King Kong and Geoffrey Rush Compete for Australia's Helpmann Awards July 29

Australia's 13th annual Helpmann Awards, honoring excellence in Australia's live entertainment and performing arts industry, are held July 29 at 7 PM at the Sydney Opera House.

Geoffrey Rush in Forum.
Geoffrey Rush in Forum.

The nominees, which were announced June 24, include Geoffrey Rush, Jerry Mitchell, Bartlett Sher and Sergio Trujillo, as well as the stage production of King Kong, which will be bestowed with a special additional award this year recognizing the design, creation and operation of Kong itself.

Legally Blonde The Musical received eight nominations, including direction and choreography, as well as Best Female Actor in a Musical.

The nominations for Best Musical include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (John Frost), Legally Blonde The Musical ( Howard Panter for The Ambassador Theatre Group & John Frost for Gordon Frost Organisation), South Pacific (Opera Australia in association with John Frost) and The Addams Family (Rodney Rigby together with Stuart Oken, Roy Furman, Michael Leavitt & Five Cent Productions by special arrangement with Elephant Eye Theatrical).

Best Play honors include Death of a Salesman (Belvoir), Hedda Gabler (State Theatre Company of South Australia), Medea (Belvoir in association with Australian Theatre For Young People) and The Secret River (Sydney Theatre Company in association with The Confederation of Australian International ArtsFestivals, Sydney Festival, The Centenary of Canberra, Perth International Arts Festival).

Best Male Actor in a Play nominations include John Benn ( Henry IV), Nathaniel Dean ( The Secret River), Colin Friels ( Death of a Salesman) and Colin Moody ( Forget Me Not). Best Female Actor in a Play nominations include Alison Bell ( Constellations), Alison Bell ( Hedda Gabler), Christen O'Leary ( End of the Rainbow) and Helen Thomson ( Mrs. Warren's Profession). Best Male Actor in a Musical nominations include David Harris ( Legally Blonde The Musical), Geoffrey Rush ( A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum), Wayne Scott Kermond ( The Producers) and John Waters ( The Addams Family). Nominations for Best Female Actor in a Musical include Chloe Dallimore ( The Addams Family), Lucy Durack ( Legally Blonde The Musical), Esther Hannaford ( King Kong) and Silvie Paladino ( Chess).

Nominations for Best Director of a Musical include Jerry Mitchell ( Legally Blonde The Musical), Simon Phillips ( A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum), Bartlett Sher ( South Pacific) and Jerry Zaks ( The Addams Family).

As previously reported, Matilda the Musical songwriter Tim Minchin, the cast of Grease and the Sydney Dance Company are scheduled to perform at the awards.

The Helpmann Awards are the premiere awards event for Australia's live entertainment and performing arts industry, recognizing distinguished artistic achievement and excellence across the major disciplines of Australia's live performance industry. Categories include musical theatre, contemporary music, comedy, cabaret, opera, classical music, theatre, dance and physical theatre. The Helpmann Awards also incorporate the JC Williamson Award for outstanding contribution to the Australian live performance industry.

A full list of nominations can be found by visiting