Posts Tagged ‘Chess’

Win CHESS In Concert CDs and DVDs

4 September, 2009

Chess In ConcertTo celebrate the UK release of CHESS IN CONCERT 25TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION on CD and DVD ABBA World, courtesy of Warner Music Entertainment, has three CHESS IN CONCERT bundles to give away.

Each bundle consists of:
One CHESS double CD

To win simply answer the following question:
What year was the original CHESS concept album released?
a. 1982
b. 1984
c. 1986

 Send your answer with your full name to Competition closes 12 noon GMT 14 September 2009. Winners will be selected at random and contacted by email for their full address. Names of the winners will be published at ABBA World.

Thanks to Warner Music Entertainment. CHESS IN CONCERT screens at cinemas across the UK and Ireland in September. See More2Screen for details.

CHESS IN CONCERT is available now fro pre-order on
Double CD
Single “Highlights” CD

Thank You For The Music: A Celebration of the Music of ABBA (updated)

25 July, 2009

BBC Radio 2 is presenting Thank You For The Music: A Celebration of the Music of ABBA in London’s Hyde Park on Sunday 13 September 2009.

The concert promises “an array of stars” performing the songs of ABBA plus songs from Benny and Björn’s “recent offerings in musical theatre and folk”.

Performers announced so far include Elaine Paige, Lulu, Jason Donovan, Russell Watson, Helen Sjöholm with the Benny Andersson Band, “original ABBA musicians”, and the cast of Mamma Mia! (presumably the current London cast). John Barrowman is another name that has been mentioned, and apparently Annie Lennox has been approached.

Benny has said that he and Björn will be performing (“if you can call what Björn does performing” as Benny quipped on the Jonathan Ross Show on July 3rd when announcing this concert). What’s not clear is what that means – one song, the whole concert or something in between. I suspect it’s more likely just a song or two.

Rumour and speculation are rife that Frida and Agnetha should appear. Which doesn’t seem likely.

The concert is associated with the annual BBC Proms series, which conjures up scary images of rampant flag waving and “Rule Britannia”! Will this concert be like that? I guess we will learn more as the date grows closer.

UPDATE 6 August: apparently Russell Watson and Helen Sjöholm won’t be taking part in this concert as they will be rehearsing for Kristina – A Concert Eventat Carnegie Hall in New York on September 23rd and 24th. Sharleen Spiteri and The Feeling have been added to the list of performers.

Thanks to icethesite for additional information.

Seeing CHESS

18 May, 2008

CHESS - THE MUSICALLast night my partner and I saw an amateur production of CHESS here in Sydney. The musical was staged at the Theatre Royal, the very same theatre that hosted the Australian premiere run in 1990, and produced by the Balmain Light Opera Company (BLOC).

I realised upon arriving at the theatre that this was to be only the second time I had ever seen CHESS on stage. I saw it during that first Sydney season, but have missed the many amateur productions that have played around Sydney since then. I also missed the Melbourne “revival” production in Melbourne in 1997 due to its early closing.

Friends James, Cotton and Angus were also there. James has already reviewed the show, which covers a lot of what we all thought when we talked about the show over a drink afterwards.

There are some great songs in CHESS, and an interesting story, despite the frequent criticism of that aspect. The musical deserves a proper rethink and restaging – not this version, not the concert version that was held in London last week, and not the 2002 Stockholm version, which ditched most of the upbeat songs, and was frankly quite dreary (on the evidence of the CHESS på svenska CD and DVD).

But it seems like there are at least three conflicting visions for CHESS – Benny and Björn’s (CHESS på svenska), Tim Rice’s (CHESS in Concert), and this continuing touring version.

CHESS revival

25 April, 2008

CHESSThe Benny Andersson · Tim Rice · Björn Ulvaeus musical CHESS – Benny and Björn’s first post-ABBA project – is undergoing quite a revival at the moment.

March saw the South African premiere of the musical in Johannesburg, which moves to Capetown in June.

An small theatre group in Massachusetts, USA staged a production in February.

The musical was also stage in Tartu, Estonia in January.

A short run production opens next week in Watford in London.

Next month sees an all-star concert version at the Royal Albert Hall in London, to commemorate the 21st anniversary of the original London production. Rumour has it this concert may be recorded for CD or DVD release.

May also sees a short-run production in Sydney, Australia, in the same theatre as the musical played in 1990.

Another short run production plays in Harrogate in Yorkshire, England in May.

An all new production opens in Los Angeles in May 2009, apparently with the “world premiere” of a brand new book.

Next year marks the 25th anniversary of the original concept album’s release.

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