Avenue Q scooped the musical acting pool at last night’s Helpmann Awards, with Jersey Boys still coming out on top as Best Musical.

 
The 10 Annual Helpmann Awards were presented at Sydney Opera House and screened on Foxtel’s Stvdio channel. Avenue Q’s Mitchell Butel, Michala Banas, Luke Joslin and Christina O’Neill took home musical acting trophies, with their director Jonathan Biggins also honoured.
 
Jersey Boys seemed shut out all night, apart from Best Musical Direction for Ron Melrose and Luke Hunter, but was ultimately awarded the top gong. Bobby Fox lead the cast in a performance of ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ followed by ‘Pretty Baby’. Avenue Q, having packed up their puppets, did not perform at the awards.
 
Further musical numbers included a couple of shows currently playing but not part of this year’s awards. West Side Story showcased the Shark Girls with ‘America’ and Mary Poppins closed the night with the effervescent ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’, although frantic camera work nearly derailed this presentation. Smoke and Mirrors, winner for Best New Australian Work and Best Original Score, presented an odd number that demonstrated the quirky nature of the show. Host David Campbell opened with ‘When I Get My Name in Lights’ from his current On Broadway album, followed an homage to the past Best Musical winners.
 
MTC’s sensational production of Richard III was justly awarded five Helpmanns ,including one for fast rising star Ewen Leslie and Best Play. Emma Matthews was a popular winner for Best Female Performer in an Opera. If you haven’t seen Best Australian Contemporary Concert The Man in Black – The Johnny Cash Story it returns to Melbourne on 18 September, this time at the Palais Theatre.
 
In a night of popular choices there were few upsets. Julie Forsyth’s Best Actress in a Play win over Robyn Nevin’s amazing turn in August: Osage County was surprising. Kelley Abbey’s music video style choreography for Fame did not deserve to win.
 
The Helpmann Awards can be seen again this Sunday 12 September on Stvdio.
 
Full list of winners:
 
Best Male Actor in supporting role in a Musical
Luke Joslin – Avenue Q
 
 
Best Female Actor in supporting role in a Musical
Christina O’ Neil – Avenue Q
 
 
Best Male Actor in supporting role in a Play
Humphrey Bower – Richard III
 
 
Best Female Actor in supporting role in a Play
Alison Whyte – Richard III
 
 
Best Costume Design
Gabriela Tylesova – Cosi fan tutte
 
 
Best Scenic Design
Dale Ferguson – August: Osage County
 
 
Best Sound Design
Paul Charlier – A Streetcar Named Desire
 
 
Best Lighting Design
Nigel Levings – Bliss
 
 
Best Male Actor in supporting role in an Opera
Andrew Foote – Peter Grimes
 
 
Best Female Actor in supporting role in an Opera
Taryn Fiebig – Bliss
 
 
Best International Contemporary Concert
Michael Coppel – Pink Funhouse Tour
 
 
Best Contemporary Music Festival
A Big Day Out
 
 
Best Regional Touring Production
Bangarra Dance Theatre – True Stories
 
 
Best Special Event
Sydney Festival ‘Festival First Night’
 
 
Best Original Score
Smoke and Mirrors
 
 
Best Individual Classical performance
Imogen Cooper
 
 
Best Chamber and Instrumental Ensemble Concert
Imogen Cooper with the Sydney Symphony
 
 
Best Music Direction
Ron Melrose and Luke Hunter – Jersey Boys
 
 
Best Choreography in a Dance or Physical Production
Stephen Page – Fire
 
 
Best Choreography in a Musical
Kelley Abbey – Fame The Musical
 
 
Best Direction of a Musical
Jonathan Biggins – Avenue Q
 
 
Best Direction of an Opera
Neil Armfield – Peter Grimes
 
 
Best Direction of a Play
Simon Phillips – Richard III
 
 
Best Visual or Physical Theatre Production
This kind of Ruckus Version 1.0 inc
 
 
Best Cabaret Performer
iOTA
 
 
Best Male Actor in a Play
Ewen Leslie – Richard III
 
 
Best Female Actor in a Play
Julie Forsyth – Happy Days
 
 
Best Male Dancer in a Dance or Physical Theatre Production
Richard Cilli – We Unfold
 
 
Best Female Dancer in a Dance or Physical Theatre Production
Danielle Rowe – Dyad 1929
 
 
Best Symphony Orchestra Concert
Oedipus Rex and Symphony of Psalms Sydney Festival with Sydney Symphony and the Sydney Philharmonia Choir
 
 
Best Male Actor in a Musical
Mitchell Butel – Avenue Q
 
 
Best Female Actor ina Musical
Michala Banas – Avenue Q
 
 
Best Presentation fo Children
Sonya Hartnett’s Thursday Child
Monket Baa 
 
 
Best New Australian Work
Smoke and Mirrors iOTA and Craig Illott
 
 
Best Comedy Performer
Wil Anderson
 
 
Best Australian Contemporary Concert
The Man in Black The Johnny Cash Story
 
 
Best Male Performer in an Opera
Stuart Skelton – Peter Grimes
 
 
Best Female Performer in an Opera
Emma Matthews – La Sonnambula
 
 
Best Opera
Peter Grimes Opera Australia
 
 
Best Ballet or Dance Work
Fire Bangarra Dance Theatre
 
 
Best Play
Richard III Melbourne Theatre Company
 
 
Best Musical
Jersey Boys    Dodger Theatricals,
Rodney Rigby and Dainty Consolidated
 

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