Chess: Benny Andersson plans to bring the musical back to Broadway

London's The Stage newspaper reports that former Abba member Benny Andersson plans to revive Chess: The Musical. The composer told the paper that discussions are well underway, and though still not confirmed he is confident the show will be revived on Broadway.

The musical - with book and lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Benny Andersson and Bj�rn Ulvaeus - tells the story of a romantic triangle between two players in a world chess championship, and a woman who manages one and falls in love with the other, set against the backdrop of the cold war.

The original production opened at Broadway's Imperial Theatre on 28 Apr 1988, following previews from 11 Apr and closed on 25 Jun 1988 after just 68 regular performances.

Andersson told the Stage that he believes the production failed first time round because of a "murdering review" in the New York Times.

The review Andersson refers to was written by Frank Rich who said of the Broadway production: "For over three hours, the characters onstage at the Imperial yell at one another to rock music. The show is a suite of temper tantrums, all amplified to a piercing pitch that would not be out of place in a musical about one of chess's somewhat noisier fellow sports, like stock-car racing."

Chess was performed in concert version at London's Royal Albert Hall on 12 & 13 May 2009. The concert was filmed and is currently being shown in cinema's around the Uk. The concert was broadcast in the USA by PBS on 17 Jun 2009.

A trailer for the film of the live concert can be seen here.

Originally published on

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