Wicked Win For John Frost, STC and Warnie
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.
His performance as the Wizard was awarded best male actor in a supporting role in a musical.
Rob Guest tragically died of a stroke during the Melbourne season.
It was announced that a special fund has been established to honour his memory.
Young Music Theatre performers will be eligible for cash, training and travel grants in a fund administered by the ANZ bank.
It was a night for remembering the recently departed.
The late Opera Australia Director Richard Hickox also took out a Helpmann for Best Music Direction for Billy Budd.
Other big winners from last night.
The Sydney Theatre Company took seven Helpmanns. Six of those were for The War of the Roses including Best Play.
Bangarra Dance Theatre took three for its striking production of Mathinna - a dance based on a picture of a Tasmanian Aboriginal girl in a red dress.
Eddie Perfect got Best New Australian work for Warnie the Musical.
2009 Helpmann Award winners:
Best Costume Design: Susan Hilferty, Wicked
Best Scenic Design: Eugene Lee, Wicked
Best Lighting Design: Nick Schlieper, War of the Roses
Best Sound Design: Max Lyandvert, War of the Roses
Best Regional Touring Production: Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps
Best Special Event: Sound Relief
Best Original Score: David Page, Mathinna
Best Music Direction: Richard Hickox, Billy Budd
Best Choreography in a Dance or Physical Theatre Production: Stephen Page, Mathinna
Best Choreography in a Musical: Wayne Cilento, Wicked
Best Direction of an Opera: Neil Armfield, Billy Budd
Best Direction of a Musical: Lisa Leguillou, Wicked
Best Direction of a Play: Benedict Andrews, War of the Roses
Best Visual or Physical Theatre Production: Compagnie Philippe Genty, Lands End
Best Contemporary Music Festival: Big Day Out 2009
Best Australian Contemporary Concert: Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu
Best International Contemporary Concert: Leonard Cohen World Tour 2009
Best Male Performer in a Supporting Role in an Opera: John Wegner, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk
Best Female Performer in a Supporting Role in an Opera: Dominica Matthews, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk
Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play: Ewen Leslie, War of the Roses
Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play: Marta Dusseldorp, War of the Roses
Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical: Rob Guest, Wicked
Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical: Nancye Hayes, My Fair Lady
Best Symphony Orchestra Concert: A Flowering Tree, Perth International Arts Festival/WA Opera/West Australian Symphony Orchestra
Best Chamber and Instrumental Ensemble Concert: Ecstatic Dances
Best Presentation for Children: The Promise, The Flying Fruit Fly Circus
Best New Australian Work: Eddie Perfect, Shane Warne The Musical
Best Comedy Performer: Tim Minchin, Tim Minchin - Ready For This?
Best Male Dancer in a Dance or Physical Theatre Production: Antony Hamilton, Two Faced Bastard
Best Female Dancer in a Dance or Physical Theatre Production: Lana Jones, Graeme Murphy's Firebird
Best Individual Classical Performance: Pianist Herbert Schuch, The Beethoven Festival
Best Male Performer in an Opera: John Wegner, Billy Budd
Best Female Performer in an Opera: Tiffany Speight, The Coronation of Poppea
Best Male Actor in a Play: Ben Winspear, Baghdad Wedding
Best Female Actor in a Play: Robyn Nevin, Women of Troy
Best Male Actor in a Musical: Bille Brown, Monty Python's Spamalot
Best Female Actor in a Musical: Sharon Millerchip, Chicago
Best Ballet or Dance Work: Mathinna, Bangarra Dance Theatre
Best Opera: Billy Budd, Opera Australia
Best Play: War of the Roses, Sydney Theatre Company
Best Musical: Wicked, Marc Platt, David Stone, Universal Pictures, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt and John Frost.