Stephen Moyer admits that going back to theater for the Hollywood Bowl production of "Chicago" is "daunting and terrifying" but that "it's nice to get back to doing something that I love."
Moyer plays Billy Flynn in the production, which will have three performances at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on July 26, 27 and 28. He will be joined on stage by "Les Miserables" actress Samantha Barks, Drew Carey, Ashlee Simpson and Lucy Lawless in the production, which is directed by Brooke Shields.
"We've got -- I believe it's 10 days -- in all to do this thing, which is quite extraordinary," Moyer told OTRC.com in an interview earlier this month. "Some of the dancers and some of the crew and some of the cast have done it before. Ashlee has done it before. Myself, Lucy and Samantha and Drew are the only ones who haven't so it's pretty intense."
Moyer's previous theater experience includes the National Theatre of Wales, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Oxford Stage Company and the Young Vic, which he did before moving on to television and film.
In addition to Simpson, who will be reprising her role as Roxie Hart, Shields, who performed as Roxie on Broadway and London's West End, steps into a new role as a first-time director, something Shields is enjoying thoroughly in spite of hectic preparations for the shows.
"It doesn't end when we leave rehearsal, it's texting people and tweeting things and making sure that they know that I'm caring about all of them, every ensemble member," Shields said to OTRC.com.
"There's so much that you have to care about, and it's easy to do because everyone is working so hard."
While much of the cast has experience in theater productions, performing at a venue as iconic and massive as the Hollywood Bowl adds another layer of pressure and nerves for the stars, as they prepare to perform to audiences of 17,000 people for three nights.
"It's like 'learn the song, remember it' and then it's like, 'do it,' but I love that. That's the thing about theater, it's always pressure. When you're about to go on stage you're always like, 'Why do I put myself through this, why do I do this, why do I do this?' And then after you finish you're like, 'I know why I want to do this all day every day,'' Barks told OTRC.com.
Barks will play Velma Kelly, a role that was played by Catherine Zeta-Jones in the 2002 film adaptation of the musical. Lawless will play Matron "Mama" Morton, the corrupt matron of Cook County Jail. Carey will play Amos, the naive husband of Roxie Hart.