You know how Broadway keeps trying to make shows about basketball and they never really take off? Well at least basketball has some action to it. Imagine a show about the most boring game ever. “Chess”, the 1980s musical from ABBA menfolk Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus with lyrics from Tim Rice, really truly did that. The music still stands as some of the most famous and mainstream to come out of musical theatre (‘One Night in Bangkok’, anyone?), yet the book veers on ridonk. It’s one of the few shows I prefer to be done in a concert version. Still, I had high expectations for London’s new big production at the English National Opera’s Coliseum, but these expectations were not met. The score was well sung, but the production - both in terms of visuals, sound, and more - did more to hurt the show than help it.
READ IT ALL!