Taylor Replaces Kunze in Chess Benefit Concert; Ensemble and Choir Announced

News   Taylor Replaces Kunze in Chess Benefit Concert; Ensemble and Choir Announced Eric Kunze, who had been scheduled to play the American in the upcoming Chess benefit concert at Los Angeles' Ford Amphitheatre, has withdrawn due to a scheduling conflict.

That role will now be played by Ty Taylor, who is best known as the former guitarist and vocalist for the R&B group Dakota Moon. Taylor was also a contestant on the TV reality show "Rock Star: INXS," and he has also appeared in productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Grease and We Will Rock You.

The Sept. 17 concert will also feature the previously announced Susan Egan (as Svetlana), Kevin Earley (as Anatoly), Cindy Robinson (as Florence), Thomas Griffith (as Molokov), Tom Schmidt (as Walter) and Matthew Morrison (as the Arbiter). Show time is 8 PM.

The ensemble will feature Enrique Brown, Douglas Crawford, Hector Flores, Todd Fournier, Daniel Guzman, Paige Harman, Amber Krzys, Jeanine Meyers, Aleks Pevec, Paul Romero Jr., Casey Ross, Johanna Ross, Leah Seminario, Sandy Shimoda, Leslie Stevens, Troy Woodcroft and Erin Stoddard. The choir will comprise Julie Garnye, Sasha Alexander, Mike Atienza, James Below, Joanna Bool, Beverley Braybon, Kevin Carranza, David Grant, Christina Harding, Robyn Heller, Julia Lees-Smith, Chase Matthews, Gary Mortimer, Jennifer Murphy, Rende Rea Norman, Laura Swain and Duane Thomas.

Produced and directed by Brian Michael Purcell, the evening will pay tribute to director/choreographer Jim Alexander, who passed away May 25. The concert will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

The creative team will also include choreographer A.C. Ciulla, music director Dan Redfeld, stage manager/technical director Jamieson Price, coordinating producer/production manager Rochelle Fabb, set designer Jason Zamora, media designer Mark "Quin" Cabalquinto, lighting designer Samantha Hartzell and costume designer Vandy Scoates. "In this concert staging of the Broadway musical by Tim Rice," press notes state, "the game of chess is used as a metaphor for romantic rivalries and the U.S.-Soviet rivalry during the Cold War. The main characters form a love triangle: the ill-mannered American Grandmaster, the intense Russian champion who plans on defecting to the West, and the Hungarian-American female chess second, who arrives at the international championships with the American but falls in love with the Russian. From Bangkok to Budapest, the players, lovers, politicians and spies all struggle to get the upper hand."

The Benny Anderson-Tim Rice-Björn Ulvaeus musical Chess debuted on the London stage with a cast led by Elaine Paige, Tommy Körberg and Murray Head, while the short-lived Broadway company featured Judy Kuhn, Philip Casnoff and the late David Carroll. The score includes such tunes as "Nobody's Side," "One Night in Bangkok," "Anthem," "I Know Him So Well," "Pity the Child" and "You and I." The original Broadway cast recording was released on RCA Victor.

For tickets call (323) 461-3673 or visit www.fordtheatres.org.

The Ford Amphitheatre is located at 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East in Hollywood, CA.

For more information go to www.themusicalchess.com.