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Chess (Gallery Players)

From 3 critic and 43 member 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.  More…

Set against the backdrop of the International Chess Championship, from Bangkok to Budapest, the players, lovers, politicians, and spies manipulate and are manipulated to the pulse of a rock score that includes 'One Night in Bangkok' and 'Heaven Help My Heart.'

Applause! Applause!

“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.” Full Review


"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." Full Review

Show Showdown

"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.... Full Review

Absorbing, Delightful, Great story line

See it if Great how the story line parallels the chess game. Also happy to support small local theaters.

Don't see it if You're not a fan of musicals

Absorbing, Great writing, Great singing, Fun, Engaging

See it if You like impressive ensemble musicals, political/Cold War theater, love triangles, or just want a good night out.

Don't see it if You are looking for a tightly run production, or aren’t into the topics. The sound EQ made it hard to hear the actors at times.

Ambitious, Great singing, Intelligent, Masterful, Absorbing

See it if the staggering level of singing and extraordinary music.

Don't see it if the story is a bit of a slog and too much going on.

Absorbing, Great acting, Entertaining, Intelligent, Great staging

See it if IF you love great lyrics and music, one of my all time favorite musicals.

Don't see it if Not a fan of musicals, or period pieces that deal with pop culture and politics.

Absorbing, Slow, Resonant, Great writing, Exquisite

See it if you like political and romantic conflicts delivered as a metaphor. Fantastic score, and this group had some talented singers.

Don't see it if you can't handle long shows that maybe need to be cut down a little bit.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Exquisite

See it if you can follow arguments

Don't see it if you get lost in logic

Entertaining, Great singing, Great acting

See it if You want to support a great community theater and see a musical that is not produced very often.

Don't see it if You don't like long plays; it was almost three hours long.

Also The second half of the play was much better than the first half. ... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Great singing, Enchanting, Thought-provoking, Confusing

See it if you want to enjoy a musical with some historical background.

Don't see it if you don't like a show that lasts more than 2.5h

Great singing, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if you want to experience this concept album in an intimate staging

Don't see it if you need big broadway productions to appreciate a book/music/lyrics

Clever, Confusing, Great acting, Great singing

See it if You want to see a great show and support local theater!

Don't see it if Three hours us too long for you or you need more staging

Great singing, Entertaining, Dated

See it if You enjoy dated musicals. Great score, great singing. You want to see Chess performed.

Don't see it if The storyline is problematic, and this show specifically would benefit from more elaborate staging.

Also I think they fixed the sound issues mentioned in previous reviews. I h... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Dated, Ambitious

See it if You like the not-often-produced musical Chess and want to see it any venue. You like the 80s and find US/Russia relations interesting.

Don't see it if You don't want to travel to Brooklyn for theater. You want superior production quality.

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

Also Chess has a new fan. I only knew 3 songs going in but it’s very easy t... Read more Read less

Long, Great music, Intense, Riveting, Absorbing

See it if You don't mind seeing Chess with a Florence who can't really sing (but did a great job with the acting)

Don't see it if You can't sit through a three-hour musical about backstabbing and politics. I was riveted, but it's not for everyone.

Also The attempted Russian was so god-awful, I'd really rather they didn't.... Read more Read less

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

Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if .

Don't see it if .

Also I guess they did something to improve the sound system since I had Lin... Read more Read less

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

Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Romantic, Great writing, Disappointing

See it if You are good at imagining what an amazing musical it would be if you took away the problems with the staging.

Don't see it if It's a problem for you when the cast can't sing over the orchestra and even at their best, they're having to yell-sing to get it to work.

Also The three leading actors were all very good, and they did a good job g... Read more Read less

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.

Entertaining, Slow, Good singing, Disappointing

See it if Like me you have never seen Chess and are curious. If you like to support local theater and want to see an OK production of a flawed show.

Don't see it if You expect high quality/production values, don’t want to travel to Bklyn for a 3 Hour Show of cult musical favored for the music (weak book)

Also Chess is a flawed show at its core and for any production - interestin... Read more Read less

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.

Dated, Confusing, Absorbing, Slow

See it if I gives one thought about the cold war and defecting

Don't see it if \Very long and the singing is not good. The Bobby Fischer character is very off.

Great direction, Ambitious, Entertaining

See it if you want to see a staged version of Chess. There's different versions & while I liked this one, I didn't quite know who's story it was

Don't see it if you need a flawless production. A bit hard to hear these performances. Would still see if if you are curious what is the story of Chess.

Clever, Disappointing, Dated

See it if You want to see good actors perform a mediocre show with a few great songs

Don't see it if You want great sound (could barely hear the lead singer), you mind shows that run too long

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.

Also There's a lot of wrong here: the best, worst rendition of One Night in... Read more Read less

Cast & Creatives (33)