Chess (Gallery Players)
Chess (Gallery Players)

Chess (Gallery Players) NYC Reviews and Tickets

(44 Reviews)
Members say
Entertaining, Ambitious, Absorbing, Great singing, Disappointing

About the Show

2018 marks the 30th Anniversary for this landmark musical. Here the ancient game becomes a metaphor for romantic rivalries, competitive gamesmanship, super power politics, and international intrigues. 

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Member Reviews (44)

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796 Reviews | 217 Followers
Great singing, Ambitious, Entertaining, Great acting, Resonant

See it if you like this Tim Rice musical and can appreciate a good community theater effort, with some great voices and unique staging.

Don't see it if you are bothered by poor sound: background and band are too loud, drowning out all the female voices and making you strain to hear dialogue.

687 Reviews | 114 Followers
Ambitious, Cliched, Thought-provoking, Slow, Indulgent

See it if At it's best, Chess is problematic (Nelson's lugubrious book to blame) and this moribund production does it no favors Lame direction kills

Don't see it if Because of erratic leads, Freddie (bad). Florence (decent), & Anatoly (very good) chorus steals the show Has a cold war feel but it's a slog

506 Reviews | 1002 Followers
Entertaining, Dated, Great staging, Intense

See it if great community theater. brought back memories of a production at Equity Lib. theater. great lighting. huge cast wide range of talent

Don't see it if relationships between the 3 leads not clearly there. at times music outplayed the singers. overall worth the trek. just about three hours

645 Reviews | 95 Followers
Great singing, Entertaining

See it if you like to see musicals that are rarely done. Chess is a really interesting musical.

Don't see it if you like to hear the singing over a loud orchestra. I sat in the front row and could read their lips. The lyrics are great when you can hear Read more

480 Reviews | 716 Followers
Ambitious, Entertaining, Long

See it if you enjoy stories of complex relationships or those set during the Cold War.

Don't see it if you prefer something short and light. This show is 3 hours long and is steeped in heavy drama.

563 Reviews | 195 Followers
Ambitious, Indulgent, Entertaining, Dated, Quirky

See it if You want to support a local, non-professional theatre company. You love Chess and/ or Brit pop. You like

Don't see it if You'd prefer a more professional production company. You hate late '80s-early '90s musicals. Read more

454 Reviews | 127 Followers
Great to hear the score, Carmen napier = spectacular, Community theatre flavored, Doug chitel = very good, Less than stellar staging

See it if want to appreciate underheard score, experience some stellar performances, fan of Carmen Napier or Doug Chitel, want 2 well up at highpoints

Don't see it if Whitest version of One Night in Bangkok ever, unbalanced sound, awkward/minimal staging, community theatre flavorings, would keep u away

387 Reviews | 132 Followers
Delightful, Entertaining, Dated subjects but the music is still appealing, Great songwriting

See it if you’re new to Chess and can appreciate a good musical in an imperfect production and small venue

Don't see it if you want to see the ideal version of this musical; are really uncomfortable w/ sympathetic infidelity, Bankok curiously devoid of Asians Read more

Critic Reviews (3)
April 24th, 2018

"Thrilling music and beautiful melodies...A dud of a book...Napier and Chitel both have warm, appealing presences and good voices...Donnelly works hard to enliven the story, and has the pipes...for the role's challenging vocal demands. That his big revelatory number comes so late that we've long since lost interest is only one of the show's innumerable flaws...Worth seeing for the music alone...Despite the balance problems this production puts it across well."
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Show Showdown
April 27th, 2018

"I have identified the problem with the musical 'Chess.' It's bad...The entire show can be lifted by a really good production, with performers filling in the blanks left by the writing...Sad to say, the Gallery Players production does not raise up the show. In fact, it helps to sink it...Harborth's direction is the three-dimensional manifestation of 'full of sound and fury, signifying nothing'...He slathers on noise and movement, hoping that energy will cover up the weak structure underneath. It doesn't."
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April 29th, 2018

“When you play chess, you must be careful to select only the most strategically advantageous moves. This play highlights the fact this is also true in matters of the heart and regarding issues of statecraft. For those who are fans of the musical, you will not be disappointed with this 30th anniversary revival. Producing and directing this complicated musical is not an easy task but The Gallery Players are to be congratulated for pulling it all together in a manner that will please most people.”
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