CHESS, the Musical

jaxx theatricals · Ages 13+ · 150 mins · United States of America

Content Warning

Produced for a short run via the Hollywood Fringe Festival, this awesome revival of one of the greatest, and most troubled, shows in musical theater history, is frankly quite spectacular. It’s also a must-see, as this show is rarely produced.

~Tony Frankel, Stage & Cinema

Jaxx Theatricals treats audiences to a fully-staged production of Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus’s rarely revived Chess The Musical, sensationally performed in the company’s spiffy East Hollywood digs. Jaxx Theatricals’ stellar cast make the very most of every one of Chess’s more than two-dozen songs, Jeremy Lucas directs the show with visual flair, and perhaps best of all, Chess gives choreographer Lucas and his tremendously talented ensemble ample opportunity to dazzle in a series of production numbers running the gamut from music video punch to balletic élan to dance-club pizzazz.

~Steven Stanley, StageSceneLA

About the show:

While the plot of Chess has changed in the various incarnations of the musical, some of the basic elements have remained the same throughout the life of the show making it a perfect choice for FRINGE. The musical was inspired by some of the political machinations surrounding the 1972 Fischer-Spassky World Championship match. The West End production of the show begins with the American World Champion, Frederick “Freddie” Trumper arriving with his second, Florence Vassy, who wants him to tone down his behavior. Trumper is opposed by Russian challenger Anatoly Sergievsky. After a series of victories for Anatoly, Florence leaves Freddie, and he resigns from the match. Anatoly wins the match, then seeks asylum in England with the help of Florence, the two have fallen for each other. One year later, Anatoly defends his title against a Russian opponent. The match takes place in Bangkok, and Freddie is on hand for the match. The Russians have also sent Anatoly’s former wife Svetlana to Bangkok; a Russian agent blackmails her into forcing Anatoly to lose the match. Florence is also given incentives to get Anatoly to agree to lose, but these efforts prove fruitless. Freddie ultimately decides to give Anatoly some critical advice that helps Anatoly defeat his opponent. Anatoly, feeling as though his only successes in life (at least for the time being) are likely to come on the chessboard, decides to return to Russia. The music from Chess has remained popular for decades. Before the musical was ever performed, a concept album was released that contained only a vague description of the plot. The album was a worldwide hit, reaching the top 50 in several countries, including the top 10 statuses in the United Kingdom, West Germany, and South Africa. It was even the number one album in Sweden for seven weeks, thanks in large part due to ABBA’s contributions to the musical score. The biggest hit of all from the album was “One Night in Bangkok”, which reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100. Other songs that gained significant popularity included “I Know Him So Well” (a #1 hit in the UK & Whitney Houston cover in the U.S.), “Nobody’s Side,” “The Arbiter,” and “Pity the Child.”

Chess is directed & choreographed by Jaxx Artistic Director, Jeremy Lucas (Stage Raw Award Winner for Direction/LA Drama Critics Circle Award Nominee for Choreography for Andrew Lippa’s Wild Party) and Music Directed & Conducted by Dr. James Lent.

Cast & Crew


jeremy lucas *

director/choreographer

jd morabito *

co-producer/ensemble

james lent 

music director/conductor

erin lee smith *

mayor of merano/florence & svetlana u/s

d.t. matias *

freddie (fringe) / arbiter (extension)

sophia rizzo *

ensemble/mayor u/s

cat ski *

ensemble

kasmira buchanan *

associate choreographer

jill burke *

svetlana/music supervisor

nathanael o'neal *

arbiter (fringe) / anatoly (extension)

* Fringe Veteran