Sir Tim Rice -- Chess

Production History

1984 Concept Album
1986 West End
1988 Broadway
2002 Sweden
2008 RAH Chess In Concert
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Music by Benny Andersson & Bjorn Ulvaeus


Isn't it strange the complications
People attach to situations

-- The Arbiter, The Deal



© Dewynters.

Opening Gambit

The idea for Chess had been around in Tim Rice's mind since 1979. The goal wasn't so much to write about a game of chess, but to show how the Cold War affected the lives of those it touched. At first he asked Andrew Lloyd Webber if he would be interested, but Andrew was busy with his own projects (namely Cats). Tim wrote a five page synopsis in 1980, but it was through Broadway producer Richard Vos in 1981 that the whole game really began. Vos had heard that Tim was looking for a composer for Chess, and he also knew that Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus were looking to branch out from ABBA. Tim met Benny and Bjorn in Sweden, with Richard Vos in attendance, on 15 December 1981. Although other subjects for musicals were discussed, it was the idea of Chess that the trio decided upon. When all four members of ABBA were in London celebrating their first 10 years on 5 November 1982, Benny and Bjorn made the announcement that they were working with Tim on Chess.
© Dewynters.

The first out-put of the collaboration was the concept album in 1984 -- still very popular today. The last recording session for the concept album took place on 28 September 1984. As Tim Rice told just about every journalist at the time, the beauty of putting out an album and then worrying about staging a show is that for an album all you have to be concerned about is how the singers sound and how the musicians play -- there's no connection with appearance, no sets, no directors, no theaters . . . In other words, a lot less red tape, and all the attention can be dedicated to what really is important : the work itself.

The album was produced by Tim Rice, Benny Andersson, and Bjorn Ulvaeus acting as "3 Knights Ltd". The recording was made in Sweden (Tim made about 41 trips to Stockholm) at Polar Studios where Benny and Bjorn had recorded for ABBA. The cast for the album contained both British and Swedish singers: Elaine Paige as Florence, Barbara Dickson as Svetlana (The Russian's wife), Tommy Korberg as The Russian, Murray Head as The American, and Bjorn Skifs as The Arbiter. A concert at the Barbican Hall on 27 October of 1984 coincided with the album's release as part of a Saab-Scania of Sweden sponsored five-city, six-day concert tour spanning London, Paris, Amsterdam, Hamburg, and Stockholm.
© Dewynters.

Two of the numbers did well in the charts. "One Night in Bangkok" (sung by Murray Head) made it to number 3 in the US and peaked at number 12 in the UK. It topped the charts in Australia, West Germany, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, South Africa, Denmark, Holland, Sweden, and Israel as well. In France, where Murray Head was known from earlier work, it became the fastest selling 12-inch single seen to that date. World-wide sales of "One Night in Bangkok" surpassed 3 million. The video was shown on MTV in the united states, and in Britain it won the award for the best British video of a male solo single in February 1985. "I Know Him So Well" (sung by Elaine Paige and Barbara Dickson) stayed at number one for four weeks in February and early March of 1985 on the UK charts. It was Tim Rice's second number one on the charts, eight years after "Don't Cry For Me Argentina". ("I Know Him So Well" was later recorded by Whitney Houston on her Whitney album as a duet with her mother Cissy.) In 1985 "I Know Him So Well" received yet another accolade when it was awarded an Ivor Novello award for Best Selling British Song. Both "One Night In Bangkok" and "I Know Him So Well" were performed on Top Of The Pops. The Chess album itself reached number 10 in the UK, staying on the charts for 16 weeks.

West End And Broadway

Chess had suddenly become surrounded by as much hype as the match it described contained. The Shuberts were rallying to stage Chess on Broadway, despite the fact that its creators preferred to open in the West End first. While theater arrangements were being made, the marketing began. An impressive video of some of the songs, entitled Chess Moves, was put together.
© Dewynters.

Several trips to New York City in the Spring 1985 resulted in Michael Bennet being signed on as director of the stage version of the show to open in the Fall. The album had already sold over 225,000 copies in Sweden, 200,000 in Germany, and was topping the charts in France and Belgium. Chess album sales in Europe surpassed the figures achieved by both Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita.

