JASON Donovan has joined the cast of the award-winning musical Chicago for its Melbourne leg.
Playing the role of the cunning and charismatic lawyer Billy Flynn, this is the first time Donovan has appeared on stage in a musical in Australia.
"I am very excited about coming home to Melbourne to play Billy Flynn in a brand new production of Chicago," he said.
"It's a role I've always wanted to play since watching my father do such a great job with it back in the early '80s. Quite simply, I'm a massive fan."
Donovan joins Casey Donovan as prison warden Matron "Mama" Morton, alongside Natalie Bassingthwaighte as the irreverent and determined Roxie Hart and Alinta Chidzey as glamorous Velma Kelly.
Set amid the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, Chicago is the story of housewife and nightclub dancer Roxie Hart who murders her lover after he threatens to walk out on her.
Desperate to avoid conviction, she hires the city's slickest criminal lawyer to transform her crime into a barrage of sensational headlines.
"Chicago has everything that people love about Broadway - a story of fame, fortune and all that jazz, one show-stopping number after another, and the most amazing dancing you've ever seen as well as the most sizzling score," said producer John Frost.
Jason Donovan's over-30 year international career has made him one of Australia's most successful performers. He was catapulted into homes in Australia and the UK in 1986 when he first appeared on Neighbours starring opposite Kylie Minogue.
They soon became Australia's sweethearts which helped launch their pop music careers here and in Europe. Jason's debut album was a platinum selling record in Australia and was the highest selling album in the UK in 1989. Since then he has sold over 13 million albums worldwide and continues to tour.
Donovan made his defining musical theatre debut in the lead role of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat on the West End in 1991 which also earned him an Olivier Award nomination.
He has since starred in many West End musical theatre productions including Priscilla Queen of The Desert, The Rocky Horror Show, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Annie Get Your Gun and The Sound of Music.
Chicago, State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne, until February 23. Tickets from $59.90.
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