Mar. 4 – 20, 2022
Appropriate for ages 13+
Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre
Mainstage Production of
CHESS THE MUSICAL
Book by Richard Nelson
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Music by Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson
CHESS is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals. www.concordtheatricals.com
Directed by Chris R. Chávez
Music Direction by Ken Goodenberger
Choreography by Ruby Wagner
In this musical, written as a metaphor for the Cold War and written by the men of the super-group ABBA, the ancient game of chess also becomes a metaphor for romantic rivalries, competitive gamesmanship, super-power politics, and international intrigue. The pawns in this drama form a love triangle: the loutish American chess star, the earnest Russian champion, and a Hungarian American female assistant who arrives at the international chess match in Bangkok with the American, but falls for the Russian. From Bangkok to Budapest the players, lovers, politicians and spies manipulate and are manipulated to the pulse of a monumental rock score.
The story involves a politically driven, Cold War-era chess tournament between two men—an American grandmaster and a Soviet grandmaster—and their fight over a woman who manages one and falls in love with the other. Although the protagonists were not intended to represent any real individuals, the character of the American grandmaster (named Freddie Trumper in the stage version) was loosely based on Bobby Fischer, while elements of the story may have been inspired by the chess careers of Russian grandmasters Viktor Korchnoi and Anatoly Karpov.