Tim Rice eyes a CHESS revival?

Michael Riedel reports book-writer and lyricist Tim Rice would "like to bring the concert to Carnegie Hall later this year, and he hopes it might lead to a West End or Broadway revival" if all goes well.

Sir Tim RiceRice has been quoted: “Rather than set up a £20 million production, we want to see how it holds up at the Albert Hall before we move ahead for an incredibly expensive production in a theatre,” according to a previous article from WhatsOnStage.com… "It’s unlikely that the casting process for a new West End production of Chess would follow in the footsteps of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s searches for a Maria and a Joseph…. Rice remarked that, ‘If it was cast on television it would be called ‘I Want To Know Him So Well’ or ‘One Night In Shepherd’s Bush’. I don’t think so.’"

The 21st Anniversary concert of Chess The Musical will be presented at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Monday May 12 and Tuesday May 13, 2008. Chess features a book and lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, (formerly of ABBA).  Idina Menzel and Josh Groban are rumored to star in the production.

"The story 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," explains the Royal Albert Hall website, "Chess is a cult musical, which is hugely popular with musical theatre fans and the general public alike. It was voted in the All-Time Top Ten in a BBC Radio 2 listener poll of the United Kingdom’s ‘Number One Essential Musicals’ and features the chart successes One Night In Bangkok and I Know Him So Well."

Idina Menzel is most recognized for her Tony Award-winning performance as Elphaba in Broadway’s Wicked, and later reprised the role in the original London production.  She also originated the role of Maureen in the Broadway hit Rent (and later again in the film version).  She most recently starred in the Disney animated/live-action musical film Enchanted and is set to release her third solo album "I Stand," on January 29, 2008.

Josh Groban is a Grammy Award-nominated American singer/songwriter noted for his mature baritone voice and acclaimed albums and world-wide concert performances. His solo records include his self-titled debut CD (2001), followed by "Closer" (2003) and "Awake" (2006), plus his holiday album "Noel" (2007).  He has appeared in concert with Sarah Brightman, Charlotte Church, Barbra Streisand and the Actor’s Fund Benefit Concert of Chess in 2003.

Concert artists are to be announced on a later date.  Presented by Heartaches Ltd in association with JGPC and The Night of 1000 Voices.

Performances are Monday, May 12 at 8PM and Tuesday, May 13 at 8PM.  For tickets visit online Royal Albert Hall or call the Royal Albert Hall box office at 020 7589 8212.

Broadway World CHESS article

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