Jerry Mitchell, Legally Blonde and King Kong Honored at Helpmann Awards
By Carey Purcell
The winners of the 13th annual Helpmann Awards were announced July 29. The big winners of the night were The Secret River, Legally Blonde and King Kong.
The Secret River won six awards, including Best Play; Best New Australian Work; Best Direction of a Play; Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role, which went to Colin Moody; and Best Original Score and Best Music Direction, which went to Iain Grandage.
Legally Blonde received five honors: Best Musical, Best Female Actor in a Musical (Lucy Durack), Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical (Hellen Dallimore) and Best Choreography and Best Direction of a Musical (Jerry Mitchell).
King Kong received Best Scenic Design and Costume Design, which went to Peter England and Roger Kirk, respectively. King Kong also won Best Lighting Design, which went to Peter Mumford, and Best Sound Design, which went to Peter Hylenski. The musical also received Outstanding Theatrical Achievement for the design, creation and operation of King Kong - the creature.
Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical went to Russel Dykstra, for The Addams Family, and Best Actor in a Musical went to Geoffrey Rush for A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum.
Best Male Actor in a Play went to Colin Friels for Death of a Salesman, and Best Female Actor in a Play went to Alison Bell for Hedda Gabler.
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 complete list of winners can be found at helpmannawards.com.
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