Lucy Lawless will star in 'Chicago' at the Hollywood Bowl

Lucy Lawless will star as prison matron Mama Morton in a July production of 'Chicago' at the Hollywood Bowl. Lucy Lawless was most recently seen on 'Parks and Recreation' and the 'Spartacus' Starz TV series.

Matt Sayles/Invision/AP
Lucy Lawless will star in a Hollywood Bowl production of 'Chicago.'

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.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.