The Musical CHESS Opens This July At Lakewood Theatre Compan

The Musical CHESS Opens This July At Lakewood Theatre CompanLakewood Theatre Company opens its 66th season with international intrigue, super-power politics and romance in the musical rock opera Chess. The show begins July 6 and continuing through August 12, 2018 on the Headlee Mainstage at Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S. State Street in Lake Oswego.

Performances are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 7:30 PM, two Wednesday performances at 7:30 PM (July 25, August 8), Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM (July 8, 15, 29, August 5, and 12) and Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM (July 22 and August 5). Ticket prices are $39/adults and $37/seniors. Other discounts are available for students and groups. For additional information and tickets, call the Lakewood Box Office at (503) 635-3901 or order online at

The production sponsor for Chess is the Lakewood Center Associates and the directorial sponsor is Jack's Overhead Door.

Special note: On Wednesday, July 25 and August 8, the theatre continues its program called Wine on Wednesday (WOW). For people ages 25-35, tickets are priced at $25 each. On July 25, one hour prior to the performance, there will be a complimentary wine tasting hosted by World Class Wines. On August 8 one hour before performance there will be complimentary vodka tasting hosted by Trail Distilling. Come enjoy WOW paired with discounted show tickets. OLCC rules apply!

Directed by John Oules, Chess is a musical love story set against the colorful pageantry of a world chess championship. The plot revolves around the battle of an American (Norman Wilson) and a Russian (Kurt Raimer) for the world chess title and for the American woman (Courtney Freed) both men want.

The music for Chess is by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, former members of the rock group ABBA. Lyrics are by Tim Rice (Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita) and the book is by Richard Nelson (James Joyce's The Dead).

About the Play: Chess was first conceived as a concept record album in 1984. The show opened in London's West End in 1986 and its American Broadway debut was in 1988. Chess is set against the background of the Cold War in the late 1970s/early 1980s, during which superpowers attempt to manipulate an international chess championship for political ends. Does this sound eerily familiar? Chess is a cynical, hard-edged piece of work made even more relevant by current geopolitical events.

The story centers around two chess warriors, the American world champion Freddie Trumper (Norman Wilson), and the Russian challenger Anatoly Sergievsky (Kurt Raimer), who meet in Bangkok to conduct a tournament for the world title. Although the story is set at a time when the Cold War is giving way to political openness, the tournament soon becomes a battleground for rival East-West ideologies closely monitored by a character known as The Arbiter (Matt Brown). The tournament also serves as an amorous battlefield as Florence (Courtney Freed), Freddie's lover and second, falls in love with the Russian champion. Ensuing scenes throw up a double betrayal, a defection, and attempted blackmail as sport, love and politics become a function of mercenary gamesmanship.

The ancient game of chess becomes a metaphor for romantic rivalries, competitive gamesmanship, super power politics and international intrigues. From Tyrol to Thailand the players, lovers, politicians, CIA and KGB make their moves to the pulse of this monumental rock score. Several numbers, including "One Night in Bangkok" and "I Know Him So Well," are international hits.

The cast also includes: Bobby Jackson, Megan Misslin, Doug Zimmerman, Joey Côté, Addie Contreras, Nora Dill, Eve Graves, Mike Borgstrom, Justin Canfield, Louise Chambers, Terra Hill, Jared Lingle, Cassandra Pangelinan, Kylie Jenifer Rose, Sam Schultz, Jarred Sheffield, and Sydney Valaer.

Stage direction for LTC's production of Chess is by John Oules. Music direction is by Darcy White and the assistant director is Matt Pavik. Scenic design is by Dan Meeker, lighting design is by Mark LaPierre, sound design is by Marcus Storey, properties are by Lexi Morsch, choreography is by Laura Hiszczynskyj, and costume design is by Patricia J. Rohrbach. The stage manager is Zach Peak, assistant stage manager is Meg Slaughter and the producer is Steve Knox.

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