The Francis Wilson Playhouse is excited to announce Auditions for the local premiere production of CHESS [Broadway version musical – Music by Benny Andersson & Bjorn Ulvaeus – Lyrics by Tim Rice]
Auditions will be held on Sunday February 24th at 7pm and Monday February 25th at 7pm. Performances will be at the Playhouse from May 2nd to 19th, 2019
The collaborators on Chess are giants of rock music and rock musicals, and here they have created a complex rock opera that played to full Broadway houses and standing ovations. In this musical, the ancient game becomes a metaphor for romantic rivalries, competitive gamesmanship, super-power politics, and international intrigues. The pawns in this drama form a love triangle: the loutish American chess star, the earnest Russian champion, and a Hungarian American female assistant who arrives at the international chess match in Bangkok with the American, but falls for the Russian.
From Bangkok to Budapest the players, lovers, politicians, and spies manipulate and are manipulated to the pulse of a monumental rock score that includes “One Night in Bangkok” and “Heaven Help My Heart.”
Auditioners will be asked to sing a song of 16-32 bars left, pop/rock musical theatre style a plus. [Example: Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, etc. Songs from Chess are allowed.] There will be a movement audition and some auditioners may be asked to read from the script.
FLORENCE – strong belt voice (to E). Mid-thirties. Born in Hungary (so shouldn’t look like an “All-American Girl”); has been brought up in America since 1956. She is clever, theatrical, touching, vivacious, volatile. Frederick’s chess “second.”
FREDDIE – Rock tenor (to C). Mid-thirties. An American chess champion. A cross between Bobby Fisher and John McEnroe. Arrogant and temperamental, but a genius; his chess playing revolutionary. We need to see his artistry along with his danger and his obsessiveness.
ANATOLY – Baritone (to G sharp). Early forties. A Russian chess champion. Unexpectedly charming. He doesn’t seem a romantic hero at first, but becomes one through his personality. An intelligent, feeling, passionate man.
MOLOKOV – Bass (down to F sharp). Fifties. Not a fake, comic, stage Russian. Intellectually formidable. Seemingly a father figure to Florence. Anatoly’s chess “second.” An actor who sings well.
SVETLANA – strong belt voice. Late thirties. Anatoly’s wife. Domestic, wholesome, homey. A dramatic contrast to Florence – not a contemporary cosmopolitan woman.
WALTER – Bass-Baritone (down to G sharp). Fifties. A marketing agent. Seemingly respectable, substantial, trustworthy. An actor who sings well.
ARBITER – rock high baritone (up to A). Thirty to early forties. International businessman. Smooth, but with a quick temper.
GREGORY VASSY – Florence’s Father Baritone
YOUNG FLORENCE – Young child version of Florence in 1956
A LARGE ENSEMBLE OF STRONG SINGERS AND DANCERS