Oz theater award noms unveiled

'Dusty' scores nom for best tuner

SYDNEY — Nominations for the 2006 performing arts Helpmann Awards announced here June 26 reflected a year dominated by small productions and the absence of new, commercial tuners — with the exception of Oz-produced jukebox show “Dusty: The Original Pop Diva.”

Biotuner “Dusty,” about British white soul diva Dusty Springfield, has had hit runs in Melbourne and Sydney. The show scored a nom for best tuner alongside Melbourne Theater Company’s “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” TML’s “Fiddler on the Roof” and McPherson’s “Menopause the Musical.”

More than 150 nominations were announced in 40 categories, encompassing plays, musicals, live music, comedy, dance, opera and physical theater. Kudos will be presented July 31, hosted by Simon Burke and backed by recently renamed industry org Live Performance Australia (formerly Australian Entertainment Industry Assn.).

Among names scheduled to appear is Hugh Jackman, on the eve of his national arena tour of “The Boy From Oz.” Feevee Fox8 has inked a three-year broadcast deal for the ceremony.

“Dusty” headliner Tamsin Carroll landed a nod for actress in a musical alongside Magda Szubanski and Marina Prior (“Spelling Bee”) and Amanda Harrison (“Leader of the Pack”).

David Campbell scored two noms for actor in a musical, for the Production Company’s concert version of “Sunset Boulevard” and for “Spelling Bee.” Topol was nominated for “Fiddler,” along with Ian Stenlake for “Oklahoma!”

Productions vying for best play are Michael Gow’s “Away” from Queensland Theater Co.; Edward Albee’s “The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?” from the State Theater Co. of South Australia; David Hare’s “Stuff Happens,” staged in Sydney by Company B and in Melbourne by Newtheatricals; and French import “Le Dernier Caravanserail” by Ariane Mnouchkine, which played the Melbourne Festival.

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