It comes as no surprise that maestro Rod Lansberry has directed a near perfect production of Tim Rice’s “Chess, the Musical” for your enjoyment at Arvada Center For the Arts. He has cast the show impeccably. Gregg Goodbrod (Freddy) and Tally Sessions (Anatoly) are both outstanding as the American and Russian opponents in this rock opera game of chess. Mr. Goodbrod’s soaring rendition of “Pity the Child” is so superb you will simply have to hear it to believe it. In most productions this critic’s stomach is found kissing his backbone out of sheer embarrassment for the disastrous result of an aspiring singer with an unschooled voice attempting to sing this number. When an artist such as Goodbrod, who can ascend into the high octave required, sings it with passion, it is sheer auditory heaven. And this is it! Awesome! Tally Sessions’ Anatoly is an outrageously well-sung and acted performance. Sydney James Harcourt’s portrayal of the Arbiter stuns throughout. Harcourt is at his very best in “One Night In Bangkok” at the top of Act Two. Denver’s diva, Megan Van De Hey returns to the stage at Arvada Center (remember Mother in “Ragtime” and Luisa in “Nine?”) as Anatoly’s wife, Svetlana. Van De Hey stuns with her reprise of “You and I” with Mr. Sessions and her solo, “Someone Else’s Story.” Lisa Karlin is fine as Florence Vassy. Stephen Day turns in yet another brilliant performance as Alexander Molokov. Standing out in the very fine supporting cast are: Matthew Dailey, Daniel Herron, Ellen Kaye and Mercedes Perez.
What else can you expect?
Electrifying vocals from a uniformly brilliant cast!
Riveting choreography by the incomparable Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck!
Dazzling lighting design by Jacob M. Welch!
Magnificent scenic design by master craftsman Brian Mallgrave!
Glorious costumes by Clare Henkel!
Auditory heaven in David Nehls’ musical direction of the luscious Arvada Center orchestra!
In case you missed something… I LOVED “CHESS!”
The Arvada Center will open the regional premiere of a new restaging of Chess, A Musical directed by Rod A. Lansberry on March 27 running through April 15, 2012 in the Main Stage Theater. Performances are Tuesday – Saturday at 7:30 pm, Wednesday at 1pm, Saturday and Sunday at 2pm. Preview performances are March 23 – 25. Moderated talkbacks with the cast are offered on Friday, April 6 after 7:30 p.m. show and Wednesday, April 11 after 1:00 p.m. show. Ticket prices range from $35 (previews) - $72. Group rates are available. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to www.arvadacenter.org or call 720-898-7200.