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Rock of Ages tops Helpmann nods

The cast of the Australian production of Rock of Ages.
The cast of the Australian production of Rock of Ages. Jeff Busby

ROCK of Ages, the comedy musical that inspired this year's star-studded Hollywood film of the same name, has topped this year's Helpmann Awards nominations.

The annual awards honour the best in Australian theatre, events and live performances.

The Australian production of the '80s glam rock musical earned seven nominations including best musical and best actor nods for its leads Justin Burford and Amy Lehpamer.

But Rock of Ages was closely followed by the Aussie revival of a Broadway classic A Chorus Line, which received six nominations.

Currently playing Sydney's Capitol Theatre, the dance-heavy musical was nominated for the all-important best choreography in a musical category as well as best musical for its debut at the Adelaide Festival.

John Frost's An Officer and A Gentleman seemed to be a hit with the Helpmann committee with five nominations, despite fizzling after its world premiere in Sydney.

Based on the Oscar-winning 1982 film starring Richard Gere, the musical's Sydney run closed early because of poor ticket sales and is now in redevelopment.

Annie, another Frost production, earned three nominations including best male actor in a musical for Anthony Warlow, who played his last show in Melbourne on Sunday before he heads to the US to play Daddy Warbucks on Broadway.

In the opera genre, the State Opera of South Australia earned eight nominations for its staging of Moby Dick and West Australian Opera's co-production of Elektra earned six nominations.

Announced August 6 at joint events in Sydney, Melbourne, and for the first time Brisbane, the Helpmann nominations also included a nod to Peter Noble's Bluesfest for best contemporary music festival and Gruen Planet host Wil Anderson for his Wilarious tour.

Pop princess Kylie Minogue earned two nominations for best Australia contemporary concert for her Anti-Tour B-Sides and Aphrodite tours.

The Foo Fighters, Sade, Robert Waters and Prince also received nods for best international contemporary concert.

The 12th annual Helpmann Awards will take place on September 24 at 8pm at the Sydney Opera House and will be broadcast live on Foxtel's STUDIO channel.

Topics:  helpmann awards nominations rock of ages theatre



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