The Tony Award-winning Signature's late-summer staging of the 1984 musical (with music by Mamma Mia! composers Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, lyrics by Evita and Lion King lyricist Tim Rice, and book by playwright Richard Nelson) stars Jill Paice (Curtains, The 39 Steps), Euan Morton (Taboo, Sondheim on Sondheim) and Jeremy Kushnier (Footloose, Rent) as Florence, Anatoly and Freddie, respectively. Performances began Aug. 10.
Artistic director Eric Schaeffer (Million Dollar Quartet) directs the production, which runs at Signature's 276-seat MAX Theatre in Arlington, VA, through Sept. 26. Signature bills this as the show's first major American resident revival since 1992, when Paper Mill Playhouse produced the title. This is the first professional Washington, DC-area production.
The cast also features Eleasha Gamble (Svetlana), along with Christopher Bloch (Molokov), Russell Sunday (Walter) and Chris Sizemore (Arbiter). The ensemble includes Jonathan Atkinson, Jamie Eacker, James Gardiner, Gregory Maheu, Katie McManus, Christopher Mueller, Bayla Whitten and Rachel Zampelli.
The new production features music direction and new orchestrations by David Holcenberg (Mamma Mia!). The creative team includes Karma Camp (choreography), Daniel Conway (sets), Chris Lee (lights), Kathleen Geldard (costumes), Matt Rowe (sound) and Aaron Fisher (projection design). Here's how Signature bills the musical drama: "Two great chess masters — one American, one Russian — compete to be the best in the world only to find that their greatest contest is for the love of the same woman. Amidst political intrigue and international conspiracies, the American Freddie and the Russian Anatoly fight to take the queen in a romantic triangle that mirrors the heightened passions of the Cold War. Originally produced on Broadway in 1988, this Tony-nominated cult rock musical explores the classic themes of love, loss and betrayal."
Chess includes the hit single "One Night in Bangkok," and "Anthem," "I Know Him So Well," "Nobody's Side" and "Pity the Child."
For tickets and information call (703) 820-9771 or visit www.signature-theatre.org.