There’s been a resurgence of interest in Chess lately, because the young people have noticed that it is brimming with thumping good tunes. Stephen Schwartz name-checked its score as one of his faves, and that sent young girls, finally tired of Wicked, off to the interweb to find out more.
But it’s a minefield, this becoming a Chessophile: so many versions, so much debate. A user-friendly critical summary and synopsis is in order.
Good tunes. God-awful plot. Show doesn’t work.
Molokov: Hehehe. We Soviets are so devious. But, really, are the Americans any better?
Florence: Whom should I love? The Russian, who treats me so lovingly, or that American douche? If only Daddy were alive, he could help for some reason.
Freddie: Love me! Love me! LOOOOOOVEEEE MEEEEEEEEE!
Anatoly: I defected from Russia, leaving behind a wife and child, and the Soviets used that against me. How could a world champion chess player see that coming?
Arbiter: I’m the Arbiter.
Svetlana: Where the hell was I all through Act One? Anyway, I’m here now. My vagina is angry.
Everyone: It’s so like chess, unless you’re actually familiar with the game.