The Phantom or the Doctor? Roller skates or mullets? Flower children or prodigal children? It’s time to vote in the second annual Theatre People Pro Choice Awards.
Variety was key, with a range of shows so new that the Best Revival category had to be rested for this year. Momentum slowed to a crawl in the second half of the year, especially after the delay of Strange Bedfellows, but signs are good for plenty of new entries next year.
The fact that three of the four nominated productions for Best Limited Run/Concert are written by Australians is a positive sign for our music theatre industry.
Way back in January the first of the Australian musicals opened, with a season of Dean Bryant and Mathew Frank’s Prodigal. Magnormos continued to fly the flag for homegrown material with James Millar and Peter Rutherford’s The Hatpin and Peter Fitzpatrick’s flowerchildren The Mamas and Papas Story.
Australia was also to the go-to place for mounting productions. New musical Doctor Zhivago played Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Andrew Lloyd Webber re-staged his latest musical Love Never Dies with an Australian production team, achieving spectacular results. MTC created an original staging of the eagerly anticipated Next to Normal.
Broadway productions of comic jukebox tuners Xanadu and Rock of Ages were re-created down under with mixed results. Poor management saw the swift demise of Xanadu, while Rock of Ages ran over seven months in Melbourne and has now moved to Brisbane.
Long-time favourite Anthony Warlow was one of the few established performers seen on stage this in new work this year. Simon Gleeson and Martin Crewes made welcome returns to the Australian spotlight after working in London. Ben Lewis’ years of toil finally led to his ‘overnight’ success, while Justin Burford was another solid discovery.
Christie Whelan established her star with Xanadu, and was joined in the limelight by relative newcomers Anna O’Byrne and Amy Lehpamer. Sharon Millerchip returned, looking miraculously youthful after 21 years, to the role that put her on the map.
Which were your favourite shows? Who were your favourite performers?
Vote now at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/YGHWMFM
Voting closes 11:59pm Friday 25 November 2011. Results will be announced shortly after so check back to see all the Theatre People Pro Choice winners.
Best Supporting Actress:
Laura Fitzpatrick Mama Michelle, flowerchildren
Sharon Millerchip, Meg Giry, Love Never Dies
Chelsea Plumley, Lalume, Kismet
Christie Whelan, Erma, Anything Goes
Anne Wood, Celia, Prodigal
Taneel van Zyl, Tonia, Doctor Zhivago
Best Supporting Actor:
Martin Crewes Pasha, Doctor Zhivago
Michael Falzon, Stacee Jaxx, Rock of Ages
Simon Gleeson, Raoul, Love Never Dies
Lincoln Hall, Franz, Rock of Ages
Brent Hill, Lonny, Rock of Ages
Bert LaBonté Dr Fine/Dr Madden, Next to Normal
Kate Kendall, Diana, Next to Normal
Amy Lehpamer, Sherrie, Rock of Ages
Lucy Maunder, Lara, Doctor Zhivago
Samantha Morley, Harriet Piper, The Hatpin
Anna O’Byrne, Christine Daae, Love Never Dies
Christie Whelan, Clio/Kira, Xanadu
Justin Burford, Drew, Rock of Ages
Matt Hetherington, Dan, Next to Normal
Ben Lewis, The Phantom, Love Never Dies
Sam Ludeman, Sonny, Xanadu
Alex Rathgeber, Billy, Anything Goes
Anthony Warlow, Yuri Zhivago, Doctor Zhivago
Best Musical Director:
Kellie Dickerson, Doctor Zhivago
Mathew Frank, Next to Normal
Guy Noble, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber
Guy Simpson, Love Never Dies
Dave Skelton, Rock of Ages
Sophie Thomas, flowerchildren
Kelley Abbey, Xanadu
Kelly Devine, Rock of Ages
Andrew Hallsworth, Anything Goes
Graeme Murphy, Love Never Dies
Alana Scanlan, Kismet
Stephen Wheat, Hello, Dolly! (magnormos)
Simon Phillips, Love Never Dies
Dean Bryant, Next to Normal
Aaron Joyner, flowerchildren
Des McAnuff, Doctor Zhivago
Kristin Hanggi, Rock of Ages
Shaun Kingma, The Hatpin
Best Limited Run/Concert Musical:
Best New Musical:
Love Never Dies
Next to Normal
Rock of Ages