The theatre production was set for the Prince Edward Theatre (where Evita was finishing its run). The cast included the principals from the concept album with the exception of Siobhan McCarthy replacing Barbara Dickson (as she had coincidentally done previously with Evita). Before rehearsals had begun, the production was already way over budget, especially due to the high-tech equipment Michael Bennet wanted. At what seemed like the last minute, Bennet pulled out of the production because he was too ill to continue. Trevor Nunn was brought in to direct an already sold-out show three months before its opening. The resulting show was a hybrid, and was pronounced doomed before it even opened -- especially when previews were canceled for four days because of computer malfunctions.
© Dewynters.

But it did open -- on 14 May 1986 -- and ran for three years. The show was presented by Three Knights Ltd., The Shubert Organization, and Robert Fox Ltd.. Judy Craymer, who had coordinated many of the arrangements for Chess, was the executive producer. The production wound up costing about £4 million.

The next step was to take Chess to Broadway. There was discussion about Elaine Paige coming to the US, but ultimately the Broadway cast included none of the European stars. Chess was radically revised for Broadway. Trevor Nunn brought in playwright Richard Nelson to provide a book for the show; instead of being entirely sung-through as it had been in London, for New York it would be a play with songs. Among the new material added was "Someone Else's Story" which Tim Rice had written for Florence, but which had not appeared in London or on the concept album.
© Dewynters.

The show forced its way into the 1988 Tonys category by opening at the Imperial Theatre on 28 April 1988, with previews having started on the 4th. Presented by the Shubert Organization, it starred Judy Kuhn as Florence, David Carroll as Anatoly Sergievsky, Philip Casnoff as Frederick Trumper, Marcia Mitzman as Svetlana, Harry Goz as Molokov, Dennis Parlato as Walter and Paul Harman as the Arbiter. Originally the Broadway Chess was over three hours long. The reviews were largely unfavorable, and it closed on 25 June after only 68 performances despite audience approval and having had $4 million worth of advance bookings. A later concert featuring the Broadway cast at Carnegie Hall, however, was a huge success.

Moving On To Other Venues

Chess' popularity continues unscathed by Broadway's disappointment. The ever-popular original concept album was re-released in a slimmer CD case in the Fall of 1996. Since its run on Broadway, there have been many re-incarnations of Chess.

In 1990 the National Company staged the show under the direction of Des McAnuff. Working with playwright Robert Coe, a lot of Richard Nelson's material was cut, and material cut from London was reinstated.

In 1991 Casa Manana Musicals in Texas staged the show, and a spectacular production in Sydney by the MLC Theatre Royal Company was also mounted. Sydney had originally secured the Chess rights shortly after its London opening, but, due to various set-backs, it wasn't until July 1991 that the show hit the boards. Directed by Jim Sharman (Jesus Christ Superstar, London), the production starred Jodie Gillies as Florence, David McLeod as Freddie, Robbie Krupski as Anatoly, Maria Mercedes as Svetlana, Laurence Clifford as the Arbiter, John Wood as Molokov and David Whitney as Walter. Chess ran for six months. For the production, the plot was greatly altered, much of it coming from ideas Tim Rice had developed for Broadway that were never used. The show was now set in a post-Cold War world, with the entire story taking place over two weeks in Bangkok. Svetlana become a more developed character, first appearing in the beginning of Act One. In addition to new material, the order of many of the songs from previous Chess incarnations was switched around, and Svetlana was given "Someone Else's Story".

A year later, in 1992, Off-Broadway saw a version at the Masters Theatre. Tim Rice collaborated with the Artists' Perspective to revamp the show for Off-Broadway (while at the same time finishing up Aladdin with Disney). Among the major changes were setting the story to take place in 1972 (thus eliminating the problem the ending of the cold war had brought to a show that was supposed to take place in the "now"), and removing Richard Nelson's book making it all sung-through once again. The show was only scheduled for a limited run from 1 February to 23 February, with previews beginning 29 January. It starred Kathleen Rowe McAllen as Florence and J. Mark McVey as Anatoly.

In November of 1994 Tim Rice published a script which mirrored the original London production. Chess was staged at the Edinburgh Festival in August of 1994. In 1996, a Swedish concert cast recording was released with Karin Glenmark as Florence, Tommy Korberg as The Russian, Anders Glenmark as The American, and Lena Ericsson as Svetlana. Also in April - December 1996 there was a UK tour with Jacqui Scott as Florence, Bogdan Kominowski as Freddie Trumper (The American), Maurice Clarke as Anatoly (The Russian), and Julia Howson as Svetlana.

