Activist state

Pamela Anderson Set to Make Broadway Debut in ‘Chicago’

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FILE – Actress-model and activist Pamela Anderson appears at the amfAR, Cinema Against AIDS, benefit during the 72nd Cannes International Film Festival, in Cap d’Antibes, southern France, May 23, 2019. Anderson made her Broadway debut, playing Roxie Hart in the musical “Chicago.” She will perform from April 12 to June 5 at the Ambassador Theatre. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP, File)

Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP

One of the biggest celebrities on the planet will play a woman desperate for fame when Pamela Anderson makes her Broadway debut next month in the musical ‘Chicago’, the Associated Press has learned.

Anderson will play Roxie Hart from April 12 to June 5 at the Ambassador Theater, a remarkable union of one of the most recognizable sex icons of the past decades with a show that sows fame.

“From ‘Baywatch’ to Broadway. I’m inspired by the unexpected,” Anderson told the AP in a statement Monday. “This is it, and I won’t hold back any longer. I let go. I’m ready to see what I’m capable of. For “Chicago”, I will put all my cards on the table. I double – on me.

Set in the 1920s, the musical is a scathing satire of how show business and the media make celebrities out of criminals. It has Bob Fosse-inspired choreography, skimpy outfits, and killer songs like “All That Jazz” and “Cell Block Tango.”

“Chicago” tells the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and dancer who murders her lover after he threatens to leave her. To avoid conviction, Roxie hires Chicago’s most adept criminal attorney to help fool the public, the media, and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by creating shocking headlines.

“Pam is a very moral person, extremely moral. She cares about animals. She cares about the planet. She cares about people,” producer Barry Weissler said. “The difference between her as Pam and Roxie is that Roxie doesn’t care about anyone but herself, and she doesn’t care about the outside world as long as she can be famous. So Pam has totally opposite attributes in life, but she fits in because of her fame, what she’s been through in life.

Anderson had a starring role on ‘Home Improvement’ as the ‘Tool Time girl’ before gaining worldwide attention for playing CJ Parker on ‘Baywatch’. His credits include “Barb Wire” and “Superhero Movie”.

There has been renewed interest in Anderson’s life story thanks to the Hulu series “Pam & Tommy”, which stars Lily James as Anderson and Sebastian Stan as Tommy. Lee and fictionalises their whirlwind romance. Anderson also announced a new authorized documentary about her upcoming life from Netflix this month.

Weissler said he approached Anderson about the Roxie part over a decade ago, but their schedules didn’t work out.

“Now that we’re doing it, it’s even more timely. It’s more timely. She’s really standing up for something now – as a professional, as an activist, as a very talented woman. It may surprise many people. The woman has acting chops. She can definitely dance and her singing voice is quite good. So let’s go.

The star-hungry heroine at the heart of “Chicago” has been played by dozens of women since the show opened in 1996, including Melanie Griffith, Christie Brinkley, Marilu Henner, Brooke Shields, Lisa Rinna, Gretchen Mol, Ashlee Simpson , Brandy Norwood, Jennifer Nettles and Robin Givens.

The revival managed to last a quarter of a century thanks to the shrewd decision to replace celebrities in all leading roles – essentially having famous artists join a musical about celebrity venality – and shaping the show around their strengths.

Other stars who have appeared on the show include Sofia Vergara, Paige Davis, Rita Wilson, Usher, Huey Lewis, Michael C. Hall, Jerry Springer and Billy Zane. A 2002 film version starred Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Queen Latifah and Richard Gere.

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Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits