The Muny Chess Musical combines beautiful music, mesmerizing choreography, and a captivating story for an unforgettable experience. Check out the details in my parents guide review.
Chess Musical has come to St. Louis, playing at The Muny from July 5 through July 11. The Muny’s Chess Musical was an absolutely masterful performance! The iconic musical, written by Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of ABBA, was brought to life by the Muny’s cast and crew. Their stunning rendition of the classic musical had audience members enthralled throughout the entire show. Check out the details in this parents guide review.
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The Muny CHESS Musical Parents Guide
The Muny Chess Musical: Before Mamma Mia!, members of the pop group ABBA teamed up with Tim Rice (Jesus Christ Superstar, The Lion King, Evita) to create a dynamic drama centered around the world chess championship; mirroring the 1980s Cold War tensions of USA vs. Soviet Russia. The dazzling and beautiful pop rock score became a worldwide smash, including the hit single “One Night in Bangkok.” Chess makes its move to St. Louis (home of the first world championship) and onto the Muny stage for the first time, as the game’s long history continues to rise in popularity.
The Muny’s Chess Musical run time: 2 hours and 20 minutes including a short intermission.
The Muny CHESS Musical Age Rating Parents Guide
Let’s take a look at what parents need to know in this parent’s guide and the age rating of the musical before letting their younger children watch The Muny’s Chess Musical.
Language: Chess Musical contains some strong language, with some profanity used. Lookout words include: two uses of the word sh*t, a couple of uses of b*st*rds, a very prominent “g-d d*mn,” and the use of crap and hell.
Mature Content: The musical contains many adult situations with themes of adultery and abusive behavior. A character leaves his wife and young child to run off with a woman he falls in love with, who was in an unhealthy, abusive relationship. The musical does not show any physical abuse, but emotional abuse is prevalent. There are scenes that show a character drinking what is presumed to be alcohol and often blurting out comments about “commies” and “red goons.” There is also a fist fight that doesn’t last long and another scene where a character kisses a female he doesn’t know without her permission. There is also a musical number that has females dancing in bikinis.
Age Rating of Chess Musical: The musical Chess has a PG to PG-13 rating for strong language and adult situations. It is appropriate material for ages 13 and older. The suggestion of parental guidance or an adult guardian is highly recommended for kids under 13 years old. This rating is based on the opinion of the author.
The success of any musical heavily depends on the talents of the actors who bring the story to life. Thankfully, The Muny’s Chess Musical did not disappoint. The standout performances of the evening came from the main leads, portrayed by John Riddle, Jarrod Spector, and Jessica Vosk. Spector and Riddle’s roles as Freddie and Anatoly, respectively, were both sympathetic and nuanced, while Vosk and Taylor Louderman provided much of the heart of the story. The on-stage chemistry with the entire cast was palpable, giving the audience characters’ to easily invest in.
The musical was not only a showcase of outstanding performances but also of stunning set and costume design. The stage was transformed into a grand chessboard, with set pieces and costumes that captured the essence of the 1980s in all its fashion glory. In addition to the set pieces, the stage was adorned with a large screen used for flashbacks of the time and the political environment, as well as some creative shots zooming in on the players as they were enthralled in their game of chess.
The highlight of The Muny’s Chess musical was the outstanding music and choreography. The songs, composed by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus of ABBA, were breathtaking. Each number was sung with soulful emotion, perfectly capturing the complex emotions of the characters. The orchestrations and arrangements were also top-notch, adding depth and richness to the performances.
Director and choreographer Josh Rhodes delivered superb dance numbers that were stunning to watch as the dancers moved gracefully and seamlessly across the stage. It also added to the show’s emotional intensity as it mirrored the character’s internal struggles. The intricate routines were executed with precision and timing, making the audience feel as if they were a part of the performance.
The Muny’s Chess musical was nothing short of outstanding. It was a fantastic showcase of theatrical artistry and skill, and it truly made for an unforgettable experience. The captivating storyline, coupled with the brilliant music and choreography, kept the audience completely engaged from start to finish.