Friday, July 27, 2012

Chess, the Musical: Returning to Broadway Once Again

Wow - one of those coincidences which is anything but!  I posted "One Night in Bangkok" the other night -- a mega-hit song from Chess -- without knowing anything about this fund-raising special production.  So cool!  There is a video at the end of that post but I love having the lyrics right there so I can read them as the action in the video is unfolding -- adds a whole new dimension, particularly when the words of the song may not be clear!

From Andy Propst at The Huffington Post
Sir Tim Rice Talks Chess 'In Concept'
Posted: 07/26/2012 6:03 pm
Not many musicals with Broadway runs of under two months end up getting starry concert performances. But then, Benny Andersson, Tim Rice and Björn Ulvaeus' Chess is no ordinary musical. Its debut as a concept album in 1984 catapulted the show and a couple of songs in particular (the driving dance tune "One Night in Bangkok" and the ballad "I Know Him So Well") into global consciousness. The show ultimately got a London production staged by Trevor Nunn in 1986, which ran for three years and recouped, which, as bookwriter/lyricist Rice points out, "is pretty impressive, bearing in mind how expensive it was."

Broadway, however, was a different story. The show, once again directed by Nunn and heavily revised (although still focusing on the rivalry between American and Russian chess champions and a romantic triangle that develops between them and the woman who is the American's second), lasted a mere 68 performances in 1988. And yet, after the show's abrupt closing, it's enjoyed two concert presentations in New York: One in 1989 at Carnegie Hall and a second in after return visit to New York City as a benefit for The Actors Fund in 2003, featuring Sutton Foster, Josh Groban, Julia Murney, Adam Pascal and Raúl Esparza. Further, Groban and Pascal reunited and were joined by Idina Menzel for a concert performance of the show in 2008 at London's Royal Albert Hall.
And now, the show's New York fans will get a third concert on Monday, July 30, once again benefiting The Actors Fund, and headlined by Robert Cuccioli (a Tony Award nominee for Jekyll and Hyde, Natascia Diaz (from such shows as Lennon and The Capeman) and Drew Sarich (seen on Broadway in Les Miz and starring in the Broadway-aimed Rocky the Musical). Christopher Martin, founding artistic director of Classic Stage Company, is helming the performance, which is being billed as the Chess "In Concept" Concert.
Rest of article.

Our beloved website, Goddesschess, is offline right now, undergoing major renovations and revamping, as well as being moved to a new web host.  It is a long and complicated process, and we have had some set-backs along the way due to health issues and what-not.  I am not sure this will work, but I posted a long article back in 2007 about Chess, the Musical, at Goddesschess, and here is the link that I located on the wayback machine.  It's well worth reading to provide not only the story of how the musical came to be and came to its end, it provides a wealth of background information! 

1 comment:

Once said...

I love musicals too! Such a different experience to tv and movies.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...