November 2013 Archives

30 November 2013

What's Next? The Stars of Xena and Hercules

The following short article is from the UK The Daily Mail Weekend Edition 30 November 2013 on what the
stars of Xena and Hercules are up to and in particular Lucy and her work on Spartacus, Battlestar Galactica, Parks and Recreation and Top of the Lake.
Doesn't mention her work on Chicago (Hollywood Bowl) or Chicago (Auckland Theatre Company)

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29 November 2013

Bid on VIP Access to Vodafone Chicago and Meet Lucy Lawless

lucyvelma.jpgHere's an awesome auction to bid on (you have to be in Auckland on 14 December to bid / win this auction). You can win a VIP Access to Chicago and a meet and greet with Lucy! 

Auction is located here

A once in a life time opportunity to meet Lucy Lawless and the cast of the Vodafone Season of CHICAGO - The Musical at Q Theatre brought to you by Auckland Theatre Company.

Actress, activist and charity fundraiser, Lucy Lawless is an ambassador for Auckland's hot spot for performing arts, Q Theatre, and she is helping Q raise money for the 2014 season of 'Q Presents' - a venue partnership programme supporting emerging professional artists.

The winning bidder will receive VIP access to the Vodafone Season of CHICAGO. The luxury package includes-

2 x Producer seats to the show at 8pm, Saturday 14 December
A full pre-show dining experience at Q Theatre
Meet Lucy Lawless and the stars of CHICAGO!
A signed poster by the cast
Private venue and backstage tour
Access to sign Q Theatre's Wall of Fame
The Razzle Dazzle post-show delight
An overnight stay in an Executive Suite at Rendezvous Grand Hotel Auckland, breakfast in Straits Cafe and a late checkout at midday!

There is only one VIP package. There can only be one winning bid.
Best of luck.

NB: The Vodafone Season of CHICAGO is recommended for mature audiences. Contains: adult themes, violence, sexual references, drug use and content that may offend.

Terms and conditions: The Chicago VIP package is non-transferable and must be redeemed on Saturday 14 December 2013. Travel and parking are not included.

Supported by Auckland Theatre Company, Rendezvous Grand Hotel Auckland and Lucy Lawless.

Click here to bid on this auction


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28 November 2013

Chicago Lucy, Amanda and Shane Comic By Magnolia Dysnomia

Here's something cute and just adorable. Magnolia Dysnomia creates these hysterical Xena comics (see here for all her Xena comic strips) Before I left for New Zealand to watch the show, I asked her to create some art for the show.

Here are two pieces of art - first is Lucy as Velma and Amanda as Roxie with some of the cast in shadow at the back.

The second is Lucy as Velma, Amanda as Roxie and Shane as Billy with a deflated rubber doll that I kept referring to on twitter

chicago1.jpg


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If you haven't booked your ticket to see this amazing show (and you can go) book now! It's selling fast and it has to end on 21 December.

Book Tickets here



 

 

27 November 2013

Backstage Photos of Chicago Cast By MAC Cosmetics

On 20 November 2013 MAC Cosmetics (one of the Chicago Supporting Partners) went to the Q Theatre for Chicago. They took photos of the cast as they were preparing for the show.

Thumbnail image for mac.jpgCheck out the larger version of these images here

In this photo you can see:
-  Hannah Tasker-Poland -- Liz/Foreman/Squaw/Fire Girl
-  Katie Swift -- Hunyak
-  Collleen Davis - Mama Morton

In this photo you can see
-  Lucy Lawless - Velma Kelly
-  Amanda Billing - Roxie Hart
-  Rebekkah Schoonbeek -- June
-  Will Barling - Mona

In this photo you can see

-  Will Barling - Mona





In this photo you can see

-  Katie Swift -- Hunyak




In this photo you can see

-  Inside the main theatre
-  James Luck - Bailiff / Judge
-  Lucy Lawless - Velma Kelly
-  Assorted bodies I can't make out who they are


In this photo you can see

-  Will Barling - Chorus
-  Rebekkah Schoonbeek -- June
-  and others


If you haven't booked your ticket to see this amazing show (and you can go) book now! It's selling fast and it has to end on 21 December.

Book Tickets here



 

 

23 November 2013

Lucy Photo from Chicago in The Dominion Post 23 November 2013

chicagoamandaThe NZ Dominion Post has an Amanda Billing article where she showcases fave photos from her album and she features herself and Lucy during Nowadays which is the closing number for Chicago.

2013 Roxie and Velma


And here I am, still dressing up after all these years, this time with Lucy Lawless. OMG. This is one of those bucket-list moments. We are in our finale dresses, singing Nowadays in Auckland Theatre Company’s Chicago. Playing Roxie Hart opposite Lucy’s Velma Kelly is a dream come true. And I get to do it every day, sometimes twice, until mid-to-late December. You guys should come up and see it.

