Archive for Saturday, June 6, 2009

Broadway past and present dominates

June 6, 2009

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Theater buffs don’t have to wait until the Tony Awards to begin their celebration. The documentary “Mr. Prince” (7 p.m. tonight, Ovation) profiles longtime Broadway director Harold Prince. A veteran of more than five decades on Broadway, Prince has been intimately involved in notable hits and a virtual revolution in the stage musical. His résumé runs from “Damn Yankees” to “Phantom of the Opera” and includes such classics as “West Side Story,” “Pajama Game,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Cabaret” and “Sweeney Todd.”

Prince began his Broadway career working for producer George Abbott, a man responsible for many Broadway hits in his 107 years. Looking back at his own experiences and Abbott’s long tenure, Prince argues that the greatest formula for success is the collaboration between a veteran with many decades experience and an unknown talent with a grasp of contemporary tastes.

• A dance instructor helps an estranged father and daughter take tentative steps toward reconciliation in the 2009 offering “Come Dance at My Wedding” (8 p.m. tonight, Hallmark), starring John Schneider (“Smallville”) and Roma Downey (“Touched by an Angel”).

• Neil Patrick Harris, star of the CBS comedy “How I Met Your Mother,” will host the 63rd Annual Tony Awards (7 p.m. Sunday, CBS), honoring Broadway’s best. Look for Dolly Parton, Elton John, Liza Minnelli and many more, including performances from nominated musicals.

Harris recently appeared as host on the TV Land awards and acquitted himself quite well, mixing singing, dancing, comedy and show business razzle-dazzle. He was the most pleasant surprise of the evening.

• Graham Norton hosts the talent search contest “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?” (9 p.m. Sunday, BBC America). When composer and producer Andrew Lloyd Webber announced his intention to stage “The Sound of Music” on London’s West End, he shocked critics by insisting that his Maria be young, 18 to 22, and that she be chosen by viewers in an “American Idol”-style competition.

Tonight’s hour-long introduction follows the audition process that results in 55 young singers going to “Maria School.” At the end of next Sunday’s round, only 10 finalists remain.

Tonight’s highlights

• A frisky forger (Leonardo DiCaprio) bedevils a buttoned-down federal agent (Tom Hanks) in the 2002 drama “Catch Me If You Can” (5 p.m., TNT).

• Detroit hosts Pittsburgh in the NHL Stanley Cup finals (7 p.m., NBC).

• The wedding party gets smaller on “Harper’s Island” (8 p.m., CBS).

• Milla Jovovich stars in the 2006 shocker “Ultraviolet” (8 p.m., Sci Fi).

• Scheduled on “48 Hours Mystery” (9 p.m., CBS): death on the beach.

• Emerson’s daughter resurfaces on “Pushing Daisies” (9 p.m., ABC).

Sunday’s highlights

• Repeat reports scheduled on “60 Minutes” (6 p.m., CBS): interviews with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and singer Dolly Parton.

• Los Angeles hosts Orlando in game 2 of the NBA finals (7 p.m., ABC).

• Bumped last week for NHL hockey, the miniseries “The Last Templar” (8 p.m., NBC) concludes.

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