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.


The Production Company followed their Anything Goes with the surprise treat Kismet. Their Grey Gardens, yet to open, will be included with next year’s nominations. 


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


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


Best Actress:

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


Best Actor:

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



Best Choreographer:

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)



Best Director:

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:


The Hatpin




Best New Musical:

Doctor Zhivago

Love Never Dies

Next to Normal

Rock of Ages