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Avenue Q

Coming to a street in Australia and New Zealand near you.

By David Spicer

Geoffrey Rush for Melbourne and Sydney Stages

Geoffrey Rush will be seen on both Sydney and Melbourne stages in 2010. He appears in the MTC's Australian premiere of Broadway musical The Drowsy Chaperone in January, then revives his great Company B collaboration with Neil Armfield with a return of Diary of a Madman at Belvoir Street in December.

Geoffrey Rush told Stage Whispers that he first became aware of The Drowsy Chaperone during his Tony Award winning season of Exit the King on Broadway.

Don’t call me an Understudy Witch … I am a Standby Witch.

Only a few years after being in chorus of the Gosford Musical Society Jemma Rix is flying high as the standby Green Witch in the Stephen Schwartz musical Wicked which premieres in Sydney on September 12.

RADIO SHOCK WITH NO JOCK.

The behavior of another Sydney radio breakfast host has come under the spotlight - this time the ABC's 'squeaky clean' ADAM SPENCER.

In the current issue of Stage Whispers Magazine he reveals the details of a Naked Public Romp in the Belvoir Street Theatre in front of hundreds of people.

The pants down happened during a performance of Theatresports … and in fact has been nominated as the funniest moment in the 25 year history of the improvisation game.

It was during a sketch on Greek Gods.

Spencer and a partner came onto the stage naked.

The Show Must Go On …

Actress Cate Blanchett has been slightly injured on stage in Sydney after she was hit in the head with an airborne radio.

The Sydney Theatre Company's second performance of A Streetcar Named Desire was cut short last night (Wednesday) due to the incident.

In the scene her co-star is supposed to throw a radio out the window but it appeared to slip and hit the Oscar winning actress in the head

Several people said they could see blood streaming down the back of Blanchett's head after the incident.

Global Theatre Meltdown?

David Spicer surveys the damage wreaked by the Global Financial Crisis on professional and community theatre in Australia, New Zealand and Broadway. While some companies are struggling – others are booming.

Puppets on Chopping Block as University Axes Practical Subjects.

The University of Melbourne's website says it all.

"Please note that the Puppetry program is not taking applications for study in 2010."

In the past Stage Whispers has done wonderful features about this course - but sadly this will be no more.

It is all part of changes to the Victorian College of the Arts instigated by the new Dean - Sharman Pretty.

Students and members of the Arts Community are marching Friday on the Victorian State Parliament to voice their outrage at their changes.

Adelaide Theatre Guide's 2008-2009 Curtain Call Awards

The Adelaide Theatre Guide's 2008-2009 Curtain Call Awards Night were celebrated in fine style at the Gala Dinner at the Adelaide Festival Centre Banquet Room on August 8.

Matt Byrne reports.

Emcee and comedian Claire Hooper kept the evening on track but still found time to shower the crowd with golden tales of life on the road.

Big winners in the Professional field were Flying Penguin Productions' True West and State Theatre Company's Metro Street.

Vale Ross Coleman

The entertainment industry is mourning the passing of renowned choreographer Ross Coleman, who has died, aged 60.

Coleman made his debut as a professional choreographer in the original Australian production of Grease in 1972.

He went on to become the preferred choreographer for major commercial musical theatre across the country.

His credits include The Rocky Horror Show, Jerry’s Girls, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Cabaret, Grease – The Arena Spectacular, Shout, Dusty, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Priscilla the Musical.

Wicked Win For John Frost, STC and Warnie

Wicked Winner.

Wicked got a boost on the eve of its Sydney opening by taking out six Helpmann Awards including Best Musical.

The industry awards were presented last night by Live Entertainment Australia at the Sydney Opera Australia.

A triumphant Producer John Frost told the Black tie event " this show is an absolute joy, Sydney you are in for a big treat then the rest of Australia."

The award was tinged with sadness.

Rob Guest won a Helpmann posthumously.

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