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Would an Actor/Musician production of Chess work? 
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Off-Broadway Lead
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Hmm. I think a Brechtian Chess that swaps between the Broadway and London scripts, with the Arbiter walking across stage with signs announcing this fact, would be a pretty interesting way of doing the show. Especially if it broke down during "Endgame" and devolved into a shouting match with Svetlana, Freddie and Anatoly musically yelling at each other.

But the "actors playing instruments" idea still sucks.

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Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:12 pm
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Young Hoofer
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I think it could and will work.

In my mind I don't imagine the leads with instruments (although I know this is I think what has been done before) but I can see it working if all around the leads there are 'characters' playing instruments, in a way almost like the instrument players are the chess pieces on the chess board and the lead characters, although part of the chess world, are not quite 'in' the game (at least not always) they try to get on with their lives outside of the game and maybe at times they are almost forced to come back into the game (onto the board) by the musicians.

It's a bit difficult to explain in just a few words, but I see the stage being really quite 'busy' at times with the musicians (chess pieces) etc and this would represent the crazy, manic world of chess, then at other times their would be moments when it's really only the leads in more intimate and poignant moments. I think this could work really well, with brilliant blocking of the performers etc.

I am really looking forward to seeing this new production. Even if it doesn't work out, it will be another interesting stage in the history of this endlessly fascinating show :o)

RJS Chess
www.RJSCreativeAdventures.Com


Sun Mar 28, 2010 5:04 pm
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Fresh Face
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Post Re: Would an Actor/Musician production of Chess work?
I understand that the actor musician concept might not be everyone's cup of tea, but personally i think its a very exciting and forward thinking concept, and one that in these hard financial times makes perfect sense. i think to write it off as a gimmick is not giving credit where credit is due. I have seen the tour off chess and it was prefectly constructed and it was a real joy watch the amount of skill and passion the cast have.
There is a new actor musician version of Assassins coming to the unicorn theatre this month, and i for one cannot wait to see it.


Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:26 am
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Broadway Legend
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Post Re:
Cadriel wrote:
Hmm. I think a Brechtian Chess that swaps between the Broadway and London scripts, with the Arbiter walking across stage with signs announcing this fact, would be a pretty interesting way of doing the show. Especially if it broke down during "Endgame" and devolved into a shouting match with Svetlana, Freddie and Anatoly musically yelling at each other.


But which scenes from each version would you use in this production situation? I'm intrigued.

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Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:35 pm
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Broadway Legend
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Post Re: Would an Actor/Musician production of Chess work?
The Actor / Musician approach worked brilliantly! I saw the show in Woking yesterday. It was better than the three other Chess productions I have seen; Royal Albert Hall Concert, Norwegian Premiere and Swedish Premiere. It made the entire piece more abstract which was very fitting, especially with the lighting, costumes and the scenic design. I thoroughly loved this production!

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Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:07 pm
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Post Re: Would an Actor/Musician production of Chess work?
^ Ah, you saw it in Woking? I'll be seeing it there on Saturday; glad to know you thought so highly of it.

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Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:39 am
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Post Re: Would an Actor/Musician production of Chess work?
From what I have heard about this production, the ENSEMBLE, not so much the leads, are the musicians. Freddie plays guitar at one point, but I heard that mainly the ensemble/musicians moved fluidly through the show at all times leaving the lead characters to interact naturally.

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Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:56 pm
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Post Re: Would an Actor/Musician production of Chess work?
Right, I saw the touring production on Saturday and it was phenomenal. Yes, it is the ensemble who perform in an actor/musician capacity while the leads only occasionally use instruments, interacting naturally for the most part of the show. The abstract interpretation of the ensemble was made especially interesting by the manner in which each member represented a chess piece.

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Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:40 pm
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Fresh Face
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Post Re: Would an Actor/Musician production of Chess work?
I saw the tour last Saturday and mainly enjoyed it (and have a few thoughts in my blog - hit the www button below) but like someone mentioned before the leads don't really play instruments that much, although Freddie does in Bangkok and Pity the Child (guitars), but it is such a big score to sing especially for the leads it is easy to understand why. Drums where backstage and a keyboard played by the MD was backstage as well. But a really good version of a great show.

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Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:21 pm
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Post Re: Would an Actor/Musician production of Chess work?
THAT'S the way to do it with most shows, I think. Let the leads be the leads and don't make them play instruments except for at suitable moments of limited interaction, but have an ensemble of actor/musician/dancers.

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I could lock up a platoon,
I'll be strapping up an inmate,
Very tightly, very soon.
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In my sordid saloon..."


Thu May 12, 2011 5:10 pm
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Fresh Face
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Post Re: Would an Actor/Musician production of Chess work?
why do it. i HATE that gimmick... John Doyle should be shot.


Sat Aug 24, 2013 1:19 pm
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