The Kentucky Wesleyan College Theatre Program will present “Chess the Musical” Mar. 23-25 at 7 p.m. and a Mar. 26 matinee at 2 p.m. in the Jack Wells Activity Center on campus.
Each performance will be an evening of high hair and amazing music at the height of the Cold War. This groundbreaking rock musical uses the ancient game of chess as a metaphor for romantic rivalries, competitive gamesmanship, super-power politics and international intrigue. From Bangkok to Budapest, the players, lovers, politicians and spies manipulate and are manipulated to the pulse of a monumental score that includes “One Night in Bangkok,” “Heaven Help My Heart,” and “Where I Want to Be” with lyrics by Tim Rice and music from the band Abba’s Alvaeus and Anderson.
The musical is directed by Director of Theatre Nate Gross with music direction by Dennis Jewett (director of voice and music education) and choreography by Shauna Jones. It combines student talent with select alumni and community members. Gross says, “I’m excited about so many aspects of this show. We have amazing singers and actors, and we’re fully embracing the 80s. The women in this show will have hair that is much taller than they are, and we’ll be using projections throughout the show to complement the live action on stage, including two montages shot by local filmmaker Shane Devon.”
Meahel Heard-Pitra, a KWC student from Las Vegas, Nev., plays Freddie, the American. He says, “This has been a wonderful challenge. It’s pushed me as a performer, and I can’t wait for people to come see it.”
Brett Vance of Owensboro, who plays the Russian chess player, Anatoly, says, “I love this show because of how much it touches on things that go unspoken, and I love this character because often he ends up being conflicted as if every little choice he makes will drastically change everything around him, much like the game chess.”
Melina Carter, a KWC student from Muhlenberg County, plays Florence, the woman in the middle of the love triangle. She says, “It’s difficult but so rewarding to sing these power ballads. These characters are risking everything, and they need to sing about it!”
The original show dates were rescheduled due to illness in the cast and crew. Those who purchased tickets for the original February dates will automatically have their reservations moved to the corresponding night of original purchase. Tickets for the rescheduled dates are also available at kwc.edu/theatre. For further information regarding the revised performance schedule, ticket purchases or refunds, please contact Nate Gross at email@example.com.