 

For more about Lucy as Velma Kelly in the Auckland Theatre Company Production of Chicago, go to AUSXIP Lucy Lawless Chicago Subsite


 

 

21 November 2013

Lucy Photos: Lucy Lawless Supports Release Arctic 30 in New Zealand

Greenpeace New Zealand has released two photos of Lucy supporting the #Arctic30. Thank Lucy on twitter for taking this stand (Greenpeace site)

New Zealand actor Lucy Lawless supporting the release of the Arctic 30 which includes New Zealanders Jonathan Beauchamp and David Haussmann.

© 2013 Greenpeace / Phil Crawford

lucy1  Image635206530598830000

All images posted courtesy of Greenpeace

The crew of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise took part in a peaceful protest at Gazprom's oil rig to call attention to the threat of oil drilling and climate change. The ice is retreating and oil companies are moving north to drill for the same stuff that's driving that melting in the first place. It's madness.

These brave activists looked at the scientific evidence of man made global warming and the threat it poses to the Arctic, and decided to do something about it. A freelance photographer and videographer were there simply to document their protest. Just as in years past, the resolve and courage required to win a better future for our children requires personal sacrifice, a sacrifice the Arctic 30 are now making. They made their stand in the interests of us all.

Take Action Now


 

 

19 November 2013

Lucy Tweets About Chicago + Possible Chicago DVD? - 19 November

Lucy has discovered she is deaf in one ear and it impacted her performance in Chicago during the first week. Also there has been alot of chatter about requesting the Auckland Theatre Company producing a DVD of the show. @MichaelHurstNow is Michael’s official twitter account and puts this request to bed.

Having said that, if you are going to the show DO NOT VIDEO – it’s not allowed. Don’t ask others to video. Sometimes things cannot be filmed.

POSSIBLE CHICAGO DVD?

 

For more about Lucy as Velma Kelly in the Auckland Theatre Company Production of Chicago, go to AUSXIP Lucy Lawless Chicago Subsite


 

 

17 November 2013

Lucy Photo Update: 27 May 2012 Auckland Concert Rehearsal Pic

I was looking at my SD card and unexpectantly found some Lucy pics that I had taken during the 2012 Auckland Concert rehearsals. That was such a great concert later than night!

LL27May2012


 

 

16 November 2013

Message from Lucy About Chicago

gcu001m2Message from Lucy about Chicago - Lucy said to tell you all that if you are coming to Chicago, make some noise when she's on, so she knows were you are in the audience! She is on fire, guys - Velma Kelly is an amazing character and Lucy is awesome! I've seen this show quite a few times now and I can't get enough! Come out (if you can), see a great show!

So let her know where you are!


 

 

16 November 2013

New Art by MaryD: Lucy Lawless as Velma Kelly

Here’s some art I created of Lucy as Velma Kelly in the Auckland Theatre Company Production of Chicago.

Size: 1600 x 1200

Images used are courtesy of the Auckland Theatre Company

chicagoLucy2

 

For more about Lucy as Velma Kelly in the Auckland Theatre Company Production of Chicago, go to AUSXIP Lucy Lawless Chicago Subsite


 

 

15 November 2013

Lucy Lawless Theatre Princess–The Morning Show Interview 15 November

Lucy was interviewed on the Australian tv show “The Morning Show” on 15 November.

Xena Warrior Princess' Lucy Lawless chats to Larry & Kylie about her famous TV roles and playing Velma in Chicago the Musical.


 

 

15 November 2013

Where Culture Means Broadway–NZ Herald 15 November 2013

1469782_515033235259690_622069810_nToday’s print edition of the NZ Herald (soon to be online) has  brief mention of Lucy and the success of Chicago in bringing fans in from around the world.

Where culture means Broadway–
NZ Herald 15 November 2013

Auckland’s home-grown arts scene takes a back seat as far as council’s ‘Show Never Stops’ promotion goes

Playing at the Civic, can handle far bigger crowds than ATC’s Q Theatre production. However, thanks, in part at least, to Lucy Lawless’ starring role, is so popular its season has been extended a month to December 21 and, despite no plugging from Ateed, has fans booking online from as far away as Invercargill, Rio de Janiero, London, Istanbul, Berlin and Albuquerque.

 

If you haven’t bought tickets yet to Chicago – it’s been extended to 21 Dec. Go grab them because they are selling out fast.

Buy tickets here

 

Catch up with all the latest news, pics and reviews of Chicago with Lucy on the AUSXIP Lucy Lawless Chicago subsite


 

 

14 November 2013

Press Release: Chicago Extended to 21 Dec for Final Time!

