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“You were all terrific!” Sir Tim Rice shared with the cast, band and crew of Chess this past weekend in an intimate post-show meet and greet. The cast was requested to convene promptly onstage after the show to meet someone, but were not informed with whom.

“Knowing Sir Rice is based in London, it was a complete surprise and an honor to have him attend our production of Chess in Los Angeles.” Says Tim Dang, EWP’s Producing Artistic Director. “He was so gracious in speaking with everyone and taking photos.”

Prolific lyricist and author Sir Tim Rice penned Chess with ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. Sir Rice also collaborated with our theater’s namesake, David Henry Hwang on the Tony Award winning Aida. The Tony, Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe-award winning lyricist is also known for his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita) and Elton John (The Lion King, Aida) and Alan Menken for Disney (Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast).

This Thursday (6/6/13) ONLY! East West Players is offering a special “Buy One Get One” ticket to the Thursday evening performance of Chess. Enter code CHESS241 when purchasing online and mention the code when ordering tickets at Box Office at (213) 625-7000 x20.

CHESS is playing now through June 23rd at East West Players. All performances are staged at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center of the Arts at 120 Judge John Aiso Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Performances run Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm. Tickets may be purchased online at www.eastwestplayers.org or by calling (213)625-7000. Regular tickets range from $51-$56. Student and Senior discounts available. Dates, prices and details are subject to change.

Photo Credit: Mike Nailat

Vidoe Credit: Oishi Media

Watch a sneak peek of the rarely produced musical production CHESS, now playing at East West Players, with Director Tim Dang. The Los Angeles Times calls it “…an imaginative production…” and the run has been extended to Sunday, June 23. For tickets, call (213) 625-7000 or visit http://www.eastwestplayers.org.

Video courtesy of Oishi Media.

EWP Chess_Ensemble

The Story of CHESS scene in the East West Players production of CHESS (L-R): Cesar Cipriano, Justin Vasquez, Stephanie Mieko Cohen, Maegan McConnell, DT Matias, Alex Sanchez, Shay Louise, Michael A. Henry. Photo by Michael Lamont.

East West Players reports an overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic response with preview audiences for the musical CHESS. EWP is producing the UK Version of the cult-favorite musical.

“Our surveys and informal conversations with audience members, subscribers and donors are telling me that America is multi-racial, and all theatres should recognize our evolving environment and reflect it on stage,” says Tim Dang, EWP Producing Artistic Director and CHESS director. “If other theaters think that diversity onstage will lose audiences, they are wrong. In fact, we are experiencing an incredible amount of first timers to our theater – that translates to new audiences.

If other theaters think that diversity will lower the caliber of artistic talent, they are absolutely wrong. Audiences are raving about the incredible performers onstage. Talent exists in all communities if you give them access to auditions. From our recent auditions for CHESS for a multi-cultural cast, the talent was phenomenal. Audiences are also excited to experience CHESS, since it is so rarely done in full theatrical form.”

Book by Richard Nelson, lyrics by Sir Tim Rice (Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Aida), and composed by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson (ABBA, Mamma Mia!). CHESS is directed by Tim Dang, musical directed by Marc Macalintal and choreographed by Marc Oka.

The leading roles of the multicultural ensemble cast include Joan Almedilla as Florence (Miss Saigon and Les Miserables – Broadway), Elijah Rock as Anatoly (Ragtime, Smokey Joe’s Cafe), Victor E. Chan as Freddy (The Who’s Tommy, The Rocky Horror Show), Carey Rebecca Brown as Svetlana (Ragtime – Broadway Revival, Candide – New York City Opera), Ray A. Rochelle as Molokov (Evita, Miss Saigon), and Michael Alexander Henry as Walter de Courcey (The Lion King – Broadway), and Ryan Castellino (Miss Saigon and Life Could Be A Dream). The rest of the ensemble are Cesar Cipriano (The King & I, Miss Saigon – National Tours), Stephanie Mieko Cohen (Les Miserables – Broadway), Jasmine Ejan (Peter Pan – National Tour), Shay Louise (Miss Saigon), D.T. Matias (A Chorus Line – International Tour), Maegan McConnell (EWP’s  Pippin and A Little Night Music), and Alex Sanchez (Hairspray).

CHESS the musical involves a romantic triangle between two top chess players – an American and a Russian – and a woman who manages one and falls in love with the other. All of this takes place within the context of the Cold War, as both countries vie for international chess victories for propaganda purposes. CHESS may be best known for its 1980s pop-rock soundtrack that Time Magazine called “one of the best rock scores ever produced,” featuring hits as “One Night in Bangkok,” “I Know Him So Well,” “Anthem” and more. CHESS is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.

Chess_Brochure Image

CHESS
Music by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Directed by Tim Dang
Musical Direction by Marc Macalintal
Choreography by Marc Oka

East West Players, the longest running theater of color in the US is casting Asian, Pacific Islander, South Asian, African American, Latino, Native American, and other multi-ethnic rock, pop, contemporary musical theater performers for CHESS (the UK Version), music by Benny Anderson and Bjorn Ulvaeus and lyrics by Tim Rice, based on an idea by Tim Rice. Directed by Tim Dang, musical direction by Marc Macalintal, and choreography by Marc Oka.

Rehearsals begin: April 9, 2013.

Previews begin May 9, 2013.

Opening Wednesday, May 15, for four week run (5 performances a week) through June 9, 2013 with possibility of two week extension to June 23, 2013.

Find out more about East West Players at www.eastwestplayers.org.

AEA LOA-BAT Contract ($347 per week).

Online: Agent and Personal submissions through Actors Access and Breakdown Services.

Email to: casting@eastwestplayers.org

Mail your picture, resume, and role to be considered to:

Casting: CHESS

East West Players

120 Judge John Aiso Street

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Submissions received January 31- February 22, 2013.

PLEASE no telephone calls or personal deliveries.

Cast Breakdown:
Frederick “Freddie” Trumper – rock tenor to C5, late 20s – early 30s, must move well, US champion, self-absorbed, fame-and-fortune-seeking, short-tempered, bad boy of the chess world.

Anatoly Sergievsky Baritone/Tenor A3 – B flat 5, late 20s – early 30s, good mover, the Soviet Union champion,  troubled father and husband who despises the propaganda and politics of the tournament, eventually deciding to defect from his homeland, even at the cost of deserting his family.

Florence Vassy Mezzo-Soprano F3-E5 belt/mix, G#5-A6 falsetto, late 20s-early 30s, good mover, Freddie’s strong-willed second and paramour, she feels strained by Freddie’s brashness and falls in love with Anatoly, eventually becoming his mistress.

The Arbiter Baritone/Tenor to A5, 30s, must move well, coldly objective, no-nonsense referee of the championship tournament and also the president of the International Chess Federation.

Molokov Bass or Bass-Baritone A3-F4, 30s-40s, Anatoly’s slick second who is also a manipulative KGB agent.

Walter de Courcey Bass-Baritone G#2 – F4, 30s-40s, good mover, a media personality of the tournament and a secret CIA agent.

Svetlana Sergievsky Mezzo-Soprano F3 to E5 belt/mix & G#5-A6 falsetto, late 20s – early 30s, good mover, Anatoly’s estranged wife who, under Molokov’s machinations, tries to persuade Anatoly to return to his homeland.

Ensemble to play various roles 20s-30s such as reporters, chess players, the people of Merano, Italy and Bangkok, Thailand. Seeking 8 ensemble members Soprano (to C#6), Alto (G3-D5), Tenor (A3-B flat 5), Bass (F2-F4) who can sing and move well.

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