CHESS The Musical

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CHESS The Musical

Post  Paula74 on Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:19 am

I've always liked this musical and kicked myself for not seeing the tour with Carolee Carmello when I had a chance some years back.

Signature Theatre in the D.C. area is doing a production. It seems like it could be a good match for some the concept staging they've done with other shows.

http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Signature_Theatre_Announces_CHESS_BOULEVARD_ART_et_al_in_1011_Season_20100224

I'd really love to go...especially since I have a friend who'd let me crash with her and she's a regular there. But it might conflict with other plans just then.

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Re: CHESS The Musical

Post  operafantomet on Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:02 am

I adore Chess! One of my all-time favourites. Why?

Because I dig the score. I am in fact crazy about the score. Some fantastic solo numbers, but also very strong chorus parts. Not to mention the lyrics. Tim Rice at his finest.

Apart from all this love, the storyline is and has always been a mess. They want too much, but don't manage to pull it all together. You don't really feel the characters either. Much of this was tightened up in the recent Stockholm production. A much tighter story telling, which I quite liked. Still not perfect, but definitely the best attempt so far.

As for cast albums, I have the original London/concept CD with Körberg/Paige, the Broadway cast with Carroll/Kuhn, the Danish tour CD with Rossen/Kershaw, and of course the Swedish cast album with Körberg/Sjöholm.

I love them all, as they have different benefits. The 1984 original concept CD has a cool cast and an original sound, I'm always a fan of that. Elaine Paige is also awesome. Yes, she's a bit 2cool4school in her approach, but she is a great Florence. The 2002 Swedish one is a favourite of mine because of the leads (Tommy Körberg, Helen Sjöholm and Anders Ekborg is a fantastic team) and of the orchestrations, and it's also lovely to hear the songs in Swedish. My least favourite is probably the 1988 Broadway cast - but that is not to say I don't like it. I just think it's a bit stale compared to the others, and it's also only a one-disc release. But seeing how the musical crashed on Broadway, I'm happy a CD was made at all.

My favourite is still the 2001 "Danish" one (they sing in English). The music sounds very up-to-date and fresh, and again the cast is wonderful. It's also probably the most complete CD ever released. I bought the very first edition, which had some songs that was later cut because of copyright issues. Instead they inserted a god-awful funked up "One Night in Bangkok" as a bonus track. Horror! But to me this is the Chess CD to own if you don't have any or want to expand your collection.

Oh, and I also have the 1994 studio cast album with Glyn Kerslake (?) and Claire Moore. What an oddity. The leaflet doesn't give any names of the performers, but Claire Moore is easy to identify, and she is excellent as always. She seems to mimick Elaine Paige a bit, though. The orchestra isn't the best, and it is a highlight CD, but it's definitely worth having.

Any comments on other CDs? 1994 Gothenburg concert? 2008 Royal Albert Hall CD?

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Re: CHESS The Musical

Post  meglett on Sun Feb 28, 2010 5:44 pm

I have both the DVD and the CD of the 2008 "Royal Albert Hall concert" version. Chorus is just GORGEOUS! I guess it would if you had a few 100 people in your chorus too. All the lead actors did wonderfully. Orchestrations are full and powerful. All the solo numbers are what they should be in power and beauty. I love the huge chorus sound in Anthem. It made me cry when I first heard it. In the beginning of the show, Tim Rice, comes out and says that they think they finally got it right and I would have to agree that it was tightened up quite nicely.

Some of the cast members here LOVE this show and got me hooked on it. In fact, I'm listening to it right now (between songs from "Beatles Go Baroque" lol!). Very Happy

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Re: CHESS The Musical

Post  operafantomet on Sun Feb 28, 2010 6:36 pm

I'm proud of whoever that made you addicted... Very Happy

I crave for a new Chess recording, and I've long been curious about the already-mentioned CD and the Gothenburg one. I'll seek out that Royal Albert Hall CD now, it sounds lovely.

