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Chess West End transfer?

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Mark_E
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Chess West End transfer?#1
Posted: 2/8/11 at 1:13pm
Interestingly from the new Toronto season announcement, check the bottom of this:

September/October 2011 at the Princess of Wales Theatre

CHESS, THE MUSICAL
Music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Directed and Choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood

At the height of the Cold War, two great chess masters-an American and a Russian-meet in Bangkok to battle for the world championship... but their greatest contest is for the love of one woman.

Chess-the allegory of political intrigue and international conspiracy set to the brilliant music of ABBA's Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson (Mamma Mia!) and the lyrics of Tim Rice (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Evita and The Lion King) - features one of the greatest musical theatre scores of all time, with One Night in Bangkok, You and I, Pity the Child, Anthem, and I Know Him So Well. This all-new production of what the BBC has called a "number one essential musical" by acclaimed British director and choreographer Craig Revel Horwood (Martin Guerre, Sunset Boulevard) and featuring an all-star British cast, comes to Toronto directly from its sell-out tour of the UK, and just prior to its West End debut.
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MamasDoin'Fine
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Chess West End transfer?#2
Posted: 2/8/11 at 1:37pm
Its part of advertising!
9 out of 10 shows will put 'prior to' or 'direct from' as a means to get the publics attention and sell seats!
Oldest one in the book!
Didnt you know that one!?
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Mark_E
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Chess West End transfer?#2
Posted: 2/8/11 at 1:41pm
I know what you mean but wasn't the end aim to actually get the show to the west end.
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Chess West End transfer?#3
Posted: 2/8/11 at 1:48pm
I guess there's an audience for it- prob the same crowd as supported 'Sunset' on its West End run last year.
'I guess this 'Chess' would be cheaper than 'Sunset' to run- I didn't see it.

ANYWAYS_ enough of these naff actor/fiddle player shows, as good as they are- bring back the good old orchestra in the pit! The novelty has worn off!
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Chess West End transfer?#4
Posted: 2/8/11 at 2:52pm
I absolutely hated it. How many times can you be excited by people lying on their back playing the violin? Chess and the actor/ muso metaphor just have no connection. They would be silly to take it into London.
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Chess West End transfer?#5
Posted: 2/8/11 at 2:56pm
This production - with Craig's pure genius choreographic use of the instrumentalist "chess piece" ensemble - was absolutely stunning - and FAR better in every way than the original West End production. There was nothing "novelty factor" about it - it was unique, innovative and breathtaking. (But it won't be cheaper than "Sunset" to run - far bigger cast, set, etc.)

Chess is also a far better show than most of the shows currently playing the West End (one of the all-time great scores IMO). If this does not transfer to the West End, it will be criminal injustice. It's certainly a fantastic treat for Toronto theatre fans to get to see this.
THEATRE 2019: ASPECTS OF LOVE**** FRANKENSTEIN (Paris)**** AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE**** COMPANY***** [title of show]**** CAN CAN*** THE CEREAL CAFE**** BAD GIRLS**** RAGS***** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** FOLLIES***** ROMANCE ROMANCE**** THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES*** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** QUEEN OF THE MIST**** SIX** THE PRICE***** MAGGIE MAY **** CALENDAR GIRLS** MAN OF LA MANCHA**** WAITRESS***** FANNY AND STELLA***
Updated On: 2/8/11 at 02:56 PM
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Chess West End transfer?#6
Posted: 2/8/11 at 3:27pm
I have to say i loved it, and thats what i put in my review, it looked stunning, had great energy and a wonderful cast. I HATE actor/musician shows and was not looking forward to reviewing this when i got the nod from my editor to do so but it turned out to be a great night. The show itself still has problems though and i don't ever think they can be ever truly sorted out.
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
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Chess West End transfer?#7
Posted: 2/8/11 at 3:57pm
bob, in what way was it innovative? We have seen this concept so many times now.

I love the original score- Merano and all. I think nowadays, the only thing that could entice me back would be if someone found Michael Bennett's rehearsal notes and actually staged his concept!
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Chess West End transfer?#8
Posted: 2/8/11 at 4:38pm
Devonian, I don't think there's such a thing as an actor-muso "style". Every act-muso show I've seen has been totally different. And every actor-muso show I've seen has brought something new and fresh to the particular piece that made it uniquely different to other stagings.