This is just amazing. Chicago has been extended AGAIN and for the final time. It’s now ending 21 December with the final two performances at 2 pm and 8 pm. If you haven’t bought tickets, now would be a great time to buy them and do it quick. These tickets are sizzling hot. Trust me, this show is INCREDIBLE. Lucy and the whole cast of Chicago are just brilliant.

Buy tickets here

 

allthatjazzPRESS RELEASE: CHICAGO EXTENDED AGAIN

Thursday, 14 November, 2013 - 09:58

Auckland Theatre Company’s stellar season of Chicago is going to be a lot longer than originally planned. On the back of rave reviews and numerous sold-out houses, the highly popular musical has been extended for its third and final time - to Saturday 21 December.

Starring Lucy Lawless, Amanda Billing and Shane Cortese, Chicago opened at Q Theatre on 1 November for a month-long season. Within the first week a number of performances had already sold out. Now, ticket buyers are lucky to get a seat in November.

The reviews have given overwhelming praise to the Michael Hurst-directed musical. The New Zealand Herald’s Janet McAllister said, "With this fabulous, fast-tempoed spectacle of sizzle and sass, Michael Hurst once again proves himself an exceptional director of musical theatre, an auteur of clever, sexy noir with strong conceptual vision and stylistic flourish."

Nick Grant of the New Zealand Listener said, "Director Michael Hurst and his team of collaborators bring bucket loads of the old razzle-dazzle, with a helping of raunch, to Auckland Theatre Company’s production of Chicago. The cynical 1975 musical’s portrayal of the perversion of the justice system by a corrupt celebrity culture is well served by a staging that’s superb in every technical respect."

Set in the legendary city during the Roaring Twenties, an era renowned for organised crime, alcohol prohibition and the very best music, Chicago is the story of jailbird chanteuses Velma Kelly (Lucy Lawless) and Roxie Hart (Amanda Billings) who have both acquired a spot on Death Row. Velma enlists the help of prison matron Mama Morton (Colleen Davis) and smooth-talking lawyer Billy Flynn (Shane Cortese) to turn her incarceration into a media frenzy. But, not one to rest on her laurels, Roxie comes up with a foxy plan to steal back the limelight and, instead of wrangling the law, the two divas find themselves fighting the ultimate battle - the race to superstardom.

Michael Hurst’s production contains all the elements of a contemporary crime drama, like Underbelly or The Sopranos - scandal, corruption, celebrity and barely-clad women. Hurst has brought to the stage a star-studded cast that also includes some of the country’s best burlesque performers. The bold choreography was crafted by the legendary Shona McCullagh and a live band performs the well-known soundtrack that includes All That Jazz, Razzle Dazzle, Mr Cellophane and Class.

This will be Chicago’s final extension. For more information or to book tickets, please visit www.atc.co.nz


 

 

13 November 2013

NZ Herald Looks Back on New Zealanders of the Year: Lucy Lawless Woman of the Year

This morning’s NZ Herald is looking back at their chosen New Zealanders of the Year. In 2000 their readers chose Lucy as the Woman of the Year. Lucy was chosen for her work as a Child abuse campaigner (via her work with Starship)
See below for the scan from today’s paper.

In 2000 we opened the award to a public vote. Olympic rowing gold medallist Rob Waddell and actor and child-abuse campaigner Lucy Lawless were elected man and woman of the year.

In acknowledging them, our editorial said their selections told us a great deal about New Zealanders at the dawn of the 21st century.

Click on the thumbnail for the larger scan.

nzherald131113


 

 

10 November 2013

An Extraordinary Tale of Murder and Mayhem and All That Jazz–Chicago Review by MaryD

An Extraordinary Tale of Murder and Mayhem and All That Jazz
Chicago Musical – A Review by MaryD

1920s, Chicago. Cook County Jail is home to a bawdy band of murderesses, all of whom have eradicated their quickly insignificant others. Chanteuses Velma Kelly (Lucy Lawless) and Roxie Hart (Amanda Billing) have both acquired a spot on Death Row. Velma enlists the help of prison matron Mama Morton (Colleen Davis) and smooth-talking lawyer Billy Flynn (Shane Cortese) to turn her incarceration into a media frenzy. But, not one to rest on her laurels, Roxie comes up with a foxy plan to steal back the limelight and, instead of wrangling the law, the two divas find themselves fighting the ultimate battle - the race to superstardom.

Cast

Velma Kelly - Lucy Lawless
Roxie Hart - Amanda Billing
Amos - Andrew Grainger
Billy Flynn - Shane Cortese
Mama Morton - Colleen Davis
Narrator/Little Mary Sunshine - Sandra Rasmussen

Chorus - Will Barling, Stephen Butterworth, Mike Edward, Rebekkah Schoonbeek, Sia Trokenheim, Hannah Tasker-Poland, Lavinia Uhila

Creative team

Director - Michael Hurst
Musical Director - John Gibson
Set Designer - John Harding
Costume Designer - Lesley Burkes-Harding
Lighting Design - Sean Lynch
Stage Manager - Chelsea Adams
Set Construction - 2construct

www.atc.co.nz

Well I’m stunned. I was at the show on Saturday and Sunday nights and I still am stunned but I did promise a review so this it. The following review may contain MINOR spoilers as I don’t want to ruin the surprise for those who will see the show.

