Former Canadian figure skating champion Elvis Stojko is giving a razzle dazzle performance in a completely different arena, tackling a key role in the award-winning musical Chicago.
Stojko is fresh off an eight-performance run as slick defence lawyer Billy Flynn in the hit musical set in the decadent, jazz-and-tabloids obsessed Chicago of the 1920s — his Broadway debut — and is now poised to perform for Canadian audiences in Toronto this week.
The part of the suave attorney has previously been tackled by performers such as Billy Ray Cyrus, Alan Thicke and Tom Wopat — as well as by Richard Gere in the 2002 Oscar-winning film (which was filmed in Toronto).
The son of a classically trained tenor, the retired skater released an album entitled 100 Lifetimes in 2010 and previously appeared in a cameo role in a production of Grease. Still, some find it tough to imagine the seven-time men's Canadian figure skating champion, three-time world champion and two-time Olympic silver medallist in this very different kind of spotlight — but that doesn't bother Stojko.
"I put pressure on myself to perform well. What people say and what they think...that's part of art, this is art and entertainment. I've [developed] thick skin over the years," he told CBC News.
"I was always a black sheep in skating –- I didn’t always follow the path. I always took the shots and I'm used to that."
Stojko tackles an eight-performance run in Chicago at Toronto's Princess of Wales Theatre Wednesday evening through Sunday.