NO ACTOR in the key support roles, for either of the acclaimed local musicals, Evita or Mary Poppins, it seems, was deemed worthy of a Gippsland Associated Theatre (GAT) award nomination.
The exception in these two award categories, dominated by nominations for the Latrobe Theatre Company and Off The Leash productions, was Christine Skicko in Lyric’s Mary Poppins, for the relatively minor role of Mrs Brill.
Several male and female actors who contributed strongly in support roles to Lyric’s Mary Poppins and Wonthaggi’s Evita were overlooked when the nominations were announced this week.
Or perhaps some were simply entered in the wrong categories.
Judy Barnard as The Bird Woman in Mary Poppins, Michelle Dal Masetto as Miss Andrews in Mary Poppins, Janie Gordon as Peron’s Mistress in Evita and trio members from WTG’s Little Shop of Horrors Alana Reid and Jade Dalton received Cameo nominations.
Nominated in the ‘Most Outstanding Lead Actor Male’ category were Adrian Darakai for Bert in Lyric’s Mary Poppins, Peter Garrat as Dan in Next to Normal for Off The Leash, Corey Green as Che in Wonthaggi’s Evita and Will Hanley as Seymour, in WTG’s Little Shop of Horrors.
Nominations for the ‘Most Outstanding Lead Actor Female’ went to Nina Barry–Macauley as Evita for WTG, Kerryn Lockhart as Mary Poppins for Lyric and Stephanie Powell as Diana in Next to Normal (OTL).
The ‘Outstanding Support’ categories were a virtual wipe-out for locals.
Others to receive nominations were Elaine Epifano (Mary Poppins), Sally McKenzie (Next To Normal), Kirk Skinner (Evita) and Ben Stein (Little Shop) in the ‘Best Musical Director’ category and Bron Kalos (Evita), Leasal Liddle–Pirouret (Little Shop) and Lisa Pellin (Mary Poppins) for ‘Best Choreography.
Annabelle Birt, The Children’s Ensemble Evita, and Coby Fowles as Michael Banks Mary Poppins received ‘Most Outstanding Youth Performance’ (Under 13) nominations while Jessica Geyer as Jane Banks Mary Poppins and Cluanie Swanwick as Anne Frank for WTG received nominations (aged 13 to 18).
Most Outstanding Director nominations went to Nicholas Kong (Next to Normal), Peter McAlpine/Kerrie Giles (Mary Poppins), Karen Milkins–Hendry (Little Shop) and Colin Mitchell (Evita).
The local productions were all nominated for ‘Most Outstanding Production’ but given the spread of nominations, Off The Leash is looming large for the main award for its production of Next To Normal which received rave reviews at the time.
For set design, Josh and Kevin Gardiner were nominated for The Diary of Anne Frank, Tad Hendry for Next To Normal (OTL), and Colin Mitchell for both Evita and Mary Poppins.
Audrey II, the puppet in Little Shop of Horrors and the Flying of Mary scenes in Mary Poppins received ‘Technical Achievement’ nominations.
There were also various nominations for costumes, hair and make-up, lighting, sound and the production program all heavily featuring the local companies.

Drama awards
Phillip Island’s Simon Furniss leads the way in the drama/comedy nominations after being included for his role as Otto Frank in the Diary of Anne Frank for WTG.
But he’ll get stiff competition from Darren McCubbin as Peter George in Sale’s production of Life After George and Todd Miller as Milo in Milo’s Wake for Off The Leash.
A former winner of the best actor female award, Bron Kalos received a nomination for her role as Edith Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank and will be up against Kellie Bray in Milo’s Wake (OTL), Christina Kyriakou in Life After George and Amy Moss as Meg Bacon in Secret Bridesmaids Business for Moartz; ironically the role for which Bron won some years ago.
In the Most Outstanding Male category, Bruce Grainger for Oberon/Snug in Lyric’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Lloyd Morcom as Wally in FAMDA’s Australia Day received nominations as did Jaz Kaye for Mrs Van Daan in The Diary of Anne Frank, Christine Skicko as Titania in Lyric’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Joanne Street for Helen in Australia Day. Julie Strini and Annette O’Shea also received nominations.
Josh Gardiner was nominated for Most Outstanding Director and The Diary of Anne Frank was nominated for best production.
The awards will be presented at an event in Warragul on Saturday, December 3.