UPDATE: Review by Dan Solomon for the Austin Chronicle, July 19
Announcing a new musical for the 2011 -2012 Season!
music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus (formerly of ABBA) ,book and lyrics by Tim Rice (lyricist for Evita)
July 6 - 22, Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 7 p.m.
Performance added on Wednesday, July 18 at 8 p.m.
Austin Playhouse temporary facility, 1801 1/2 Simond Street (click for map)
Tickets $29.97 adults, $15.48 students including fees; $37.22 for opening night
available on-line through
Austin Playhouse and SummerStock Austin proudly present the Austin Premiere of CHESS!
The acclaimed rock musical CHESS features music by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus of ABBA and lyrics by Tim Rice (Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita). Set at the height of the Cold War, the story involves two top players, an American and a Russian, in a world chess championship. However their greatest battle is for the love of a woman, forming a richly complex romantic triangle all in the context of the larger struggle for world domination between the United States and the Soviet Union.
A highly successful concept album of CHESS was released in 1984. The first theatrical production of Chess opened in London's West End in 1986 and played for three years. A much-altered U.S. version premiered on Broadway in 1988. Our production uses the original UK version with modern additions from the recent U.S. concert version. Hits from the show include “One Night in Bangkok” and “Heaven Help my Heart.”
Performance Schedule CHESS will be performed for three weeks, July 6 – 22, at Austin Playhouse at Mueller as the final production of Austin Playhouse’s 2011-2012 season. CHESS will also run as part of SummerStock Austin’s 2012 season at the Long Center August 2 - 12.
The hot-headed American champion is played by Jacob Trussell (Dayboynightgirl, Sweeney Todd), the Russian champion is played by David Gallagher (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, The Last 5 Years). Florence, the woman caught in the middle of their rivalry is played by Marita Stryker (ZTP’s Crazy for You). Other featured cast members are Josie Yount as Svetlana, Brian Coughlin as Walter, Joe Penrod as Molokov, and Philip Kreyche as the Arbiter. The ensemble includes Joey Banks, Kimberly Barrow, Ryan Borses, Kristi Brawner, Ann Pittman, Wade Walker, and Sarah Zeringue.
Michael McKelvey is the music and stage director. Dr. McKelvey is the Artistic Director of SummerStock Austin and has directed many acclaimed productions in Austin including Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, I Love You Because, Urinetown, The Last 5 Years, and Sweeney Todd.
Lara Toner serves as Associate Director. Ms. Toner is the Associate Artistic Director of Austin Playhouse where she recently directed A Room with a View.
Danny Herman and Rocker Verastique are the choreographers. Set design is by Leilah Stewart, costume design is by Glenda Barnes, lighting design for Austin Playhouse at Mueller performances is by Patrick Anthony.
Austin Playhouse Austin Playhouse is a professional theatre currently performing its 12th season. Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Don Toner and Associate Artistic Director Lara Toner, Austin Playhouse has grown from a three-play season on the campus of Concordia University, to a year-round operation producing an average of eight plays a year. Austin Playhouse is currently building its own two-performance venue space in the heart of the new Mueller Redevelopment Town Center, adjacent to the new Austin Children’s Museum.
SummerStock Austin SSA is a unique theatrical training program, as well as repertory theatre company, that features the talent of college and high school students under the supervision of theatre professionals. This award-winning program is the only one of its kind in the United States and was founded to serve the students of the greater Austin area. This past season, SSA's production of A Year with Frog and Toad was awarded the B. Iden Payne Award for Outstanding Production for Youth and its other two productions, The Producers and Urinetown, were both nominated for Outstanding Musical.