U.S. TOUR
Opened 9 January 1990 at the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts, Miami Beach, Florida. Closed 13 May 1990 (limited run)

TOM MALLOW
in association with
WILLIAM H. KESSLER, JR. - MICHAEL M. WEATHERLY - ROBERT R. LARSEN present

CHESS

a new musical
music by BENNY ANDERSSON - BJÖRN ULVAEUS
lyrics by TIM RICE
based on an idea by TIM RICE
Book for Broadway Production by RICHARD NELSON

Book Revised for this Production by ROBERT COE
Original Broadway Production Directed by TREVOR NUNN
A New Production Directed by DES McANUFF
Original Broadway Production Produced by THE SHUBERT ORGANIZATION - 3 KNIGHTS LTD. - ROBERT FOX LTD.
Tour Direction by AMERICAN THEATRE PRODUCTIONS, INC.
Produced in Association with PACE THEATRICAL GROUP

Cast

FLORENCE..................Carolee Carmello
FREDDIE...................Stephen Bogardus
ANATOLY...................John Herrera
WALTER....................Gregory Jbara
SVETLANA..................Barbara Walsh
ARBITER...................Ken Ard
MOLOKOV...................David Hurst
The Company - Edward Connery, Dina Dailey, Valerie Depena, Justine DiCostanzo, Tom Flynn, Timm Fujii, Philip Hernandez, Kim Lindsay, Pat Moya, Brenda O'Brien, Steve Ochoa, Thomas James O'Leary, Tom Rocco, Carol Denise Smith, Larry Solowitz, Vernon Spencer, Nephi Jay Wimmer, Susan Wood, Michael Gerhart, Malinda Shaffer

Choreographed by Peter Anastos
Additional Choreography by Wayne Cilento
Scenic Design by David Mitchell
Costume Design by Susan Hilferty
Lighting Design by Ken Billington
Sound Design by Gary Stocker
Musical Supervision by Steven Margoshes
Orchestration and Arrangement by Anders Eljas
Musical Director Johnny Bowden
Musical Consultant Paul Bogaev
Additional Orchestrations Danny Troob
Casting By Julie Mossberg & Brian Chavanne
Hair and Make-Up Designed by Brent Dillon
Executive Producer George MacPherson
Production Stage Manager Mark S. Krause


Synopsis

ACT ONE
The show opens with the "Story of Chess," led by the Arbiter on a full-stage underlit chessboard with the chorus moving giant pieces. The story begins in a stylized Bangkok hotel lobby. Freddie's entrance is introduced by press commentary from a 16-set vidiwall and he announces he's going to go head-to-head with a chess-playing computer. The meeting in the Arbiter's chambers and his song have been reinstated from London, but "U.S. vs U.S.S.R." and the "Merchandiser's Song" are gone. Freddie's tantrum over the "coded" yogurt, Florence's fight with Freddie, and romance with Anatoly proceed as in the Nelson version, though Florence is much more upset about Freddie catching her kissing his rival. She follows him and apologizes for betraying his trust. Anatoly doesn't defect, per se; he seeks immigrant status primarily to keep Florence from leaving Bangkok. He says he loves her; she's not sure. The press wants to know if he's denouncing perestroika and he answers with "Anthem."

ACT TWO
The second act is continuous action from the first act. Florence pounds on Freddie's door to apologize again. But he's missing, out on the seedy streets of the city ("One Night in Bangkok"). He's badly beaten up before he's found by Walter. A week passes and Florence is both regretful of hurting Freddie and anxious to please Anatoly. She and Anatoly are being followed and spied upon; they don't know by whom. Svetlana arrives and tries to bring Anatoly back to the marital and Soviet fold. Molokov tells Anatoly of all the disasters befalling his relatives in Russia since his "emigration." Anatoly becomes an emotional wreck. Florence, still seeking Freddie's blessing, begs him to help Anatoly by asking for another week off. He does, but the Arbiter won't go for it. When Anatoly complains of being given the run-around at the U.S. Embassy, Svetlana--veteran of long lines in Russia--is the one who comforts him. He is told that his nephew has been hurt and again, Svetlana shares his memories. Florence fears her relationship with Anatoly is the cause of his troubles and Anatoly vows to forfeit the match rather than give her up. Freddie convinces him not to. Anatoly plays and loses. Freddie disappears. Anatoly decides to go home, reconciles with Svetlana and says goodbye to Florence. Walter tells her that Molokov got him to make Anatoly's emigration and life hellish in exchange for a franchise to sell American chess products in the Soviet Union. Florence is furious and tells him to leave. His parting words are that Freddie is waiting outside and he still cares. She ends with "Someone Else's Story."

Commentary







1991, 2001 - Sylvia Stoddard