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Angelica Ross is set to become the first transgender actress to play Roxie Hart in ‘Chicago’.
The 41-year-old ‘Pose’ star will make her Broadway debut in the long-running musical later this year, playing murderous vixen Roxie for eight weeks from September 12.
Actresses who have previously played Roxie include Pamela Anderson, Melanie Griffith, Christie Brinkley, Marilu Henner, Brooke Shields and Lisa Rinna.
While Angelica can’t wait to get started, she admitted the announcement was bittersweet as it came on the same day that US basketball star Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison after being found guilty of narcotics possession and smuggling for bringing cannabis-infused vape cartridges into the country.
Angelica tweeted: “This day is full of mixed feelings for me! I want to celebrate being on Broadway, but I don’t feel like celebrating with #BrittneyGriner sentenced to 9 years in prison. This world is messed up. She doesn’t deserve this.”
The 31-year-old basketball star – who normally lives in Houston, Texas with wife Cherelle Griner – was arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling in Russia just days before the country launched the ongoing invasion on Ukraine and has now been found guilty and sentenced to almost a decade behind bars.
However, her lawyers told PEOPLE that the verdict was “absolutely unreasonable” and intend to appeal the decision.
Brittney – who is also said to have been fined the equivalent of $16,600 for the offence – was found to have taken less than one gram of cannabis oil into the country and insisted her actions were “inadvertent” but she decided to plead guilty.
She said: “That’s why I pled guilty to my charges. I understand everything that’s been said against me, the charges that are against me and that is why I pled guilty but I had no intents to break any Russian [law].”