After months of preparation and great anticipation,The Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre (CVRep) has announced it will open their newly renovated, 208 seat, Cathedral City playhouse with the dynamic musical, CHESS – Music by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of the Rock Group ABBA Lyrics by Time Rice and Book by Richard Nelson.
“It’s hard to believe that in just a few weeks, CVRep will be presenting the dynamic musical CHESS in our brand new, fully equipped, technically advanced playhouse,” says CVRep Artistic Director and Founder, Ron Celona. “Our new playhouse, located on the corner of Highway 111 and Cathedral Canyon Drive in Cathedral City is truly a dream come true for me and all involved at CVRep. Although purchasing and converting the old Imax into a professional “live theatre” venue has been a challenge, thanks to our amazing Board of Directors, staff, volunteers and generous supporters, our newly renovated playhouse will not only enable us to present larger scale productions like CHESS, and seat more patrons than we have in the past, I believe it is also destined to have a positive impact on Cathedral City as well as the entire Coachella Valley.”
ABBA, collaborators of CHESS, are giants of rock music and rock musicals; and with CHESS they have created a complex rock opera that played to full Broadway houses and standing ovations. When CHESS made its Broadway debut in 1988, it was considered a significant and powerful piece of musical theater for its time, as it allegorically reflected the Cold War tensions of the 1980s. With a musical score by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of the rock group ABBA, lyrics by Tim Rice and a book by Richard Nelson, CHESS continues to have relevance in today’s complex world. It is a highly entertaining musicalthat transforms the ancient and distinguished game of chess into a metaphor for romantic rivalries and East-West political intrigue.
The story of CHESS revolves around a politically driven, cold war-era chess tournament between two grandmaster chess players. The pawns in this musical form a love triangle between a loutish American chess star, an earnest Russian champion and a Hungarian American female assistant who arrives at the international chess match in Bangkok with the American, but manages to fall in love with the Russian. From Bangkok to Budapest the players, lovers, politicians, and spies manipulate and are manipulated to the pulse of a monumental rock score that includes “One Night in Bangkok”, “I Know Him So Well”, and “Heaven Help My Heart.”
The cast of CHESS includes: Robin De Lano, Mathew Dotson, Ashley Hunt, Garrett Marshall, Glen Rosenblum, David Sattler, and Jeremy Whatley (see bios below)
CHESS had its Broadway premiere in 1988 – “One of the best rock scores ever produced. This is an angry, difficult, demanding and rewarding show.” – TIME
CHESS will be performed from March 13 through March 31 at the NEW CVRep Playhouse located at 68510 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Cathedral City, CA 92234. Performances are scheduled for Wed, Thur, Fri, and Sat at 7:30PM, Sat and Sun at 2:00PM, also Tue, March 26 at 7:30PM.
In celebration of the New Playhouse, all CHESS ticket holders at all performances are invited to a Champagne and Dessert Reception following the performance. (Reception included in the price of admission.)
Individual tickets are $53 / Previews $48 / Opening Night $63 – includes Opening Night Party. For more information, please call 760-296-2966 or visit the website at cvrep.org.
COACHELLA VALLEY REPERTORY is a non-profit, professional regional theatre, that proudly has Small Professional Theatre (SPT) status with Actor’s Equity.
CVREP MISSION STATEMENT: Coachella Valley Repertory is an educational and dramatic theater organization that presents innovative productions and children’s outreach programs designed to enrich the quality of life for Coachella Valley residents and visitors. For more information, call 760-296-2966 or visit www.cvrep.org
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