alphabetical author index

Chess

"One of the best rock score ever produced. This is an angry, difficult, demanding and rewarding show."

Time

  • Full Length Musical
  • Drama, Period

  • Time Period: 1950s, 1980s
  • Target Audience: Adult, Appropriate for all audiences
  • Set Requirements: Unit Set/Multiple Settings
  • Cautions: Mild Adult Themes

  • Performance Group:
  • Community Theatre, Professional Theatre
This highly acclaimed musical develops the ancient and distinguished game of chess into a metaphor for romantic rivalries and East-West political intrigue. 

The principal pawns form a love triangle: the loutish American Grandmaster, the earnest Russian champion, and the Hungarian-American female chess second, who arrives at the international championships with the American but falls for the Russian. 

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.

REVIEWS:

"One of the best rock scores ever produced. This is an angry, difficult, demanding and rewarding show."

Time

"Worth seeing."

The New York Post

Premiere Production: Chess premiered in London at the Prince Edward Theatre on May 14, 1986.
  • Casting: 9M, 2F, 1M or F
  • Casting Attributes: Ensemble cast, Flexible casting, Expandable casting
  • Chorus Size: Small

  • FLORENCE - strong belt voice (to E). Mid-thirties. Born in Hungary (so musn't look like an "All-American Girl"); has been brought up in America since 1956. She is clever, theatrical, touching, vivacious, volatile. Frederick's chess "second."
  • FREDDIE - Rock tenor (to C). Mid-thirties. An American chess champion. A cross between Bobby Fisher and John McEnroe. Arrogant and temperamental, but a genius; his chess playing revolutionary. We need to see his artistry along with his danger and his obsessiveness.
  • ANATOLY - Baritone (to G sharp). Early forties. A Russian chess champion. Unexpectedly charming. He doesn't seem a romantic hero at first, but becomes one through his personality. An intelligent, feeling, passionate man.
  • MOLOKOV - Bass (down to F sharp). Fifties. Not a fake, comic, stage Russian. Intellectually formidable. Seemingly a father figure to Florence. Anatoly's chess "second." An actor who sings well.
  • SVETLANA - strong belt voice. Late thirties. Anatoly's wife. Domestic, wholesome, homey. A dramatic contrast to Florence - not a contemporary cosmopolitan woman.
  • WALTER - Bass-Baritone (down to G sharp). Fifties. A marketing agent. Seemingly respectable, substantial, trustworthy. An actor who sings well.
  • ARBITER - rock high baritone (up to A). Thirty to early forties. International businessman. Smooth, but with a quick temper.
  • GREGORY VASSY
    YOUNG FLORENCE
    NIKOLAI
    JOE
    HAROLD
    ENSEMBLE
  • Name Price
    Libretto This is optional. Order Now

    This highly acclaimed musical develops the ancient and distinguished game of chess into a metaphor for romantic rivalries and East-West political intrigue.

    The principal pawns form a love triangle: the loutish American Grandmaster, the earnest Russian champion, and the Hungarian-American female chess second, who arrives at the international championships with the American but falls for the Russian.

    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.

    $24.95