CHESS In Concert on TV news

Chess in Concert, the two-night, star-studded event that was presented at London’s Royal Albert Hall May 12-13, will be aired on PBS stations across the country (US) in 2009.

The concert will air as part of the 2008-2009 Thirteen/WNET NY’s "Great Performances" season. A spokesperson for "Great Performances" told that the concert of the Benny Anderson-Tim Rice-Björn Ulvaeus musical will air in 2009. BBC-TV is also expected to broadcast the program.

Chess in Concert boasted Tony Award winner Idina Menzel as Florence, Tony nominee Adam Pascal as Frederick Trumper with internationally acclaimed vocalist Josh Groban as Anatoly Sergievsky, London Wicked star Kerry Ellis as Svetlana, David Bedella as Molokov, Clarke Peters as Walter and Marti Pellow as The Arbiter. The ensemble included Grant Anthony, Christopher Colley, Tiffany Graves, Leila Benn Harris, David Michael Johnson, Debbie Kurup, Aoife Mulholland and Tabitha Webb.

Hugh Wooldridge, who adapted the musical for the concert, directed; David Firman conducted the orchestra.

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.


  • This sounds like the kind of thing that PBS would show during their fundraising drives (during which time they’ve also shown "ABBA In Concert" and "Super Troupers", as well as some Webber/Rice specials). Why it’ll take this long to air is beyond me, but at least Tim Rice’s website is still reporting a 2008 release date for the DVD:

  • This is a werid marketing sytle? Release the DVD later this year and then show it on PBS a year later….never seen this one before.

  • Yeah – weird marketing indeed – or someone’s got their dates wrong (I suspect Tim’s crappy site).

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