Make a Quick Move to ‘CHESS’

Saturday, February 7, 2009;
Posted: 12:02 PM – by Charles Shubow

Chess certainly has a checkered past. When I got the press release that the wonderful Winters Lane Productions headquartered at the cute little space in Building Q (what a location for Avenue Q) at Catonsville Community College would be staging a concert version I immediately circled it on my calendar. And when I noticed Shawn Doyle would be returning to the stage for this version, I anticipated this would be something not to be missed.

The problem theater fans it is ONLY this week-end and ends Sunday, Feb. 8. But don’t miss it.

When one attends a concert version, one would expect to see a group of performers standing before music stands belting out the songs with an orchestra in the pit or on stage.

Well, this is NOT your typical show “in concert”.

There is clever choreography (Jason M. Kimmell) danced by a large ensemble, a terrific six piece house band led by Chris Rose (also on keyboards), effective lighting (Gary Adamsen), all under the superb direction of Mark Briner.

While some members of the ensemble sit on chairs with music stands, most of the evening the cast members perform sans music and what a talented bunch it is.

There are three principles. There’s Freddy as the Bobby Fischer-type American (Robert E. Tucker), the quiet Russian star Anatoly (Shawn Doyle), and Freddy’s former flame Florence (Barbara E. Hartzell in a lovely red dress). The problem is Anatoly is married to Svetlana played by Tamarin K. Lawler. There is a gorgeous duet between Florence and Svetlana “I Know Him So Well”. It must have helped Tamarin Lawler to have her talented husband, Doug, playing keyboards.

Here is the full article.

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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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