Nicole Green flew from Los Angeles to New York City on Tuesday for less than 24 hours for one person only: Pamela Anderson.
Months after being the subject of Hulu’s fictionalized series, “Pam and Tommy,“ a project she was not involved in, Anderson returned to the spotlight to tackle the leading role of Roxie Hart in “Chicago.”
Green, who describes herself as an Anderson superfan, was among hundreds, some who traveled from as far as the Netherlands, who filled up New York’s Ambassador Theatre near Broadway to catch Anderson’s opening night.
“I’ve been a huge follower of hers since ‘Baywatch,’” Green, 24, said. “And I thought Pamela Anderson was just the perfect person to fit the bill of Roxie.”
The performance earned Anderson a standing ovation from the audience.
The former “Baywatch” star’s public comeback also entails a Netflix documentary, which she said will tell her “real story.” That “real” story will also feature her Broadway journey. She told “Good Morning America” that Netflix followed her behind the scenes, “so they get to see a little bit of me preparing for Roxie as well.”
“I just feel like this is really a moment for me to shine for once,” Anderson told “GMA” in March of her Broadway debut. “I’m doing this for myself, which is rare.”
An ‘opportunity to take control of the narrative’
Anderson’s reentry to the public eye comes as society reexamines the rampant misogyny that defined celebrity-obsessed culture in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Recent documentaries and TV shows like Hulu’s “Framing Britney Spears” helped “set this precedent for reexamining our past and looking at how the lives of (Spears and Anderson) were so casually made fun of by everybody — the media, the public, late night comedians,” said Robert Thompson, a professor of popular culture at Syracuse University.
“And while (‘Pam and Tommy’) may not have been approved by Pamela, it helped bring her and her story back into the spotlight that she is likely now using as an opportunity to take control of the narrative and tell it the way she wants to.”
Anderson, who did not respond to multiple requests for comment, told “GMA” the role of Roxie Hart “feels a little parallel” to her own life.
“The media is so powerful and it’s really kind of — it’s just interesting how it’s affected my life,” she said. “You just got to make the most of what you got. You got to make the most of any opportunity, and sometimes things will seem like a bad thing; you can turn it into a good thing.”
Fans crowd theater after the show
Anderson’s leap of faith appears to have paid off, with many attendees praising her after the show.
Fans like 15-year-old Lydia Bissenden said she had been looking forward to Anderson’s performance ever since the musical announced she was joining the cast in early March.
“I just finished ‘Pam and Tommy’ and that’s how I became interested in her story,” Bissenden said. “I didn’t know she was a musical performer or dancer, and I was really excited to see how she would play that role.”
Green, who came from L.A., said she is “so proud” of Anderson.
“She had great stage presence,” Green said. “She held her own amongst all these other talented actors, and I feel like she did a great job.”
Some attendees, like Rahul Dudta, weren’t aware that it was Anderson’s Broadway debut.
“I was impressed,” Dudta, 30, said. “She had so much energy and was so sprightly on stage.”
Anderson will end her eight-week limited run in “Chicago” on June 5.