Lisa McCune and Teddy Tahu Rhodes in the musical The King and I.
Lisa McCune and Teddy Tahu Rhodes in the musical The King and I. Brian Geach

The King and I reigns supreme in Helpmann Award nominations

OPERA Australia's The King and I leads this year's Helpmann Awards nominations, announced tonight.

The lavish production, produced by this year's JC Williamson Award recipient John Frost, has earned 10 nods including Best Musical and Best Female and Male Actor for stars Lisa McCune and Marty Rhone.

The annual awards recognise the best in Australian theatre and live performance.

"The Helpmann Awards are the pinnacle 'night of nights' event for our industry, recognising the very best in live performances that annually attract over 16 million people to shows across the country with revenues topping $1.2 billion," said Evelyn Richardson, CEO of Live Performance Australia.

The King and I is up against Sweet Charity, which earned eight nominations, and Baz Luhrmann's Strictly Ballroom the Musical, which earned seven nods, in the Best Musical category.

Also up for the top award of the night is Richard O'Brien's revival of his cult hit the Rocky Horror Show.

International film star Cate Blanchett is up for the Best Female Actor in a Play nomination for her role in The Sydney Theatre Company's production of The Maids.

Brisbane choreographer Natalie Weir, of Expressions Dance Company, is up for Best Choreography in a Dance or Physical Theatre Production while this year's 25th annual Byron Bay Bluesfest has been nominated for Best Contemporary Music Festival.

The 14th annual Helpmann Awards will be held at Sydney's Capitol Theatre on August 18.



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