Muriel’s Wedding, Beautiful, land multi-wins at Helpmanns Act 1
Muriel’s Wedding The Musical and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical – two productions based around pop songs – were multi-winners last night at the Act 1 of this year’s two-night Helpmann awards.
The versatile team of singer-songwriter Kate Miller-Heidke and guitarist Keir Nuttall won best original score for Muriel Wedding The Musical, produced by the Sydney Theatre Company and Global Creatures.
The pair previously said that working on the score, adding to the established songs by ABBA, was one of the most challenging and nerve-wracking of their projects.
Muriel’s Wedding also won for best music direction in a musical (Isaac Hayward), best costume design in a musical (Gabriela Tylesova) and best choreographer in a musical (Andrew Hallsworth).
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical – produced by Michael Cassel in association with Paul Blake & Sony/ATV music publishing and Mike Bosner – won three trophies.
They were for best male actor in a supporting role in a musical (Mat Verevis), best female actor in a supporting role in a musical (Amy Lehpamer) and best direction of a musical (Marc Bruni).
Dream Lover, built around US singer/actor Bobby Darin and produced by John Frost AM and Gilbert Theatrical had a win.
It was for best sound design, which went to Michael Waters.
Best special event went to Taylor Mac: A 24 Decade History of Popular Music, presented by Melbourne International Arts Festival and Pomegranate Arts.
150 Australian and international names worked on the project, a queer retelling of the US’s social history, told through four six-hour marathons, covering one decade per hour.
The first 20 winners of this year’s Helpmanns were unveiled as part of an intimate cocktail hour event at the Sydney Town Hall.
Tonight sees a larger event at the Capitol Theatre where the remaining 23 trophies will be handed out.
Last night, hosts Rhoda Roberts AO and Michael Lynch CBE AO were joined by actor Mitchell Butel, director Neil Armfield AO, musical theatre stars Verity Hunt-Ballard, Matt Lee and Sharon Millerchip, choreographer Kelley Abbey, actor Peter Carroll, musical director Vanessa Scammell and composer Max Lambert.
Performances included Chloe Dallimore and Amanda Laing with the Lyrebird Song from Monkey Baa Theatre Company’s Josephine Wants to Dance, the Sydney Youth Orchestra Quartet, musical theatre rising star Georgina Hopson and opera duo Andrew Jones and Jenny Liu singing the Papageno and Papagena duet from Mozart’s The Magic Flute.
The rest of the first 20 winners covered opera, ballet, children’s, plays, lighting design, scenic design and regional production are available to view here.