I won’t go into the technical aspects of the show; I’m not able to talk about that as I have no idea what I’m talking about. Nor go into depth about the show and compare it to the original version as I’ve never seen the original version or the movie. I was a Chicago The Musical virgin.

What you will get is a fresh look at Chicago through the eyes of a newbie and a Lucy fan. Lucy is the reason I’m here so it’s only fitting I start with her.

The choreography is impressive; the direction genius. Michael Hurst has been one of my favourite directors and he doesn’t disappoint here. He truly knows his craft. This isn’t your typical Chicago (although for me I’m going to judge any other version I see up against this one as this was my first).

Watching Lucy perform on television is a treat; watching her live is extraordinary (you will get a few extraordinaries as I run out of superlatives for this review)

Lucy’s Velma Kelly is a special role. Lucy takes this character and makes it her own; Velma is vulnerable, sassy, a bit comedic, ballsy and sexy.  A bad girl hiding a very scared woman.


Image635197179783934000Where to start, where to start – All That Jazz. Lucy opens the first of the songs. Lucy’s voice is powerful and her stage presence is very pronounced; yes she is the first one there soon joined by the rest of the dancers but she exudes power. I really can’t put this into words other than to say; you know she is there. There is something about watching Lucy live; I’m not quite sure what it is (and I should know after watching this woman perform / act for the last 17 years. She has IT. That star quality that exudes from every pore – she just has that THING. The sight of her as the spotlight is trained on her is electrifying. The choreography is outstanding in this number and all the other numbers.

Amanda Billing has an amazing voice and is very watchable. Her collaboration with Lucy as Velma Kelly has created a dynamic duo that brings this show together and allows both characters to explore and eventually find their redemption.

The cast are masters of their craft and the dancing is extraordinary. The aforementioned choreography has you riveted and unable to choose what to see and who to see next. You can’t take it all in. You do need to see this show more than once (if you can).

For those wondering how close the stage is to the cast, let me tell you that it’s CLOSE. I’m about a meter or so away from them when I was sitting in Block A and then in Block D front row seats. It’s so close that I heard Andrew Grainger’s (Amos) shoes squeak as he walked around the stage. Now that is close! There are no bad seats. The cast move about and not fixed in one location.

Tonight I almost had Mike Edward in my lap as he came to screeching halt at the edge of the stage with his blow up doll. When I read this back it reads so dry but honestly it is the funniest thing. Mike had issues with the doll that deflated in the middle of a number and I just couldn’t stop laughing at the look on his face. Priceless. Mike played Segofax on Spartacus and let’s just say he is an astonishing dancer.

I was impressed with all the cast; everyone is such a huge talent. I was in awe of their abilities.

Some Highlights:

Image635197180704064000Mama Morton (played by Colleen Davis) who I met today and what a lovely lady! Very gracious. Her Mama will surprise you and there are moments on Saturday when my mouth dropped open in shock. What a voice and what a great Mama Morton!

Hannah Tasker-Poland (Hannah is the women with the gun on the Chicago posters). Also met her tonight and she is such a warm and very kind woman. A beautiful soul with an incredible talent. How she does what she does, I find an amazing feat.

Mike Edward – Mike plays several roles (most of the chorus taken on different roles at times). He is also Fred Casely, the man Roxie shoots dead that lands her in jail. I adore watching Mike – well built, great dancer and singer. A very talented man with a physique of a Greek God. As I mentioned above we almost had a close encounter of the lap kind (he was that close).

Shane Cortese as the sleazy Billy Flynn. The last time I saw Shane was in 2009 during the Starship Supernova so the man can sing. His Billy is amazing! Takes sleazy to a whole new level.

Image635197181299774000I have fallen in love with the character of Amos Hart played by Andrew Grainger, Roxie’s long suffering husband. Of all the murderers, thieves, sleazy lawyers and vultures of the press, one character is an innocent. That is Amos. My heart went out to the man who is not like any other in the show. His performance of Mr. Cellophane is heartbreaking. The audience simply loves him.

One other moment that stood out for me was the Hungarian prisoner; I just couldn’t bear to watch one scene. There was something so real about it that it made me want to divert my eyes. On Saturday night Mama Morton blocked me in seeing it but tonight I had an unobstructed view, which I didn’t want. A very shocking scene.

A couple of warnings: If you an epileptic there is a moment when the lights go bezerk and that might affect you. It doesn’t last long.

