2013 Theatre People Pro Choice Nominations Announced

Simon Parris's picture

Cast your vote now at Theatre People 2013 Pro Choice Awards. CLICK HERE.

 

Boutique productions abounded this year, highlighting the expensive risk of full-scale commercial productions. Fortunately, smaller budgets for sets and costumes have no impact on the quality of the performances, with compelling acting and glorious singing found in many a small scale show.

 

In a roar heard around the world, new musical King Kong made its world premiere in June, settling in for a successful nine month run. Next stop: Broadway. The Australian tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang gave the Mary Poppins crowd a new family musical to enjoy. Sydney attracted the Australian premiere of The Addams Family, but despite the quality of the production it did not tour. The Sydney premiere season of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels featured a stellar cast and earned killer reviews.

 

 

Full of colour and movement, and an abundance of nostalgia, the return tours of perennial party favourite Grease and toe-tapping tuner Hot Shoe Shuffle gave audiences plenty to smile about. 

 

 

The Production Company made a sensational start to their 2013 offerings when Gale Edwards returned to direct classic backstage musical Gypsy, featuring an earthshattering performance from Caroline O’Connor as Rose. TPC followed this with the stage adaption of movie musical Singin’ in the Rain (sans rain) and the Broadway version of perennial Gilbert and Sullivan favourite The Pirates of Penzance. Magnormos presented a classy triptych of Stephen Schwartz musicals, beginning with the musically updated version of Godspell, followed by Pippin and the rarely seen Children of Eden.

 

 

Victorian Opera surprised Melbourne audiences with a superb, but all too short, season of Sunday in the Park with George. Fast emerging Sydney group Squabbalogic presented the Australian premiere of cult classic Carrie. HIT Productions presented a massive VIC/NSW/QLD tour of husband and wife team Scott Irwin and Danielle Barnes in the classic Neil Simon/MarvinHamlisch/Carole Bayer Sager musical They’re Playing Our Song

 

 

Favourites from previous years continued their tours, while others made return visits. At the tail end of a phenomenally successful for-year tour, Jersey Boys dropped in to Melbourne again at the beginning of 2013. Powerful docudrama musical Flowerchildren moved uptown, so to speak, from St Kilda’s Theatreworks, to Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre. Eager music theatre fans in Melbourne warmly greeted 2012 Pro Choice Best Musical winner Legally Blonde. 2012 hit South Pacific returned to Sydney and going on to Perth and Adelaide. Shane Warne the Musical, expanded to include material on its title subject, dropped in with an all-star cast for two nights at Hamer Hall.

 

A very welcome trend was the proliferation of international guests who visited our shores to share their talents and tell their stories. Julie Andrews regaled us with her stage, screen and charity achievements. Original Wicked stars Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel each independently performed a night of their hits, with plenty of laughter along the way. Composer Adam Guettel, grandson of Richard Rodgers, sang his own work, including musical treasure The Light in the Piazza. In an unusual but magical combination, music theatre legend Mandy Patinkin teamed with opera star Nathan Gunn for an evening of glorious music.

 

Usually reserved for the subsidised theatre companies, a string of plays received commercial tours this year. Megahit War Horse had its Australian premiere last New Year’s Eve, before galloping off to Sydney and Brisbane. Acting legends Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones wowed Australian fans with their spellbinding performances in Driving Miss Daisy. Melbourne hosted blonde bombshell Jerry Hall for Broadway play The Graduate. Buoyed by the success of 2012’s The Mousetrap, producers presented Miss Marple in the charming, if much lesser known, A Murder is Announced. A full London company came to Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne with the hilarious slapstick/farce hybrid One Man, Two Guvnors.

 

Looking ahead to 2014, the 2013 return of Grease will be followed by fellow crowd favourites The Lion King, The Rocky Horror Show, Wicked and Les Misérables. Sydney will host the world premiere of the musical based on sentimental movie favourite Strictly Ballroom. John Frost will team with MTC for the Australian premiere of 2012 Best Musical Tony Winner Once. Victorian Opera will follow the acclaimed success of Sunday in the Park with George with another beloved Stephen Sondheim selection Into the Woods, while Opera Australia will follow their hit production of South Pacific with fellow Rodgers and Hammerstein classic The King & I.

