By Andrew Gans
29 May 2009
A three-disc Special Edition, which includes the two-CD set plus the DVD, will be available exclusively through Josh Groban's official website (www.joshgroban.com) and Idina Menzel's official website (www.idinamenzel.com). This Chess in Concert package includes a three disc set — two CDs and one DVD — featuring music and video from the May 2008 concert version of Chess at Royal Albert Hall; color booklet with cast photos and a synopsis written by Chess lyricist Tim Rice; sheet music for "Anthem" and "I Know Him So Well"; and an MP3 download of the two-CD audio content to be delivered June 16.
The concert of the Benny Anderson-Tim Rice-Björn Ulvaeus musical will air on PBS stations around the country beginning June 17 at 9 PM ET; check local listings. Chess in Concert was directed for telecast by David Horn and produced by Austin Shaw.
Chess in Concert boasted Tony Award winner Idina Menzel as Florence, Tony nominee Adam Pascal as Frederick Trumper with internationally acclaimed vocalist Josh Groban as Anatoly Sergievsky, London Wicked star Kerry Ellis as Svetlana, David Bedella as Molokov, Clarke Peters as Walter and Marti Pellow as The Arbiter. The ensemble included Grant Anthony, Christopher Colley, Tiffany Graves, Leila Benn Harris, David Michael Johnson, Debbie Kurup, Aoife Mulholland and Tabitha Webb.
The concert also featured the 50-piece City of London Philharmonic, led by David Firman, and the 100-voice West End Chorus.
Chess, according to press notes, "involves a romantic triangle between two players in a World Chess Championship, and the woman who manages one and falls in love with the other. Although the protagonists were not intended to represent any specific individuals, the characters' personalities are loosely based on those of Victor Korchnoi and Bobby Fischer."
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.