‘Harry Potter’ is the one to beat at this year’s Tonys

The Tony Award nominators are like Regina in “Mean Girls.”

And while they don’t all wear pink, their power is absolute — which is why they’ve got the theater world on edge until Tuesday morning’s announcement of their chosen nominees.

The anointed one will be “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” which should snap up several nominations, including for Best Play, Best Director, Best Costumes, Wands, Owls, Toads, Newts and for cast members Jamie Parker, Noma Dumezweni and Anthony Boyle.

“Potter,” budgeted at $68 million, is eclipsing everything on Broadway right now, even musicals with big budgets (“Frozen”) and critical acclaim (“The Band’s Visit”).

“It’s going to be the top story on Tuesday,” says a source involved in “The Band’s Visit.”

“The rest of us are fighting for oxygen.”

“The Band’s Visit” should also have much to celebrate. It will pick up nominations for Best Musical as well as nods for its score, book, direction and stars Katrina Lenk and Tony Shalhoub and supporting players John Cariani and Ari’el Stachel.

It’s also going to win a lot of Tonys, including Best Musical. But this lovely, intelligent show is struggling to find its footing in a theater season dominated by the brand names “Potter,” “Frozen” and “Mean Girls.”

“Frozen” and “Mean Girls” will make the Best Musical cut, as will “SpongeBob SquarePants.”

Left out like a cake in the rain will be “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical,” “Escape to Margaritaville” and “Prince of Broadway.”

But look for Jimmy Buffett to appear on the Tony telecast leading his cast in “Margaritaville,” and LaChanze, one of the stars of “Summer,” singing “Last Dance.”

CBS isn’t going to pass up a chance to broadcast two of the biggest songs in the karaoke catalog.

“Harry Potter” is set to win the Tony for Best Play, but honorable mention — in the form of nominations — will go to “Farinelli and the King,” “Junk” and “The Children.”

Shoo-ins for Best Revival of a Play are “Three Tall Women,” “Travesties” and “Angels in America.” The fourth slot will go either to “The Iceman Cometh” or “Lobby Hero.”

The battle here is between Edward Albee’s “Women” and Tony Kushner’s “Angels,” both major American plays that have been given superb revivals. The grumbling about “Angels” is that Part 2, “Perestroika,” is not as good as Part 1, “Millennium Approaches.” Still, “Angels” has an edge — though you can bank on the towering Glenda Jackson of “Three Tall Women” being nominated for, and winning, the Tony for Best Actress in a Play.

“Carousel,” “My Fair Lady” and “Once on This Island” are the only three musical revivals this year, so they’ll fill out that slate. There’s great affection for “Once on This Island,” a charming show given a terrific revival, but “Carousel” and “My Fair Lady” are classics, so they dominate the field.

But look for Michael Arden, who directed “Island,” to get a nomination — and many more jobs on Broadway.

Tina Fey will be nominated for her “Mean Girls” script and her husband, Jeff Richmond, will get a nod for his score.

“Mean Girls” isn’t going to beat “The Band’s Visit” on many fronts, but Fey is sure to turn on the charm during the Tony campaign and, given her star power, she’ll make an aggressive play for Best Book of a Musical.

Tony officials meet Friday to make one last decision: Should Bruce Springsteen get a Special Tony Award for his Broadway show?

You don’t have to be the Amazing Kreskin to figure that one out.

But here’s something else they should do: reinstate a special Tony for Best Cast Replacement.

Bernadette Peters deserves it for “Hello, Dolly!”

You can hear Michael Riedel every weekday morning on “Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning” on 710 WOR radio.

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