 

 

Cast your vote now at Theatre People 2013 Pro Choice Awards! CLICK HERE.

 

 

Best Supporting Actress:

 

Teagan Wouters, Wednesday Addams, The Addams Family

Christina Tan, Gypsy Rose Lee, Gypsy

Nancye Hayes, Old Lady/Blair Daniels, Sunday in the Park with George

Christie Whelan-Browne, Lina Lamont, Singin’ in the Rain

Lucy Maunder, Rizzo, Grease

Margi de Ferranti, Margaret White, Carrie

 

 

Best Supporting Actor:

 

Russell Dykstra, Uncle Fester, The Addams Family

Chris Ryan, Jack Driscoll, King Kong

Nathan Pinnell, Tulsa, Gypsy

Rohan Browne, Leading Player, Pippin

Adam Murphy, The Pirate King, The Pirates of Penzance

Rob Johnson, Tommy Ross, Carrie

 

Best Actress:

 

Esther Hannaford, Ann Darrow, King Kong

Caroline O’Connor, Rose, Gypsy

Christina O’Neill, Dot/Marie, Sunday in the Park with George

Laura Fitzpatrick, Eve/Mama Noah, Children of Eden

Amy Lehpamer, Christine Colgate, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Hilary Cole, Carrie, Carrie

 

 

Best Actor:

 

Alexander Lewis, Georges Seurat/George, Sunday in the Park with George

Bobby Fox, Spring, Hot Shoe Shuffle

Luigi Lucente, Pippin, Pippin

David Harris, Adam/Noah, Children of Eden

Tony Sheldon, Lawrence Jameson, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Matt Hetherington, Freddy Benson, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

 

 

Best Musical Director:

 

Luke Hunter, The Addams Family

Guy Simpson, Gypsy

David Stratton, Max Lambert, Hot Shoe Shuffle

Cameron Thomas, Children of Eden

Guy Simpson, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Mark Chamberlain, Carrie

 

 

Best Choreographer:

 

Sergio Trujillo, The Addams Family

John O’Connell, King Kong

Andrew Hallsworth, Gypsy

David Atkins, Dein Perry, Hot Shoe Shuffle

Michael Ralph, Pippin

Arlen Phillips/Charlotte Bull, Grease

 

 

Best Director:

 

Gale Edwards, Gypsy

Stuart Maunder, Sunday in the Park with George

Aaron Joyner, Godspell

Stephen Wheat, Pippin

Rodger Hodgman, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Jay James-Moody, Carrie

 

Best Limited Run/Concert Musical:

 

Gypsy – The Production Company

Singin’ in the Rain – The Production Company

The Pirates of Penzance – The Production Company

Sunday in the Park with George – Victorian Opera

Godspell – Magnormos

Pippin– Magnormos

Children of Eden – Magnormos

They’re Playing Our Song – HIT Productions

Carrie – Squabbalogic

 

 

Best Musical:

Hot Shoe Shuffle – David Atkins Enterprises

Grease - John Frost

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – Tim Lawson

King Kong – Global Creatures

The Addams Family – Rodney Rigby

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – James Anthony Productions and George Youakim

 

Cast your vote now at Theatre People 2013 Pro Choice Awards! CLICK HERE.

 

See the list of 2012 winners, 2011 winners and 2010 winners

 

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NSW
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QLD
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SA
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TAS
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VIC
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WA

About the Author

Simon has appeared in about 40 productions over the past thirty years. Favourite roles include Eugene Fodor in Crazy for You, Mr Fox in Mack and Mabel, Max in The Sound of Music, Freddy in My Fair Lady, Julio in Paint Your Wagon, Marcellus in The Music Man and Grantaire in Les Miserables. Simon has directed several school productions. He choreographed Urinetown and Little Shop of Horrors for St Michael’s Grammar School, then went on to direct Hot Mikado and the Australian premiere of 13 for St Michael’s. Simon served on the Music Theatre Guild of Victoria Committee for five years as Treasurer and is currently on the Board of The Opera Studio Melbourne. He is also a keen audience member, having seen 51 shows in six weeks on a recent trip to London/Europe. Simon also reviews for the Sunday Herald Sun.