A new stage musical version of King Kong looks set to dominate Australia's Helpmann Awards after landing a special achievement honour and a slew of design nominations ahead of the upcoming theatre prizegiving.

The big budget show, which opened in Melbourne earlier this month (Jun13), will be given a special award during the ceremony to recognise the work of the crew members who brought the massive creature to life on the stage.

King Kong's creature designer Sonny Tilders, puppetry director Peter Wilson and voice artist Harley Durst will all be presented with the Outstanding Theatrical Achievement award.

Evelyn Richardson, of Live Performance Australia, the body behind the ceremony, says of King Kong's special award, "The industry panel felt really significantly that it was a ground-breaking Australian creation and the first of its kind in the world."

King Kong is also nominated in categories for Best Costume Design, Lighting, Sound and Original Score, as well as a Best Supporting Actor nod for Chris Ryan.

Other shows included in the nominations are Legally Blonde The Musical, The Addams Family, and The Secret River, while acts including Coldplay, Bruce Springsteen, Gotye and Keith Urban are competing in the live music categories.

The Helpmann Awards will be handed out on 29 July (13) at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia.