Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Paulini, Rob Mills, Alexander Lewis and Mark Furze are set to star in a new production of Chess the Musical touring Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane from April to June 2021.
Featuring the iconic music of Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus (ABBA) with book & lyrics by Tim Rice, the worldwide stage hit Chess the Musical will be presented as a semi-staged concert style production featuring Logie-nominated and recent star of CHICAGO Natalie Bassingthwaighte (Grease, Rent, Love, Loss, and What I Wore) as Florence Vassy and Aria chart-topping vocalist Paulini (The Bodyguard, Saturday Night Fever, Hair) as Svetlana Servievskaya.
New York Metropolitan Opera singer Alexander Lewis (West Side Story for Handa Opera, The Merry Widow, Ragtime) will play Anatoly Sergievsky; semi-finalist in The Voice 2020 Mark Furze (Home and Away, Underbelly, It Takes Two) will play Frederick Trumper, and musical theatre favourite Rob Mills (Wicked, Ghost, Grease) will play Walter de Courcey.
They are joined by opera singer Eddie Muliaumaseali’i (Show Boat, Das Rhinegold, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) as Alexander Molokov and musical theatre all-rounder Brittanie Shipway (The Voice, Big Fish, The Sapphires) as The Arbiter – all backed by a professional twenty-five piece orchestra.
Chess the Musical is inspired by extraordinary real-life events and first premiered to glowing reviews in London’s West End in 1986 starring the beloved Elaine Paige. The West End season ran for three years, resulting in a BBC listener poll ranking Chess the Musical seventh in a list of ‘Number One Essential Musicals’ of all time.
Featuring hits including I Know Him So Well – recognised in the Guinness Book of Records as the biggest selling UK chart single ever by a female duo – and the upbeat pop favourite One Night in Bangkok, music from Chess the Musical is known the world over, with the original concept album described by Rolling Stone as having a “dazzling score (which) covers nearly all the pop bases”. Time Magazine declared the score as “rock symphonic synthesis ripe with sophistication and hummable tunes”.
Chess the Musical tells the story of a complex love triangle combined with dramatic political intrigue, set against the background of the Cold War in the early 1980s, where Soviet and American forces attempt to manipulate an international chess championship for political gains.
Chess the Musical is produced by impresario Adrian Storey from StoreyBoard Entertainment (Barnum, Follies, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) and directed by renowned director Tyran Parke (Barnum, Follies, Sunday in the Park with George) and with Musical Direction by David Piper (Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, The Boyfriend, The Boy From Oz), Set & Costume Design by Dann Barber (Barnum, 33 Variations), Choreography by Freya List, Lighting Design by Gavan Swift & Sound Design by award-winning designer Michael Waters.
Chess the Musical
Regent Theatre, 191 Collins Street, Melbourne
Performances: 22 – 24 April 2021
Her Majesty’s Theatre, 58 Grote Street, Adelaide
Performances: 27 – 29 May 2021
Perth Concert Hall, 5 St Georges Terrace, Perth
Performances: 3 – 5 June 2021
Concert Hall – QPAC, Cultural Precinct, South Bank (Brisbane)
Performances: 8 – 10 June 2021
For more information, visit: www.chessmusical.info for details.
Image: Brittanie Shipway, Rob Mills, Alexander Lewis, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Mark Furze, Paulini and Eddie Muliaumaseali’i to star in Chess the Musical (supplied)