Take the plunge: Tim Rice — the musical theater lyricist so legendary that he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1994 — teased on his podcast that chess may come to Broadway. “We plan to return to Broadway one day pretty soon,” the Tony-winning lyricist said, adding. A team is in place.” The exciting statement was shared in a recent episode of Rice’s podcast, Go to My Cloud: The Tim Rice Podcast.
chess was created by a team of superstars, with Rice writing the lyrics alongside Björn Ulvaeus, who also wrote the music with Benny Andersson. Anderson and Ulvaeus are known as members of (and musicians for) the international pop group ABBA. Tony Award winner Richard Nelson wrote the show’s libretto.
The unique musical features a politically driven Cold War chess tournament between two grandmasters, one American and the other Soviet, and their struggle over a woman who controls one and falls in love with the other. The original Broadway production had a short run in 1988 but gained cult status; recently played a new staging at the Kennedy Center in 2018.
The musical has gone through several iterations and edits over the years. The London premiere premiered in 1986 in the West End and earned three Olivier nominations: Best New Musical and two nominations for the lead actors, Elaine Paige and Tommy Körberg. The production then moved to Broadway with a new cast. The original Broadway production received only two Tony Award nominations (for two of the three lead roles, Judy Kuhn and David Carroll). Still, the album became a mainstay for musical theater and the songs — including “Nobody’s Side,” “Someone Else’s Story,” “Heaven Help My Heart” and “Anthem” — became highly popular.
Perhaps the show’s most notable production was the recorded concert version featuring two performances of chess with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall. The cast included Adam Pascal, Idina Menzel, Josh Groban and Kerry Ellis. Now theater buffs will have to speculate who will play the roles in a hopeful Broadway revival.
Tim Rice Teases ‘Chess’ Might Be Coming to Broadway was last modified: January 14, 2022 by means of