If you think the warnings about it being an adult show is just for show; it’s not. It really is very adult in nature. NO KIDS.

This show will shock you, it will make you laugh, it will cause you to raise an eyebrow or two.

Go buy a ticket, if you can make the trip to New Zealand. You won’t be disappointed.

A++++++++

*Photos courtesy of Auckland Theatre Company

View more photos from the show here


 

 

10 November 2013

Photos from Chicago production

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The Auckland Theatre Company Facebook page has posted photos from the "Chicago" production. Check them all out here.

 

 

 

 


lucy4lucy5

 

lucy6lucy7


 

 

10 November 2013

Article Scan: Photos of Lucy and Chicago Cast Opening Night Herald On Sunday

Latest from New Zealand from AUSXIP’s on the spot reporter <g> – here’s a scan from this morning’s paper Herald on Sunday about last Saturday’s opening show for Chicago!

heraldonsunday


 

 

6 November 2013

Chicago Review: Sweaty, sexy and spectacular

Chicago-3 (1)In the first moment of this production we are plunged into sudden darkness with an accompanying loud explosion. From the audience comes cries of alarm and surprise –and then out of the smoky gloom comes Tallulah (Sandra Rasmussen), a louche, late-night diva, who wets our startled appetites with the promise of a story of 'murder, greed, corruption, violence, exploitation, adultery and treachery'. She tap dances and croons, a moment of relative calm before the pumping opening number, which is sweaty, sexy and spectacular.

Tattoos, bizarre underwear, glittery bras and ripped stockings decorate a fully committed and talented cast. Amanda Billing gives a flawless performance as Roxie, mischievous, attention-seeking and with soaring voice. Roxie Hart was a raven-haired murderess and celebrity of her day – the original play took inspiration from a real murderess. This Roxie kills her lover Fred Casely whom she met when he gave her ten percent off on a furniture sale. Roxie's husband Amos Hart loves her so much he’s willing to take the rap. 'He ain't got the smarts', Roxie tells us, and further, 'He ain't too good in the bedroom department.’ Andrew Grainger's Amos is a piece of social realism amongst the writhing glitter and tat, dressed in workingman's overalls and with his hard working mechanic's hands mostly hanging empty at his sides. He is Roxie's Funny Honey. His later song, the signature 'Mr Cellophane,' which will be familiar to many is heart-rending. Other standout songs include prison boss Mama Morton's (Colleen Davis) 'When You're Good To Mama', which is wild and butch. Mama wears a uniform a size too small, high heels and fishnets. Lucy Lawless puts in a star turn as Velma Kelly, Roxie's favourite murderess. Her defence that she blanked out while committing her crime is an age-old defence for female murderers, who could only get away with it on a plea of automatism. Velma and Roxie's duet is fantastic, beautifully accompanied by the band with Jeff Henderson's saxophone adding poignancy.

Director Michael Hurst has modernised and re-interpreted this seminal work. Stephen Butterworth carries a cellphone, blow-up dolls play the jury with their rude bits covered in black masking tape, Velma carries a copy of Women’s Day. Shane Cortese’s slimy Billy Flynn makes his initial appearance in an arresting leopard print shortie dressing-gown. The music too has undergone a brilliant metamorphosis under the direction of John Gibson. Billy's first number has some evocative 'sixties tones, a crazy rendition of 'Roxie' has rap and hip-hop influences. Gibson's band is without fault. It would be nice to be able to see the musicians more clearly – they're tucked away above the silver stage.

Shona McCullagh's choreography is demanding and glorious. Some of the cast sport bruises and strapped shoulders, which do double duty as proof of commitment to the process and evidence of the tough existences of people who lived through the Depression.

Chicago will play until mid-December, days before too many New Zealanders will face an impoverished Christmas. A ticket to this vibrant, take-no-prisoners and cheering show set in other difficult times is a worthwhile extravagance.

Source


 

 

6 November 2013

Chicago Review: Sexy spectacle of murder, money and media manipulation

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Michael Hurst's reimagining of the classic Broadway and West End musical Chicago, sees Auckland Theatre Company bring it down and dirty at Q Theatre.

I was instantly excited to walk into the theatre and see we were going to experience the show in-the-round. With a smoky air, and a packed to the rafter's audience, you really feel that West End vibe. This versatile space allows for this show to flex it’s Auckland muscles.

There’s a big buzz around this show, and the hype is to be believed. You will see something very different from what you’d expect from this well known musical.

Highlights for me were the performances of big numbers such as Cell Block Tango, We Both Reached for the Gun and a version of Razzle Dazzle that has enough bling to be Vegas worthy!

Costumes are more garnish than outfits for most. Skimpy isn't the word! However everyone is perfectly styled and there’s a smooth synergy in the overall look. There are also beautiful gowns and show girl attire. Obviously the whole cast is gorgeous and able to pull off this overtly sexy look and choreography by Shona McCullagh.