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Re: CHESS The Musical

Post  ML6 on Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:19 pm

Where as I am a Chess newbie, I do not approve of the casting of Idina Menzel as Florence. I think that is the the entire downfall of the concert. Why her? She isn't a strong vocalist and she screams/screaches the "Nobody's Side" to the point where I don't sympathize with her but find her a very stupid b!tch. I'd recommend the Royal Albert Hall concert, but not for her. But for Josh Groban and Adam Pascal and the superb supporting cast.

Other than that, I love the concept/London recording with Elaine Paige and Murray Head. His version of Pity the Child is great. I mean, totally amazing.

I wish, however, I could get ahold of the DVD to watch it again. The storyline is still so confusing to me. Otherwise, I love the songs. Wonderful lyrics, as said by Operafantomet, by Tim Rice.

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Re: CHESS The Musical

Post  Madame Giry on Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:13 am

I only own the old Concept album but man I love it so much. The score and lyrics are amazing. Chess is ranked pretty well up there with Phantom on the strength of its music, as far as I'm concerned. I've been debating whether or not to get the 2008 album, mostly because I remember not being able to afford the time and money to go up to New York when Groban did the charity gala Chess concert.

And it entertains me to no end when 'One Night in Bangkok' plays on local radio stations. Very Happy

~Madame~

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Re: CHESS The Musical

Post  operafantomet on Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:00 am

The "Danish" CD is currently on eBay in its uncut version:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ABBA-RARE-Danish-CHESS-2set-CD-UNRELEASED-SONGS-SEALED_W0QQitemZ170452029030QQcmdZViewItemQQptZMusic_CDs?hash=item27afbb8e66#ht_2780wt_1139

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Re: CHESS The Musical

Post  ladygodiva on Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:25 pm

I was going thru my old vhs stuff on musicals and I found a delightful gem

Chess Moves, 1985 with the Music Videos of One Night in Bankok,with Murray Head, I know him so well,With Eliane Paige and Barbara Dickenson, the Arbiter, Nobody's side with Elaine Paige, and the powerful Pity the Child, with Murray Head, and it also has Tim Rice introducing the videos,

One thing it only had one version of the One Night in Bankok video, at the time there was a European video that was only shown in Europe, and then there was a really cool dance video of it.


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Re: CHESS The Musical

Post  MlleMusique on Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:09 pm

ML6, I too am a newcomer to 'Chess', but if you like everything about the Royal Albert Hall concert except Idina Menzel, I HIGHLY recommend you listen to the Actors' Fund Broadway concert from 2003 with Julia Murney in the role of Florence. She sings the living daylights out of 'Nobody's Side' and I can't imagine anyone doing it better, actually. The concert also had Josh Groban and Adam Pascal in their respective roles, and Sutton Foster as Svetlana.

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Re: CHESS The Musical

Post  ML6 on Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:46 am

MlleMusique wrote:ML6, I too am a newcomer to 'Chess', but if you like everything about the Royal Albert Hall concert except Idina Menzel, I HIGHLY recommend you listen to the Actors' Fund Broadway concert from 2003 with Julia Murney in the role of Florence. She sings the living daylights out of 'Nobody's Side' and I can't imagine anyone doing it better, actually. The concert also had Josh Groban and Adam Pascal in their respective roles, and Sutton Foster as Svetlana.

I've listened to that! IT WAS PERFECTION. Smile

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Re: CHESS The Musical

Post  ladygodiva on Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:42 am

more interesting videos,

the producers on Broadway used to send out video reviewers reels, usually such as the reviewers reels would have anywhere from 30 seconds to one or two minutes of a few featured numbers. of Chess it showed

Pity the Child with Philip Casnoff, and One Night in Bankok with Philip Casnoff, Anthem with David Carroll, I know him so well with Judy Kuhn. the Endgame with Casnoff and Carroll, Someone Elses Story with Judy Kuhn




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Re: CHESS The Musical

Post  operafantomet on Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:07 pm

Cause I'm into lists...

