BWW TV: Broadway Cares L.A. 'Chess' Benefit

Director and producer Brian Michael Purcell helms the one-night only benefit performance of Chess along with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS on September 17th at the Ford Amphitheatre in Los Angeles.

The production had a rocky start, following the sudden death of its original director, and Los Angeles theatre staple, Jim Alexander, yet Purcell made a decision to push forward in getting this Tim Rice, Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus musical up and running, both for the memory of Alexander and to aide Broadway Cares.

Alexander was the former Producing Artistic Director of Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma. He received numerous awards and critical acclaim for his productions of West Side Story, Song and Dance, The Pirates of Penzance, A Chorus Line, Evita, Godspell, The World Goes 'Round, Man of La Mancha, An Inspector Calls, Always...Patsy Cline, Peter Pan, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Die Fledermaus, Guys and Dolls, Fiddler on The Roof and Jesus Christ Superstar. He had most recently directed Song and Dance: Tell Me on a Sunday, starring his wife, Cindy Robinson, which opened on February 24th, 2007 in The Deaf West Theatre in North Hollywood. He was also the Founder and CEO of The Quest Theatre Company.

Starring in this multimedia heavy presentation is Susan Egan (Beauty and the Beast, Cabaret), Kevin Earley (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Les Miserables), Cindy Robinson (Into The Woods, Peter Pan), Ty Taylor ("Rock Star: INXS," We Will Rock You), Thomas Griffith (The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas), Tom Schmid (Annie Get Your Gun) and Matthew Morrison (The Light in the Piazza, Hairspray).

BroadwayWorld's James Sims had a chance to catch up with the all-star cast and creative crew during rehearsals in Hollywood, getting the back story on this heartfelt tribute and rarely produced version of the rock musical, Chess.

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James Sims is the Senior Editor at Beyond his duties on this website, James also contributes as a featured blogger for the Huffington Post. (read more...)