Lots of tricks are pulled out the hat which continuously titillate and surprise throughout the show; The audiences proximity to the cast mean that it’s easy to be carried along with the Chicago madness with lots of whoops, cheers and gasps bounded around the theatre during the two hour show. The show is up close and personal so if you are in one of the first few rows expect to get to know the cast well.

Vocally there are no weak links but my noted solo performances were from the sexiest Mama I’ve seen, created by Colleen Davis, and a wonderfully touching performance as Amos Hart from Andrew Grainger, whose solo song ‘Mr. Cellophane” got one of the nights biggest cheers.

Our two leading ladies, Amanda Billing as Roxie Hart and Lucy Lawless as Velma Kelly, are a great double act and have plenty of moxy! Roxie’s playful relationships are flirtatious and cheeky. I especially enjoyed the interactions with her hapless husband Amos. Velma kicks off the show and remains a power throughout. There’s nothing innocent or demure about these ladies. Both are stars in there own right and share the limelight equally in the shows success.

Most memorable theatrical entrance of the year has to go to Shane Cortese as Mr Billy Flynn! (sorry no spoilers).

The musical direction by John Gibson, is updated and allows for sounds other than Chicago Jazz, mixing in heavy guitars, funk and soul with modern styles into the more traditional mix.

Congratulations have to go to Michael Hurst for creating this sexy spectacle of murder, money and media manipulation. From swinging corpses to gender bending you’re sure to have a memorable evening. Auckland Theatre Company’s Chicago is a confronting, sassy, crotch flinging show with twerks to make Miley blush.

The Vodafone season of Chicago is at Q Theatre until 15 December.

Source


 

 

6 November 2013

Chicago Review: Chicago shocks and rocks in Auckland

Image634433716257500000

I could tell Chicago was pushing all the right buttons when, 45 minutes into the first act, the woman beside me declared "Oh! I do find it vulgar" – and promptly left the theatre.

The Auckland Theatre Company's reimagining of the Broadway classic, while it may go too far for some, is executed with director Michael Hurst's trademark flair.

The glee on his face last night was evident as he watched his cast gyrating around the stage, which has been set up in the round to heighten the feeling of intimacy with the audience.

Hurst has taken the much-loved story and injected it with that winning trifecta: sex, drugs and rock 'n roll.

The main characters have been gussied up, leaving little trace of the glittering 1920s glamour one might expect.

Amanda Billing is a delight to watch as she transforms Roxie Hart from a naïve, rosary-clutching damsel to a publicity-hungry, wannabe star.

She is well-complemented by Lucy Lawless as the jealous Velma Kelly. Both women display a wicked sense of humour and powerful voices.

Lawless in particular is right at home on stage, with a commanding presence befitting her character.

Shane Cortese is appropriately egotistical as defence lawyer Billy Flynn. He delivers a sublime pared-back version of 'Razzle Dazzle', but there were times when some of his dialogue got lost among the melee.

That melee though, is very well-executed. Every costume and character has been well thought-out and though they have been designed to provoke, they are not gratuitous.

Hurst has taken every salacious detail of the Chicago story, exaggerated it and thrown it back in our faces.

Roxie's trial is particularly masterful, using clever symbolism to truncate the scene in an irreverent yet elegant way.

But it is not all about fierce, orgiastic choreography and relentless boundary-pushing. Andrew Grainger steals the show as the bumbling Amos Hart – his tender rendition of 'Mister Cellophane' drew sympathetic cries of "We notice you!" from the crowd.

A strong, fully invested chorus rounds out the cast, using the 360 degree stage to great effect throughout.

This is such a well-known and often-told story that this is just the overhaul it needed. Yes, some of the songs have been cut but this is to its benefit.

Chicago may throw you way off balance – but there's no fear about a lack of talents.

Source


 

 

5 November 2013

20/20 Promo Featuring Lucy Screencaps and Video

The NZ 20/20 program has a trailer for their upcoming episode which followed Amanda Billing during rehearsals for Chicago

Here are some screencaps

 

snapshot_001snapshot_002snapshot_003snapshot_004snapshot_005

 

VIDEO


 

 

4 November 2013

Lucy to Feature in NZ 20/20 on 7 November

The show is focused on Amanda Billing but will have Lucy footage. See the tweets from Erin Conroy who is a 20/20 reporter below:

This week on 20/20: November 7

Published: 2:25PM Monday November 04, 2013 Source: 20/20

Thursday 7th October 2013, 9.30pm TV2 

This week on 20/20:

All That Jazz: We all know her as Dr Sarah Potts from Shortland Street but Amanda Billing has swapped her stethoscope for a gun and sparkly underwear, taking the stage as murderess Roxie Hart in the musical Chicago.

