Yep, Xena: Warrior Princess has joined the cast in the Broadway revival of Grease as bad girl Betty Rizzo.
Lawless will strut her stuff on stage for seven weeks in a stint that runs from September 3 through October 19 at New York's Eugene O'Neill Theater.
While the notoriously tough Gotham theater critics have yet to register their reviews, the Warrior Princess received standing ovations for her performance at the preview show September 2 and on opening night, according to publicist Leah Krantzler. (What happens if the audience doesn't applaud? A Xena death-grip perhaps?)
Meanwhile, Lawless is relishing her time on the Great White Way. "This is a very exciting opportunity for her," Krantzler says.
If nothing else, it will be an opportunity for the former beauty queen (Mrs. New Zealand 1989) to demonstrate that her talents as an actress extend beyond battling the tyrannical enemies in her mythological world.
In fact, the 29-year-old Lawless recently told USA Today that she has balked at making a Xena movie and plans to leave the show when her contract is up in 2000. Lawless wants to branch out from the role she has starred in since September 1995.
For now, Lawless is filling some pretty big shoes in her role as Rizzo, the terror of Rydell High. Stockard Channing and Adrienne Barbeau created the role on screen and stage, and, in recent incarnations Brooke Shields, Rosie O'Donnell, Joely Fisher, Mackenzie Phillips--even Debbie Gibson--donned a Pink Ladies jacket and belted out "There Are Worse Things I Could Do."
Xena fans, take heart. Even if Lawless can't out-act the other Rizzos, we guarantee she could kick their butts in a brawl.