My favourite Chess cast albums (concerts not included):

1. Chess på svenska (2002, Stockholm production with Körberg, Sjöholm and Ekborg)
2. Chess Danish tour versions (2001, in English, with Rossen, Kershaw and Varla)
3. Original concept album (1984, more or less a London cast album, with Körberg, Paige and Head)
4. Studio cast album (1994, with Bickley, Moore and Kerslake)
5. Broadway Cast Album (1988, highlight CD only, with Carroll, Kuhn and Casnoff)

Technically I think the Broadway album is of better quality than the studio one, but the former just never clicked with me. Both have fantastic performers, but compared to the others they're only highlight CDs and therefore less interesting... at least to me. I rate the Swedish, "Danish" and original ones more or less the same, they're all great. But the Stockholm production is the one with the best libretto, I think, which is why it's my no. 1.

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Re: CHESS The Musical

Post  Scorp on Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:32 am

I went back to my hometown a few days ago, only to find that Chess is going to be playing here this coming week as part of the UK tour. It's the actor-muso version directed by Craig Revel Horwood, and a former Phantom, James Graeme, is part of the cast.

Wondering whether to go... I have been meaning to get into Chess for ages; I don't know much about it besides its troubled history and everyone in the UK knows the song 'I Know Him So Well', but I've always been intrigued by it. I keep trying to listen to the concept album but seem to fail to get into it. Which is odd, as technically it should be the sort of thing I'd love.


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Re: CHESS The Musical

Post  Helen on Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:51 pm

I saw that production when it was in Edinburgh last year, Scorp. I enjoyed it, I thought the staging was fantastic. I'd never seen an actor-muso show before, so that took a bit of getting used to. I knew a few songs from it before I went, but not much else. James Graeme was really great in it, although his role isn't that big. I'd quite like to see it again.

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Re: CHESS The Musical

Post  ML6 on Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:46 pm

Scorp wrote:I went back to my hometown a few days ago, only to find that Chess is going to be playing here this coming week as part of the UK tour. It's the actor-muso version directed by Craig Revel Horwood, and a former Phantom, James Graeme, is part of the cast.

Wondering whether to go... I have been meaning to get into Chess for ages; I don't know much about it besides its troubled history and everyone in the UK knows the song 'I Know Him So Well', but I've always been intrigued by it. I keep trying to listen to the concept album but seem to fail to get into it. Which is odd, as technically it should be the sort of thing I'd love.


GO. GO. GO!

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Re: CHESS The Musical

Post  ladygodiva on Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:52 pm

ML6 wrote:
Scorp wrote:I went back to my hometown a few days ago, only to find that Chess is going to be playing here this coming week as part of the UK tour. It's the actor-muso version directed by Craig Revel Horwood, and a former Phantom, James Graeme, is part of the cast.

Wondering whether to go... I have been meaning to get into Chess for ages; I don't know much about it besides its troubled history and everyone in the UK knows the song 'I Know Him So Well', but I've always been intrigued by it. I keep trying to listen to the concept album but seem to fail to get into it. Which is odd, as technically it should be the sort of thing I'd love.


GO. GO. GO!

Yes, I second it go, go to it, I loved it, I actually have the orignal concept album with Murry Head and Elasine Paige on the actual Vinyl album, I give a listen at least once a year

I have also heard the Stockholm production, also great,

there used to be a chess website, I can't find it and there used to be a website that would give a synopsis of about every musical and a review I will try to find the latter

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Re: CHESS The Musical

Post  operafantomet on Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:57 am

Apparently there's a new Chess production happening in Denmark. The cast is brand new compared to last time, and mostly Scandinavian. Musical star Maria Lucia (Eponine, Elphaba etc) stars as Florence, while Swedish Jonas Malmsjö stars as Freddie.

The production is to tour Denmark, but the premiere is at Aarhus Teater. Opening night is March 30. 2012, and they play until May sometime, before hitting the road. I assume they're singing in Danish, seeing Aarhus Teater is the producer.

http://www.aarhusteater.dk/chess.asp

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Re: CHESS The Musical

Post  PridePhan on Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:30 pm

The Gothenburg Opera will set up Chess for 2012.
I think it will open up in september

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