Checkmate to the Fall Musical: CHESS

in Features/Fine Arts by

At Wesleyan School, the Fall Musical was “CHESS” a comedic/dramatic musical that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the show. The show includes a love story, a scandal and much more.

The musical has been referred to as a metaphor for the Cold War, with the insinuation being made that the Cold War is itself a manipulative game. Released and staged at the height of the strong anti-communist agenda that came to be known as the Reagan Doctrine. Chess addressed and satirized the hostility of the international political atmosphere of the 1980s. The plot line of CHESS was about a woman named Florence Vassy, who is a second to the US Chess Champion, Freddie Trumper. Florence has a really rocky past with her mother dying, her father presumed dead, and she is basically alone with herself. Another man named Anatoly Sergievsky, the Russian Chess Champion, goes against Freddie Trumper in the Chess Championship, but also falls in love with Florence Vassy, which causes trouble because he has a wife.

Senior Laura Von Bargen said, “In CHESS, I played Florence Vassy, a very confident and independent woman with a touching background. I think this play was very interesting and nothing like anything I’ve done before, so I was very excited. I also think that the audience enjoyed the love story in the show and really enjoyed the number ‘You and I’ between Adam Rogers and I.”

Also, Senior Will Rainwater said, “In CHESS, my characters were Gregor and Florence’s Father. I think that the show had real potential to show up and show out. The music was definitely new to me and very fun to do. I think that everyone wanted to play chess after they saw the show. Also, I think that everyone loved the number “Nobody’s Side,” I know that, that one was my favorite.”

Junior Tyler Sturtevant said, “In CHESS, I played Freddie, the chess player playing for the US. I think that the audience loved the show. I loved it because the music was great, and it was nothing like Wesleyan had done before. My favorite song from the show was for sure “One Night in Bangkok” because it’s upbeat and the choreography was amazing.”

Sophomore Lizzie Middleton said, “In the Fall Musical CHESS, I played a CIA woman, and I was in ensemble. I loved how intricate it was, the name of the play made you think it’s going to be a bunch of kids on stage dressed as chess pieces but it’s actually a crazy love story with cheating, singing, dancing, and lost fathers involved, I think the audience was surprised how interesting it was. “One Night in Bangkok” always felt like we were doing a super cool handshake with someone with all the feet moves and synchronized hand movements you do with your partner.”

Chorus Teacher Brad Meyer said, “I loved conducting this show, and I really loved the music from this show! I think that people really liked CHESS because of the cast, music and the dance numbers!”

The show dates were Oct. 25 at 7 pm, Oct. 26 at 7 pm and Oct. 27 at 2 pm.

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