In a 20/20 exclusive, Erin Conroy has followed her every step from final rehearsals at Shortland Street to Opening Night at the Q theatre where she performs alongside Lucy Lawless - it’s Dr Potts as you’ve never seen her before

Source


 

 

4 November 2013

Chicago Review: Heady Cocktail of Sex, Lies and Spin on Spin

The New Zealand Herald has a review of Chicago from opening night and a full version of that wonderful Lucy and Amanda promo pic! Check it out. Scanned by MaryD. If you haven’t bought your ticket yet...you’re going to miss out if you don’t hurry. Tickets are selling like hotcakes! Go here and order your tickets
 

For more on Lucy’s role as Velma Kelly in Chicago, go to AUSXIP Lucy Lawless Chicago The Musical (Auckland) subsite

chicagoNZHerald041113

 


If you haven’t bought your ticket yet...you’re going to miss out if you don’t hurry. Tickets are selling like hotcakes! Go here and order your tickets
  For more on Lucy’s role as Velma Kelly in Chicago, go to AUSXIP Lucy Lawless Chicago The Musical (Auckland) subsite

 

 

3 November 2013

Chicago Review: Sexual Dexterity In Chicago: ATC Smashes Open A Classic Musical For A New Era

Image635190778655197961Theatre Review was at the opening night of Chicago and they have a wonderful review of the show and of course Lucy’s performance:

some highlights from the review

Lucy Lawless brings her supreme confidence and multiple skillset to bear on Velma's wicked plight. She's a star mover and statuesque singer to rival the best. ‘All That Jazz' is Velma's torch song/ ramped-up ode to sex, and Lawless rips it out. Excellent casting with these two.

Special mention must go to Colleen Davis as Mama Morton. She rips open ‘When You're Good to Mama' like a wild thing, and duets beautifully with Lucy Lawless on ‘Class'. Hannah Tasker-Poland is mesmerizing throughout in her four roles. Stephen Butterworth and Mike Edward are terrific in their three roles, sometimes to heart-stopping effect.

CHICAGO

Music by John Kander
Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Book by Fred Ebb, Bob Fosse
Directed by Michael Hurst
Musical Director – John Gibson
The Vodafone season
Presented by the Auckland Theatre Company
at Q Theatre, Rangatira, Auckland
Until 30 Nov 2013
Reviewed by Vanessa Byrnes, 3 Nov 2013

 

Read the full review


If you haven’t bought your ticket yet...you’re going to miss out if you don’t hurry. Tickets are selling like hotcakes! Go here and order your tickets
  For more on Lucy’s role as Velma Kelly in Chicago, go to AUSXIP Lucy Lawless Chicago The Musical (Auckland) subsite

 

 

2 November 2013

Auckland Theatre Company's Chicago ready to dazzle–TV3 News 2 November 2013

Here’s a fabulous video of Lucy and Amanda singing Nowadays from the Auckland Theatre Company production of Chicago which has it’s opening night tonight. It appears (from the article) that the show has been extended once again to 21 December!

That hasn’t been confirmed on the ticket site but it’s great news!

 

VIDEO
Nowadays sung by Lucy Lawless and Amanda Billing Chicago

Posted on: 2nd November 2013

Nowadays sung by Lucy Lawless and Amanda Billing Chicago

Murder. Adultery. Revenge. Greed. Lust. “All those things we hold near and dear to our hearts,” says Michael Hurst gleefully. A year’s work will culminate tonight for the veteran theatre director, when his Auckland Theatre Company production of Chicago opens at Q Theatre. The musical stars Lucy Lawless and Amanda Billing as homicidal femme fatales [...]

 

ARTICLE
Auckland Theatre Company's Chicago ready to dazzle–
TV3 News 2 November 2013

Murder. Adultery. Revenge. Greed. Lust.

"All those things we hold near and dear to our hearts," says Michael Hurst gleefully.

A year's work will culminate tonight for the veteran theatre director, when his Auckland Theatre Company production of Chicago opens at Q Theatre.

The musical stars Lucy Lawless and Amanda Billing as homicidal femme fatales Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart, aided in their quests for innocence and fame by slick lawyer Billy Flynn (Shane Cortese).

Lawless is relishing her return to New Zealand theatre, and calls Hurst's interpretation of the iconic musical "refreshing".

"It's a bunch of iconoclasts here, so you're coming to see something that's very fresh, wild, raw, gritty and gorgeous as well."

But Lawless has a warning for her audiences.

"If you're coming to see the classic show or the movie you're going to find this really challenging, even though all the great songs are there," she says.

"[But] I think it works a lot better because they've gone and made the characters very real - you feel more; it's about damaged people."

Chicago is running at Auckland's Q Theatre until December 21.

