Lucy Lawless is coming to “Chicago.”
Lawless, who starred in a Broadway revival of "Grease" and is best remembered for her starring role as Xena the Warrior Princess on the 1995 show of the same name, will star as one of the lead characters in the Kander and Ebb musical. The show will run for three days at the Hollywood Bowl later this month.
“I could not believe that they had cast Lucy from New Zealand in this iconic musical, a classical American art form, on a hallowed stage like the Hollywood Bowl and they let me [be involved],” Lawless told Fairfax New Zealand News.
Lawless will portray Matron “Mama” Morton, a prison matron who accepts bribes from those in the jail. "Les Miserables" actress Samantha Barks will play criminal Velma Kelly, while Stephen Moyer of “True Blood” will be portraying the amoral lawyer Billy Flynn and Drew Carey of “The Price Is Right” will be playing dimwitted Amos, husband of the show’s protagonist, Roxie Hart. The show will run from July 26 to July 28 and will be directed by actress Brooke Shields, who played Roxie Hart in the show on Broadway in 2005. Lawless and Shields both starred in the 1994 Broadway revival of "Grease," both playing the role of Betty Rizzo at different points in the production.
Lawless was seen most recently on the NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation” where she guest-starred as Diane Lewis, a love interest for Nick Offerman’s character Ron Swanson, and the 2010 series "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" as well as the show's spin-offs.
“Chicago” premiered on Broadway in 1975 and was famously choreographed by Bob Fosse. The best-known adaptation of the musical “Chicago” is the 2002 film version, which won Best Picture for the year and a Best Supporting Actress statuette for actress Catherine Zeta-Jones. Renee Zellweger played Roxie Hart, a woman who kills her boyfriend and goes to jail, where she discovers that being a female criminal makes you a celebrity in 1920s Chicago. Zeta-Jones played Velma Kelly, a fellow famous figure who is accused of killing her husband and sister, while Richard Gere played Billy Flynn, Queen Latifah took on the role of Mama Morton, and John C. Reilly played husband Amos.