In Chess, the way Craig used the musicians as the chess pieces, commenting on and interpreting the dramatic action, was utterly brilliant. Every movement was so perfectly observed. And it wasn't only the spectacle that was stunning. Because of his dramatic eye for detail, he enabled the actors to make the relationships between Florenz and both of her lovers more credible than I've ever found them before - basically he took a book that does not really work and made it work. And Florenz and Anatoly's final scene was both heartbreaking and so "right".

It was literally one of THE best pieces of musical theatre I've seen in years.

THEATRE 2019: ASPECTS OF LOVE**** FRANKENSTEIN (Paris)**** AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE**** COMPANY***** [title of show]**** CAN CAN*** THE CEREAL CAFE**** BAD GIRLS**** RAGS***** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** FOLLIES***** ROMANCE ROMANCE**** THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES*** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** QUEEN OF THE MIST**** SIX** THE PRICE***** MAGGIE MAY **** CALENDAR GIRLS** MAN OF LA MANCHA**** WAITRESS***** FANNY AND STELLA***
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Chess West End transfer?#9
Posted: 2/8/11 at 5:27pm
I must have been in a bad mood! However, I do think the actor-musician concept has to be accepted as a generic style- every time it is used, it does require the audience to take a specific leap and accept that the protagonists will also accompany the singing. And as a device, I think it is one that audiences will either find clever or irritating and inspired not by artistic vision but by budgetary constraint and compromise.
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Chess West End transfer?#10
Posted: 2/8/11 at 7:12pm
Hey Bob, for once I totally agree with you!

Although we have completely different opinions of "Love Never Dies" and "Women On The Verge..." I also thought that "Chess" on tour was brilliantly staged and wonderfully performed – the actor-muso argument doesn't enter into it, it was, quite simply, a fantastic piece of musical theatre.
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Chess West End transfer?#11
Posted: 2/8/11 at 7:28pm
Yay, Hotjohn! Finally great minds think alike! lol
THEATRE 2019: ASPECTS OF LOVE**** FRANKENSTEIN (Paris)**** AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE**** COMPANY***** [title of show]**** CAN CAN*** THE CEREAL CAFE**** BAD GIRLS**** RAGS***** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** FOLLIES***** ROMANCE ROMANCE**** THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES*** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** QUEEN OF THE MIST**** SIX** THE PRICE***** MAGGIE MAY **** CALENDAR GIRLS** MAN OF LA MANCHA**** WAITRESS***** FANNY AND STELLA***
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Chess West End transfer?#12
Posted: 2/9/11 at 4:20am
I always thought the aim was West End - it certainly is a professional enough production and very high spec to come in.

I liked the show a lot - but I thought some numbers were far to over sexed (Bangkok number) and some dodgy moves - random men doing the splits and leg lifting! Its lovely to see but relevant?!
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Chess West End transfer?#13
Posted: 2/9/11 at 5:13am
I'm with Bob too! Loved it, there was total precision in everything-every movement and costume piece and Craig's coreography really shone through. In that sense the actor/musican element worked with the production and the stylised nature of the piece, rather than say in 'Company' where it seemed(to me at least) a distraction from acting.

Would Chess benefit in sound from a full orchestra-of course-say what you will about the plot holes and some of the lyrics the music is stunning, for me though as it's so difficult to stage well I'd rather have less power behind the music and have the kind of production this was.
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Chess West End transfer?#14
Posted: 2/9/11 at 9:13am
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
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Chess West End transfer?#15
Posted: 2/9/11 at 9:27am
And here's my review of the Chess tour's stop-over in Cardiff last November.
Chess at the Cardiff New Theatre
THEATRE 2019: ASPECTS OF LOVE**** FRANKENSTEIN (Paris)**** AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE**** COMPANY***** [title of show]**** CAN CAN*** THE CEREAL CAFE**** BAD GIRLS**** RAGS***** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** FOLLIES***** ROMANCE ROMANCE**** THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES*** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** QUEEN OF THE MIST**** SIX** THE PRICE***** MAGGIE MAY **** CALENDAR GIRLS** MAN OF LA MANCHA**** WAITRESS***** FANNY AND STELLA***