As one of our busiest and most admired music-theatre performers, Lucy Maunder hasn’t usually had to wait long for juicy roles to come her way. Chicago’s Roxie Hart, however, proved elusive. You could even say that Maunder waited 25 years for her chance to play the good-time girl gone bad in John Kander and Fred Ebb’s sizzling jazz-era musical.

“I have a very strong core theatre memory of seeing Chicago when I was about 12 in London,” Maunder says. She was living there with her family and her father, opera director Stuart Maunder, took her to lots of shows. They included Chicago, which had been revived on Broadway in 1996 in a sexy, lean production that knocked everyone sideways. (It’s still running.) The following year, the show opened in London’s West End with Ruthie Henshall and Ute Lemper as frenemies Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly.

Lucy Maunder

Lucy Maunder as Roxie Hart in Chicago. Photo © Juliet Taylor

The two have a voracious hunger for fame at...