The Kennedy Center


Broadway Center Stage: Chess

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - Sunday, February 18, 2018


The pawns in this dramatic rock opera form a love triangle: the loutish American chess star, the earnest Russian champion, and the assistant who is torn between them. Follow the machinations and manipulations from Bangkok to Budapest in a semi-staged concert performance.
Ticket Note: Limited view seats are available for purchase, in person at the box office or by calling Instant Charge at (202) 467-4600.

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Chess, first produced in this country in 1988, is the initial offering of ‘Broadway Center Stage,’ and the top-flight talent it has attracted launches it as a potentially splendid new program.” —The Washington Post

“The four dynamic, Broadway-tested leads of the Kennedy Center’s concert revival of Chess—Karen Olivo, Raúl Esparza, Ruthie Ann Miles and Ramin Karimloo—sing with all the supercharged gusto you could hope for.” —The Washington Post

“The casting of this production represents one of the most inspired acts of the musical theater season, anywhere.” —The Washington Post

This complex rock opera has been seen around the world. The pawns in this drama form a love triangle: the loutish American chess star, the earnest Russian champion, and the assistant who is torn between them. From Bangkok to Budapest, the players, lovers, politicians, and spies are manipulated to the pulse of a monumental rock score. Music by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson; lyrics by Tim Rice

Directed by Tony Award® winner Michael Mayer (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Spring Awakening) with a new book by Emmy® and Golden Globe Award®–winning writer Danny Strong (Empire, The Butler, Game Change), Chess stars Raúl Esparza (Company, the Kennedy Center’s Sunday in the Park with George, Merrily We Roll Along) as American chess champion Freddie; Ramin Karimloo (Anastasia) as rival Russian chess star Anatoly Sergievsky; Tony Award® winner Ruthie Ann Miles (The King and I, Here Lies Love) as Anatoly’s wife, Svetlana; and Tony Award® winner Karen Olivo (West Side Story, In the Heights) as Florence, a remarkable Hungarian refugee who becomes the center of their emotional triangle. Joining them are Bradley Dean (Dear Evan Hansen) as Ivan Molokov, Sean Allan Krill (Honeymoon in Vegas) as Walter de Courcey, and Bryce Pinkham (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder) as the Arbiter. 
Recommended for ages 14 and up.

Performance Timing: Act I - 73 min.; Intermission - 20 min.; Act II - 71 min.

Part of Broadway Center Stage
In a semi-staged concert format and joined by talent direct from Broadway and here in our nation’s capital, these performances shine a spotlight on the emotional heart of three beloved stories in compelling new ways—placing the artists, their vision, and their work Center Stage!

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