By Andrew Gans
and Kenneth Jones
10 Aug 2010
|Photo by Scott Suchman|
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. Opening night is scheduled for Aug. 29.
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.
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 (James Joyce's The Dead), "the 1984 cult musical of Cold War competition in love and chess is being given its first major U.S. production since 1993 (when Paper Mill Playhouse staged it) and is the very first professional Washington-area production," according to Signature.
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: "In the musical 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.