Read the Full article and watch the video here

 


If you haven’t bought your ticket yet...you’re going to miss out if you don’t hurry. Tickets are selling like hotcakes! Go here and order your tickets
  For more on Lucy’s role as Velma Kelly in Chicago, go to AUSXIP Lucy Lawless Chicago The Musical (Auckland) subsite

 

 

2 November 2013

There’s Something About Lucy Lawless Actress–Weekend Herald 2 November 2013

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There’s Something About Lucy Lawless Actress
Weekend Herald 2 November 2013

She was born in Auckland’s Mt Albert 45 years ago, the fifth of seven children for Frank and Julie Ryan, she a teacher, he a banker-turned-long-time mayor of the suburb. After dropping out of the University of Auckland and ditching her opera studies at 18, she embarked on an OE, only to fall in love with and then pregnant to Garth Lawless the following year.

Her daughter Daisy was born the year the couple married, 1988. As a kid Lucy dreamed of being a singer, but fell into acting the year after Daisy was born when she joined the cast of local television sketch comedy show, Funny Business. Her big break came in 1994 when American TV producer (and future husband) Rob Tapert cast her as a man-hating Amazon in Hercules And The Amazon Women, the pilot for Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.

The following year she was cast as a warrior woman called Xena in the same series. The character was so popular Lawless and Xena were given their own show, Xena: Warrior Princess just months later. In 1998, she married Tapert. They have two sons. Lawless’ post- Xena career was mostly cameos and bit parts until Tapert cast her as the oversexed Lucretia in his Spartacus: Blood and Sand in 2010. Off screen, Lawless has developed a second career as a charity fundraiser and Greenpeace activist. She stars as the vampish Velma in Chicago at Q Theatre until December 15.

 


If you haven’t bought your ticket yet...you’re going to miss out if you don’t hurry. Tickets are selling like hotcakes! Go here and order your tickets
  For more on Lucy’s role as Velma Kelly in Chicago, go to AUSXIP Lucy Lawless Chicago The Musical (Auckland) subsite

 

 

2 November 2013

Lucy Singing, Interview and Press–Chicago The Musical 2 November 2013

TV3News and Stuff.co.nz have video of Lucy singing with Amanda Billing for the press. In the TV3 News video Lucy is singing Nowadays with Amanda (the full song whilst the stuff.co.nz has snippets of the song).

 

VIDEO

Nowadays sung by Lucy Lawless and Amanda Billing Chicago
Posted on: 2nd November 2013

Nowadays sung by Lucy Lawless and Amanda Billing Chicago

Murder. Adultery. Revenge. Greed. Lust. “All those things we hold near and dear to our hearts,” says Michael Hurst gleefully. A year’s work will culminate tonight for the veteran theatre director, when his Auckland Theatre Company production of Chicago opens at Q Theatre. The musical stars Lucy Lawless and Amanda Billing as homicidal femme fatales [...]

 

Lucy Takes On Chicago – Show Snippet & Interview Stuff.co.nz 2 October 2013
Posted on: 2nd November 2013

Lucy Takes On Chicago – Show Snippet & Interview Stuff.co.nz 2 October 2013

Lucy Lawless is used to playing powerful women but the scariest thing about her new production of Chicago is going back to the theatre in her home town. “But I like nothing better than scaring myself,” the former Xena: Warrior Princess star said. Lawless plays Velma, the established star threatened by the newcomer Roxie – [...]

 

If you haven’t bought your ticket yet...you’re going to miss out if you don’t hurry. Tickets are selling like hotcakes!

Go here and order your tickets

For more on Lucy’s role as Velma Kelly in Chicago, go to AUSXIP Lucy Lawless Chicago The Musical (Auckland) subsite


 

 

1 November 2013

Lucy Confirmed To Attend 2004 Xena Convention + Photo Ops

lucycon.pngCreation Entertainment has sent out an email announcing that Lucy has confirmed that she will be at the 2014 Xena Convention in Burbank which will be held 7-9 February 2014.

Along with Lucy appearing on stage, she will do a limited solo photo ops (as in the previous couple of Creation Xena Cons) but this year she will do a duo photo op with Renee O'Connor.

Price for Photo Ops:

$169 USD - Lucy Solo Photo Op
$299 USD - Lucy and Renee Photo Op

You can only have yourself and a friend in these photo ops.

Hop on over to the Creation Entertainment web site to book your ticket (if you haven't already done so) and get your photo ops!


 

 

1 November 2013

Fans Fly In To See Lucy Dance!–NZ Herald 01 November 2013

It’s showtime! Chicago’s preview night happens tonight in Auckland and the NZ Herald has Lucy on their front page.

Tonight’s preview performance is sold out as is opening night tomorrow night. You can still get tickets (if you are quick) for performances in November and December.

Check out the scans!

 

nzheraldImage635188822250263024

 

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