In 1992 Stewart Macpherson and Tricia Macpherson had mounted a production of Chess in New Zealand directed by Peter Walker with choreography by Jack Gunn and design by John Parker. Based on the London rather than Sydney production, the show featured both Murray Head and Tommy Korberg in their original concept album and West End roles as Freddie (The American) and Anatoly (The Russian). They were joined by New Zealander Delia Hannah who played Florence. In early 1997 Stewart Macpherson and Tricia Macpherson went on to stage another Chess production in Melbourne, Australia directed by Colin McColl with Jack Gunn and John Parker once more as choreographer and designer. After a preview week, the show opened on 19 February 1997 and ran until 15 March 1997. It featured Barbara Dickson as Florence, Daryl Braithwaite as Freddie, Derek Metzger as Anatoly, Delia Hannah as Svetlana, David Weatherley as Molokov, Tim Page as Walter, and Keith Wright as The Arbiter.

A new American chapter was added to the Chess saga in May 1998 with a New York City benefit Chess concert for Broadway Cares / Equity Fights Aids. Held on the consecutive Sundays of the 10th and 17th of May at the borrowed John Houseman Theatre, it was produced by Neil Berg (who also served as musical director) and Robert Evan. The script used was a compilation, despite the official credits reading like those of the Broadway production. A few sentences of witty narration were provided by Michael Cerveris, who also sang "The Story Of Chess". Freddie was played by Brian d'Arcy James on the 10th, and by Dave Clemmons on the 17th. Robert Evan sang the part of Anatoly, and Christiane Noll was Florence. Raymond Jaramillo McLeod played Molokov, and Danny Zolli was the Arbiter and also sang "One Night In Bangkok". Alice Ripley (King David) played Svetlana, and was given "Someone Else's Story" as well as "Heaven Help My Heart". A second Chess concert took place 10-12 August 2001 at the Helen Hayes Performing Arts Center in Nyack, New York. It featured Robert Evan as Anatoly, Brian D'Arcy James as Freddie, Lauren Kennedy as Florence, Guy Lemonnier as Molokov, Julia Murney as Svetlana, Danny Zolli as the Arbiter, and Norm Lewis (filling in at the last minute for Terrence Mann who had to withdraw due to a family emergency) provided the narration.
Each game of Chess...   © 2004 JJB.

A Danish tour of Chess was directed by Craig Revel Horwood in 2001. The cast featured Emma Kershaw as Florence Vassy, Stig Rossen as Anatoly Sergievsky, Zubin Varla (Jesus Christ Superstar) as Freddi Trumper, Gunilla Backman as Svetlana Sergievsky, Simon Clark as Alexander Molokov, Jame Graeme as Walter, and Michael Cormick as the Arbiter. This production re-created the 1986 London version of the show (although it did include "Someone Else's Story" in Act Two sung by Svetlana). A double CD cast recording was issued near the end of 2001. This two-disc version, which includes those 1986 London scenes (i.e. "Commie Newspapers", "Press Conference", "Der Kleine Franz", "Who'd Ever Think It", "Anatoly And The Press", "One More Opponent" & "Talking Chess"), is extremely rare as the legal rights for these tracks had never been obtained. Shortly after its release, the two-disc version of the cast album was pulled from the sheleves. It was replaced with a single-disc cast album, featuring only the "familar" Chess numbers.

© Dewynters.

Back To Sweden

In early November 1999, it was reported in Variety et al. that Tim Rice was planning to bring Chess back to Broadway again, this time during the 2000/2001 season. This new version of Chess would replace the several versions which have previously been available for staging in the United States. Before opening on Broadway, there would be an eight city, forty week tour. The new production would be set in 1984 and center around Anatoly. Many of the songs from London which never survived to Broadway would be included, and there would be a whole new song for Anatoly in Act One. As with later incarnations of Chess, "Someone Else's Story" would be given to Svetlana. However, plans for Broadway were then to be put on hold until after Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus staged a reworked concert version of Chess in Sweden.

