Tony Awards.

Composer Andrew Lloyd-Webber is nominated for three musicals; “Sunset Boulevard,” ”Jesus Christ Superstar” and “School Of Rock The Musical.”

Kenneth Branagh will receive a special award for his contribution to theatre during Sunday’s black-tie ceremony at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

Named for the late actor Laurence Olivier, the prizes honor achievements in London theater, musicals, dance and opera. Winners in most categories are chosen by a panel of stage professionals and theatergoers.

The Olivier Awards have become an increasingly glitzy affair in recent years, awarded at a ceremony studded with musical numbers, modeled on Broadway’s Tony’s.

Celebrities handing out trophies at Sunday’s televised ceremony include “Star Wars” actor John Boyega, Oscar winner Mark Rylance, “The Good Wife” star Cush Jumbo and “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.