Great Performances: Season 37, Episode 19

Chess in Concert (17 Jun. 2009)

TV Episode  -   -  Biography | Drama | Music
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Reviews: 10 user | 2 critic

Chess In Concert: Chess In Concert



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Title: Chess in Concert (17 Jun 2009)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Anatoly Sergievsky
Kerry Ellis ...
Marti Pellow ...
Grant Anthony ...
Christopher Colley ...
The Chess in Concert Company
Tiffany Graves ...
The Chess in Concert Company
Leila Benn Harris ...
The Chess in Concert Company
David Michael Johnson ...
The Chess in Concert Company
Christian Lund ...
Leonid Viigand
Aoife Mulholland ...


Chess In Concert: Chess In Concert

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17 June 2009 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Alexander Molokov: [singing] Bit by bit the pieces fit, the Soviet Machine advances, not one move that won't improve our nations' chances. We predict a stunning victory, both on the board and off it, this will show the traitor no one rats with profit!
See more »


Version of Chess Moves (1985) See more »


I Know Him So Well
Music by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Performed by Idina Menzel and Kerry Ellis
See more »

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User Reviews

Outdated show but brilliantly performed
3 January 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A show which pits the US against the USSR obviously means less now than it used to, and that is perhaps the weakness of this musical - however, the lyrics of Tim Rice and music by Bjorn and Benny from ABBA are still excellent, and that is its biggest strength.

Filmed live at the Royal Albert Hall, London, in May 2008, this concert version of Chess presents a largely American cast to fill the difficult singing roles. Adam Pascal as Freddie and Idina Menkel as Florence are probably best known for their appearance in Jonathan Larson's Rent; Josh Groban is a pop-opera singer and here plays Anatoly, while Kerry Ellis from Wicked is Svetlana. Rounding out the cast are Clarke Peters as a TV anchorman with an agenda, David Bedella as Anatoly's KGB second, and Marti Pellow of Wet Wet Wet as the Arbiter.

Is the music good? Definitely. Are the roles performed well? Yes, although Idina Menkel isn't really my taste, too shrill and too much face-pulling. Groban and Pascal are a revelation in their respective roles - although they will not displace memories of Tommy Korberg and Murray Head from the 1984 concept album of the show.

Semi-staged with modern dance routines and some lively singing from the choir, this version of Chess should please fans old and new, or anyone who loves musicals.

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