Although Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus began contemplating reworking Chess in 1998, the revised Swedish theatrical production (rather than a concert) didn't occur until Febuary 2002. Direction and adaptation of the Swedish Chess was by Lars Rudolfsson, with Swedish text by Lars Rudolfsson, Jan Mark, and Bjorn Ulvaeus. The set was by Robin Wagner, costumes by Inger Elvira Pehrsson, choreography by Petter Jacobsson, lighting by Anders Rosenquist, and the music director was Anders Eljas. Playing at the Cirkus in Stockholm, it began on 23 February 2002. Tickets for the production went on sale 27 August 2001 at 9 am. The cast included Tommy Korberg as Anatoly, Helen Sjoholm as Florence, Anders Ekborg as Freddie, Josefin Nilsson as Svetlana, and Per Myrberg as Molokov.

The cast album for the Swedish Chess was recorded in May 2002. It was released on 28 October 2002, and by the next day had sold over 40,000 copies and gone gold. Additionally, a limited edition six CD single set, packaged in book form with production photographs, was released featuring "Jag Vill Se Schack (The Arbiter)", "Inte Jag (Someone Else's Story)", "I Mitt Hjartas Land (Anthem)", "Vem Ser Ett Barn (Pity The Child)", Svetlana's "Han Ar En Man, Han Ar Ett Bar", and Molokov's new song "Glom Mig Om Du Kan".

On 1 March 2003 it was announced that on the 16th, 20th, and 23rd of March the Swedish production of Chess would be filmed for Swedish television release in the autumn of 2004 and DVD release in October of 2003.

The Swedish production of Chess was nominated for seven 2002 Guldmask awards: Costumes (Inger Elvira Pehrsson), Scenery (Robin Wagner), Choreography (Petter Jacobsson & Thomas Caley), Leading Actress In A Musical (Helen Sjoholm), Leading Actor In A Musical (Tommy Korberg), Supporting Actor In A Musical (Anders Ekborg), Best Book (Lars Rudolfsson). At the 3 March 2003 ceremony, Chess turned five of those nominations into awards: costumes, scenery, choreography, leading actress, leading actor. A special award was given to Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulveaus in recognition of the success of the production.

The Swedish production of Chess reached its endgame on 15 June 2003.

America Plays Chess Again

The Actor's Fund of America chose Chess for its third annual benefit concert, held on 22 September 2003 at the New Amsterdam Theatre (where The Lion King was regularly being performed). The concert starred Adam Pascal as Freddie (who had just left the Broadway company of Aida), Julia Murney as Florence (who was originally cast as Svetlana - a part she had previously sung in the August 2001 concert - but was recast as Florence due to Lara Fabian's departure), Sutton Foster as Sevetlana (who joined the company when Lara Fabian withdrew due to scheduling conflicts), Josh Groban as Anatoly, Raul Esparza as the Arbiter, Norm Lewis as Molokov (who had provided narration at the August 2001 concert), and Jonathan Dokuchitz as Walter. The concert was directed by Peter Flynn, and Seth Rudetsky was the Artistic Producer / Musical Director. Tickets, which went on sale on Friday 25 April 2003, ranged from $100 to $2,500. By Monday 28 April 2003 ticket sales had reached over $100,000. The concert was attended by Tim Rice, Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus. The one night only event raised roughly $800,000.00.

© Dewynters.

Royal Albert Hall "Chess In Concert"

To celebrate the passage of more than two decades since the concept album of Chess first hit the charts, a concert was held at the 1,100 seat Royal Albert Hall on 12 and 13 May 2008 at 8.00pm. The introductory remarks for the concert was provided by Sir Tim Rice himself. Chess In Concert was under the direction of Hugh Wooldridge and was presented by Heartaches Ltd., in association with JGPC and The Night Of 1000 Voices.

Tickets for Chess In Concert went on sale at the end of October 2007. Although originally only scheduled for 13 May, sales proved strong enough early on to add the extra performance on 12 May. Both concert dates were nearly instantly sold-out. To promote the concert (and to discuss his other works), Sir Tim Rice was the featured guest on American television show Theater Talk, hosted by Michael Riedel and Susan Haskins, which was broadcast in the New York City area on 2 May 2008.

After months of speculation and negotiations concerning scheduling conflicts, it was finally confirmed on 7 January 2008 that Josh Groban ("You Raise Me Up") and Idina Menzel (Wicked, Rent) would be singing the roles of The Russian/Anatoly and Florence respectively. Kerry Ellis (Wicked) signed on as Svetlana on 25 January 2008. On February 4, 2008, it was announced that the part of Freddie/The American would be sung by Adam Pascal -- who had sung the part at the 2003 BC/EFA concert in New York.
RAH Concert Bows   © 2008 JJB.

