Lucy to star in jailhouse rocker

NEIL REID
Last updated 13:59 01/07/2013

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Kiwi screen queen Lucy Lawless is set to tread the boards of one of America's most famous stages, in a star-studded performance of hit musical Chicago.

Lawless, 45, has signed on to play "Mama" Morton in a three-night production at the world-famous Hollywood Bowl, in Los Angeles.

The stellar cast also includes Stephen Moyer [Kiwi actress Anna Paquin's husband and True Blood co-star] as Billy, and US funnyman and TV show host Drew Carey as Amos.

Lawless, star of TV series Xena: Warrior Princess, Battlestar Galactica and Spartacus, is no stranger to the stage. She has starred on New York's Broadway in a production of the musical Grease.

Chicago, about two murderesses who find themselves in a jail run by "Mama", is the third-longest- running show on Broadway. The latest production, from July 26-28, will be directed by Brooke Shields, who has starred in the show on Broadway and London's West End.

Lawless flies out to America early this week to prepare for the star-studded production.

"I could not believe that they had cast Lucy from New Zealand in this iconic musical, a classical American artform, on a hallowed stage like the Hollywood Bowl and they let me [be involved]," she said.

"I didn't dare hope it would happen, and it bloody did.

"I am beyond excited.

"Rob Fisher is the original music director and the whole LA Philharmonic will be there, and some incredible stars ... an all-star cast ... and me."

She will then return to New Zealand to prepare for the role of Velma Kelly in the Auckland Theatre Company's own production of Chicago which will run November 1-24.

Meanwhile, Lawless continues to be linked to The Expendables 3.

The next instalment was originally rumoured to feature a women-only lead cast. But producers have now confirmed Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, would be back, plus Jackie Chan, Nicolas Cage and Wesley Snipes. The star lineup will be joined by killer female talent, however, possibly including Lawless.

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