By Andrew Gans:
According to the official Royal Albert Hall website, Broadway favorite Adam Pascal, who starred in the Actors Fund of America’s Chess benefit concert, will repeat his work as Frederick Trumper for London audiences, and British actress Kerry Ellis — of Wicked fame — will play Svetlana. Pascal and Ellis join the previously announced Idina Menzel and international recording artist Josh Groban, who will play, respectively, Florence and the Russian.
The concerts, scheduled for May 12 and 13 at the famed London venue, will be introduced by Chess co-creator Tim Rice. Show time is 8 PM.
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.
Adam Pascal made his theatrical debut as Roger in the original cast of Jonathan Larson’s Rent; for that performance, he received Theatre World and Obie awards as well as Tony and Drama Desk nominations. Pascal was also part of the final cast of Aida, playing the role he had created several years earlier, the ill-fated Radames. He also portrayed the Emcee in the now-closed revival of Cabaret. Pascal was a co-producer of the hit Off-Broadway play Fully Committed and appeared in the Actors’ Fund benefit concerts of Chess and Hair. Pascal’s two solo recordings, Civilian and Model Prisoner, are available on the Sh-K-Boom label.
Kerry Ellis, who succeeded Idina Menzel as Elphaba in the London production of Wicked, portrayed Fantine in Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre and Ellen in the national tour of Miss Saigon.
Idina Menzel won a Tony Award for Leading Actress in a Musical for her work as Elphaba in Wicked; she also opened the London production of that hit musical. Menzel created the role of Maureen in the original Broadway company of Rent, and her other theatrical credits include the City Center Encores! production of Hair, the Manhattan Theatre Club The Wild Party, the Public Theater’s See What I Wanna See and the benefit Funny Girl concert. Menzel’s film credits include Ask the Dust, Rent and Enchanted. Her new solo recording, I Stand, recently arrived in stores.
Josh Groban starred in the Actors Fund of America’s benefit concert of Chess. His numerous recordings include Awake, Closer, Josh Groban in Concert and Josh Groban Live at the Greek; his newest recording is titled Noël.
For ticket information visit royalalberthall.com.