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Arts and Entertainment

"CHESS: The Musical" Coming to the Ford Amphitheatre This Monday

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It is the best musical you’ve (probably) never heard of. It boasts music by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of ABBA, and lyrics by Tim Rice. Its rich songs fuse classical Broadway influences with sprinklings of disco. And it’s the only musical gutsy enough to include songs like “One Night in Bangkok” alongside the beautifully patriotic “Anthem.”

The musical is “CHESS,” which tells the story of Victor Korchnoi and Bobby Fischer-esque competitors in a heated race to beat each other and capture the heart of one woman. And this Monday, Sept. 17, Brian Purcell will direct a one-night-only performance of this musical at the Ford Amphitheatre. The cast includes Kevin Earley, Susan Egan, Thomas Griffith, Ty Taylor, Matthew Morrison, Cindy Robinson and Tom Shmid, all of whom will be backed by a 24-piece orchestra.

Part of the evening’s proceeds will be donated to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. To learn more, visit the event website. Tickets may be purchased through the Ford Amphitheatre website or by calling 323-461-3673.

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Excerpts the official press release:

The Story: The game of Chess is used as a metaphor for romantic rivalries and the US-Soviet rivalry during the Cold War. The main characters form a love triangle: the ill-mannered American Grandmaster, the intense Russian champion who plans on defecting to the West, and the Hungarian-American female chess second, who arrives at the international championships with the American but falls in love with the Russian. From Bangkok to Budapest, the players, lovers, politicians and spies all struggle to get the upper hand.

This edgy new multimedia production of CHESS will feature musical direction by Dan Redfeld (Little Women) and choreography by A.C. Ciulla (Footloose, Tony nomination) backed by a full a 24 piece orchestra.

The event under the Ford Amphitheatre night sky will star Tony-nominee Susan Egan (Beauty and the Beast, Cabaret, Triumph of Love), Kevin Earley (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Les Miserables), Ty Taylor (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Grease, We Will Rock You, Rock Star: INXS), Cindy Robinson (Into the Woods, Carousel, Peter Pan), Thomas Griffith (The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, 1776 at Hollywood Bowl), Tom Schmid (Annie Get Your Gun, The Last Empress) and Matthew Morrison (The Light in the Piazza, Hairspray tour, 10 Million Miles).

The show will be presented in honor of director and choreographer Jim Alexander, who passed away on May 25 of heart failure. This was his last production. Jim was also the founder and CEO of the Quest Theatre Company.

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