'Chicago' musical nominated

Showbiz Queenstown's production of the musical Chicago earned 13 nominations in 17 categories in the Otago Southland Theatre Awards.

The nominations are best overall production; Bryan Aitken for best direction; Emma Wilson for best musical direction; Anna Stuart for best choreography; best wardrobe design; best lighting design; best sound design; best make-up and hair design; Robert Wells for best leading male in a musical; Fiona Stephenson for best leading female in a musical; Nicole McLean for best leading female in a musical; David Oakley for best supporting male in a play or musical; and Nicole McLean for best supporting female in a play or musical.

Mr Aitken said the nominations ''illustrate the standards which Showbiz Queenstown has attained''.

Marty Newell, Showbiz Queenstown president at the time of the production, said: ''It's an honour to have been nominated, but to have received 13 nominations is a tribute to the amazing team and all the hard work that everyone put in."

She paid special tribute to Mr Aitken, whose efforts this year had earned him 23 nominations, and also to Nicole McLean, who had received two.

More than 300 people are expected to attend the awards ceremony, at a Dunedin venue to be finalised, on February 22.

The awards encompass the 15 theatre societies within Otago and Southland which are members of the New Zealand Musical Theatre Federation.

Eight productions have been judged over the 2013 calendar year by OSTA judges Alex Derbie, of Queenstown, Murray Davidson, of Dunedin, Lynette Budge, of Oamaru, and Robyn Gardner and Margaret Jackson, both of Balclutha.

• Showbiz Queenstown will run a pre-audition workshop for aspiring cast members for its next production, Jesus Christ Superstar, set in the era of Occupy demonstrations, in February, before auditions from February 14-16.

The show runs in the Queenstown Memorial Centre from May 15-24.