Shortly thereafter, to the delight of How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? fans, it was announced that Maria runner-up & the then alternate Maria in The Sound Of Music Aoife Mulholland would be lending her vocal talents as part of the chorus at the concert as well. On 21 February, 2008 even more exciting casting news was revealed as the remaining principal leads were cast : David Bedella as Molokov, Marti Pellow (from the group Wet, Wet, Wet) as The Arbiter and Clarke Peters as Walter. Also added to the Chess In Concert line-up as the Civil Servants ("Embassy Lament") was the quartet Cantabile -- no strangers to the works of Tim Rice as they had appeared in Blondel as the Monks in 1983, sang both that show's "Monk's Introduction" and Chess' "Embassy Lament" on the 1985 Lyrics Of Tim Rice broadcast, and provided backing vocals for Tim himself for "Wand'rin Star" during the 1987 An Evening With Alan Jay Lerner tribute concert and later single release.

Although the souvenir brochures were sold-out by intermission of the 2nd show, a few copies along with posters from the concert were available from theatre shop Dress Circle.

Chess In Concert was recorded by Time Warner for DVD release. At the beginning of June, it was announced that the concert was to be broadcast in the United States as part of the Great Performances series by PBS station Thirteen/WNET New York in 2009. A press conference to promote the PBS broadcast of the concert was held in Los Angeles on 7 January 2009. The press conference began with an introduction by David Horn, Great Performance's Executive Producer who is also the director for the televised concert. The press conference was attended by Tim Rice and included a Q&A session as well as a performance by Idina Menzel (who sang the part of Florence at the concert).
Press Conference   © 2009 PBS Thirteen/WNET.

At the end of May 2009, it was announced that Chess In Concert, as part of the Great Performances series, would be broadcast beginning 17 June 2009 across the United States. The day before, 16 June 2009, saw the release of a two-disc Complete Recording CD, a Highlights Recording CD and a DVD (Region 1) of the concert.

Hungarian Concert Production

A Hungarian concert production of Chess, with Hungarian lyrics by Agnes Romhanyi, premiered at the open-air theatre on Margaret Island in August of 2010. The concert was to play for two nights, and was originally scheduled to have its first performance on 6 August. Due to rain, the performance on the 6th was cancelled and the premiere actually took place on the following night. (As tickets had already been sold, a performance on the 8th was added.) Tim Rice attended the performance on Margaret Island.

Produced by PS Produkcio, the Chess concert is next to be staged at the Magyar Szinhaz theatre with an opening night of 30 October 2011. The format of the concert is closest to the Royal Albert Hall production, although it does not include all of the numbers. The concert is directed by Cornelius Baltus and choreographed by Karen Bruce. Set design and costumes are by Kentaur.

The Chess concert is mainly double cast, and with the except of "Freddie" on 8 August, the Margaret Island concerts were performed entirely by the first cast. Casting is as follows: Florence Vassy - Eva Sari & Timea Kecskes; Anatoly Sergievsky - Geza Egyhaz & Gabor Bot; Frederick Trumper - Janos Szemenyei & Levente Csordas; Svetlana Sergievsky - Timea Kecskes & Reka Koos; Alexander Molokov - Geza Gabor; Walter de Courcy - Bela Pavletits; the Arbiter - Erno Zsolt Kiss / Gabor Bot; Viggand - Vikto Varga & Gabor Jenei.

UK Tour: 2010-2011

After the tremendous success of the Royal Albert Hall concert, it wasn't so much a question of "Will Chess be revived in Great Britain?" as it was a question of "When will Chess be revived in Great Britain?" The first answer to that latter question took the form of Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood. Telly audiences were perhaps unaware that besides being a dancer, Horwood had a mile-long list of national and international musical theatre credits to his name as both a director and a choreographer -- including having directed the 2001 Danish tour of Chess. Horwood's signature technique of theatre direction (although not employed re: Danish Chess), similar to that of John Doyle, is that he requires his actors to also be the show's musicians.

