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The Dress Circle: "Chess" Pieces for National Chess Day

The second Saturday of October is National Chess Day in the U.S., and we’re celebrating it on this week’s Dress Circle (10/8 7:00 p.m.) with songs from the score of “The Music Man.”

No, actually, we’re going to the Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus, and Tim Rice Musical “Chess” that played in London for over three years and on Broadway for fewer than two months.

Besides the London and Broadway casts, we’ve also turned to the 2008 concert performance from the Royal Albert Hall in London. There are many other performances we could have used like the original Dutch or Swedish cast, but we decided to quit while we were ahead with these three wonderful performances.

The show is an enigma because, from its beginnings, its book has gone through continual changes, like Leonard Berstein’s “Candide,” it may continue to be a fabulous score with a book that many people don’t like, for some reason.

Just for the record, we loved the original production of “Chess” as well as what they did for the Broadway production, and we’ve always been huge fans of “Candide,” but that’s just us, I guess.

Please join us for 10 songs from this score, including the two songs that were popular outside of the show: “One Night in Bangkok” and “I Know Him So Well.”

The performers you’ll hear include those from the original concept recording and London production Elaine Paige, Barbara Dickson, Tommy Korberg, Dennis Quilley, and Bjorn Skifs, the Broadway cast featuring Judy Kuhn, Philip Casnoff, and David Carroll, and the concert cast with fan favorites like Idina Menzel, Josh Groban, Marti Pellow, and Adam Pascal.

If you’ve only heard unfavorable things about “Chess” and not the music, give the show a chance, and tune into this week’s program for a wonderful evening.

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Ted Otten is co-host of The Dress Circle
Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.
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