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Sizemore, Bloch, Sunday et al. Join Morton, Kushnier, Paice For CHESS At Signature Theatre 8/10-9/26

The Tony Award®-winning Signature Theatre today announced the full casting for its August/September 2010 production of the rock musical Chess headlined by Broadway's Jill Paice (Curtains, The 39 Steps), Euan Morton (Boy George in Taboo, Sondheim on Sondheim), and Jeremy Kushnier (Footloose, Rent) as Florence, Anatoly, and Freddie. Completing the cast is Eleasha Gamble (Svetlana), along with Christopher Bloch (Molokov), Russell Sunday (Walter) and Chris Sizemore (Arbiter). The ensemble includes Jonathan Atkinson, Jamie Eacker, James Gardiner, Gregory Maheu, Katie McManus, Christopher Mueller, Bayla Whitten, and Rachel Zampelli.

The new production will be directed by Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer (Million Dollar Quartet) with music direction and new orchestrations by David Holcenberg (Mamma Mia!). The creative team includes Karma Camp (choreography), Daniel Conway (sets), Chris Lee (lights), Kathleen Geldard (costumes), Matt Rowe (sound), and Aaron Fisher (projection design).

With music by Mamma Mia! composers Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, lyrics by Evita and Lion King lyricist Tim Rice, and book by award-winning playwright Richard Nelson, the 1984 cult musical of Cold War competition in love and chess is being given its first major American production since 1995 and is the very first professional Washington area production. Chess will be performed in the fabulous intimacy of the 276-seat MAX Theatre from August 10 - September 26, 2010.

Eric Schaeffer stated, "We've assembled a top-notch cast and design team to bring Chess to Washington. We're all looking forward to bringing this musical to life in this newly conceived production."

In Chess, two international chess masters-one American, one Russian-compete for the world championship only to find that their greatest contest is for the love of the same woman. Amidst political intrigue and international conspiracies, Freddie and Anatoly fight to take the queen in a romantic triangle that mirrors the heightened passions of the Cold War. Originally produced on Broadway in 1988, this Tony-nominated cult rock musical explores the classic themes of love, loss and betrayal. Chess features the hit single "One Night in Bangkok," and unforgettable songs as such "Anthem," "I Know Him So Well," "Nobody's Side," and "Pity the Child." Time Magazine called it "one of the best rock scores ever produced in the theater."

Chess is the first show of the 2010-2011 season which also includes Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard, Yasmina Reza's Tony Award-winning play Art, Side by Side by Sondheim, and the world premieres of Ken Ludwig's A Fox on the Fairway, Joe Calarco's Walter Cronkite Is Dead., and Joseph Thalken's musical Wheatley's Folly. Subscriptions for three or more productions are now on sale by calling Signature's Box Office at (703)

Recipient of the 2009 Regional Theatre Tony Award®, Signature Theatre is a non-profit professional theater company dedicated to producing contemporary musicals and plays, reinventing classic musicals, and developing new work. Under the leadership of co-founder and Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer and Managing Director Maggie Boland, Signature has presented 26 world premiere productions and is renowned for combining Broadway-quality productions with intimate playing spaces. In addition to the finest talent from the DC metropolitan area and New York, Signature has been a home to such theater luminaries as John Kander and Fred Ebb, Cameron Mackintosh, Terrence McNally, and the company's signature composer, Stephen Sondheim. Since its founding in 1989, Signature has been nominated for 276 Helen Hayes Awards for excellence in the professional theater and has been honored with 70 Helen Hayes Awards, including Outstanding Musical in 1992, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2009, and Outstanding Play in 1999.

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Photo Credit: Walter McBride/Retna Ltd.

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