© 2010 Donovan Graphics.
The Chess tour was produced by Michael Harrison. Craig Revel Horwood served as director and choreographer. Musical supervision and orchestrations were by Sarah Travis, a long-time collaborator with Horwood. Set and costume designer were by Christopher Woods, and Jack James was responsible for video design. Colin Pink was the sound designer and Ben Craknell was the lighting designer.

Casting for the Chess tour, whose 28-strong company provided their own musical accompaniment, took place from April through June of 2010. Rehearsals began on 19 July 2010. The cast featured Shona White (All The Fun Of The Fair) as Florence Vassy, James Fox (Judas Jesus Christ Superstar 2004/5 UK Tour) as The America/Freddie Trumper, Daniel Koek (Chess : Chorus RAH & Chorus/Freddie u/s 2006 Scandinavian Tour) as The Russian/Anatoly Sergievsky, Poppy Tierney as Svetlana Sergievsky, Steve Varnom (Jacob/Potiphar Joseph 2004 UK Tour) as Molokov, James Graeme (Pilate Jesus Christ Superstar 1996 West End Revival replacement cast; Walter 2001 Danish Chess) as Walter and David Erik as the Arbiter.

The Chess tour opened in Newcastle at the Theatre Royal on 27 August 2010. The last performance was on 9 April 2011 at the King's Theatre in Glasgow. The full tour schedule was as follows: Newcastle, Theatre Royal : 27 August - 11 September 2010; Northampton, Royal & Derngate : 14-18 September 2010; Edinburgh, Edinburgh Playhouse : 21-25 September 2010; Cheltenham, Everyman Theatre : 28 September - 2 October 2010; Aberdeen, His Majesty's Theatre : 5-9 October 2010; Wolverhampton, Grand Theatre : 12-16 October 2010; Sheffield, Lyceum : 19-23 October 2010; Salford, The Lowry : 26-30 October 2010; Cardiff, New Theatre : 1-6 November 2010; Bradford, Alhambra : 9-13 November 2010; Southampton, The Mayflower : 16-20 November 2010; Nottingham, Theatre Royal : 22-27 November 2010; Norwich, Theatre Royal : 30 November - 4 December 2010; Plymouth, Theatre Royal : 6-11 December 2010; Milton Keynes, Milton Keynes Theatre : 25-29 January 2011; Truro, Hall For Cornwall : 1-5 February 2011; Birmingham, The Hippodrome : 8-12 February 2011; Southend, Cliffs Pavilion : 15-19 February 2011; Belfast, Grand Opera House : 22-26 February 2011; Bristol, The Hippodrome : 1-5 March 2011; Woking, New Victoria Theatre : 8-12 March 2011; Glasgow, King's Theatre : 5-9 April 2011.

On 20 February 2011, Chess was awarded as Best Regional Production in the 2011 WhatsOnStage.com Theatregoers' Choice Awards, having garnered 29.3% of the votes cast for all six nominated shows.
© 2011 Donnovan Graphics.

UK Tour In Toronto

After finishing its UK tour, Craig Revel Horwood's production of Chess played at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto for a limited run from 24 September - 30 October 2011, with previews beginning on 24 September and an opening night on 28 September 2011.

New to the 30-strong cast of actor/musicians for Toronto were Tam Mutu (Phantom alt. Love Never Dies, Enjolras u/s Les Miserables) as The Russian/Anatoly Sergievsky and Rebecca Lock (Carlotta The Phantom of the Opera, Bertrande Martin Guerre) as Svetlana Sergievsky. Reprising their roles from the UK tour are Shona White (All The Fun Of The Fair) as Florence Vassy, James Fox (Judas Jesus Christ Superstar 2004/5 UK Tour) as The America/Freddie Trumper, Steve Varnom (Jacob/Potiphar Joseph 2004 UK Tour) as Molokov, James Graeme (Pilate Jesus Christ Superstar 1996 West End Revival replacement cast; Walter 2001 Danish Chess) as Walter and David Erik as the Arbiter.

Tickets to the Toronto production of Chess went on sale on 22 August 2011. On the day of the premiere, 28 September 2011, producer Mirvish Productions hosted a Twitter Q&A with Time Rice. The following day, Mirvish instituted a student rush ticket policy with $20.00 tickets. Mirvish later instituted a buy one ticket get one for $1.00 promotion for its shows. For Chess, the discount was applicable to performances from 7-12 October 2011.

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