TORONTO -- Canadian Olympic figure skating star Elvis Stojko will make his professional acting debut as smooth-talking lawyer Billy Flynn in an upcoming production of Chicago, the Musical.
Mirvish Productions is mounting the musical as part of its 50th anniversary season.
"People think of me as only a skater. What they don't know is that I love musicals," the Newmarket, Ont., native said in a statement.
"Now I finally have the chance to play a great role in one of the greatest musicals of all time. I'm very excited."
Stojko has chosen a daunting role to launch his stage career. The part has previously been tackled by veteran performers including Billy Ray Cyrus, Alan Thicke and Tom Wopat -- as well as by Richard Gere in the 2002 Oscar-winning film.
The skating champion was not at Tuesday's packed announcement at the Royal Alexandra Theatre.
But Chicago cast veteran Bianca Marroquin said she was excited to see Stojko's turn in the show.
"I think he's going to bring new things to the show," said Marroquin. "Sometimes they'll bring just actors that can sort of hold a tune or good movers, and then sometimes they'll bring amazing dancers. Like in our time, Patrick Swayze was Billy and he brought a lot of dancing to the role. Usher brought a love of sauveness and his singing.
"So I'm sure (Stojko) is going to bring his own moves and a little bit of skating style in there. So that's great."
Audiences can see Stojko's incarnation when Chicago opens at the Princess of Wales Theatre next March.
The three-time world figure skating champion has some show business experience -- he doubled for Robin Williams in the 2002 film Death To Smoochy, for which he also did choregraphy, and he portrayed a hockey player in the 2000 TV movie Ice Angel.
-- The Canadian Press