(BEACH HAVEN, NJ) -- Surflight Theatre, New Jersey’s “Broadway at the Beach,” is presenting a reimagined Chess, the Musical this August. Using the English version of the script and score, this musical set during the Cold-War involves a politically heated chess tournament between two grandmasters: an American and a Soviet. Performances run from August 23rd through September 4th. Photographer John Posada was on hand to take photos.
Tim Rice, who wrote the book and the lyrics for Chess, is one of seventeen artists to have won an Emmy, Oscar, Grammy and Tony in the US and is best known for his collaborations with Andrew Llyod Webber, with whom he wrote Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus collaborated with Rice on this musical. Chess started as a concept album that quickly gained notoriety, placing seventh in a BBC Radio 2 listener poll of the UK's "Number One Essential Musicals," with songs like “One Night in Bangkok,” “Embassy Lament,” and “Endgame.”
Elizabeth Lucas directs Surflight’s Chess. Favorite stage directing credits of hers include Nine, Kiss Of The Spider Woman and the Marta Kauffman/David Crane/Michael Skloff-written Rapunzel. Lucas is currently launching the new company Free Range Humans, producing story-driven immersive entertainment, from site specific theatre to virtual reality. Elizabeth Troxler choreographs Surflight’s Chess. Troxler has served as the director and choreographer of this season’s Legally Blonde at Surflight. She has also choreographed Surflight’s Matilda and Bright Star. The creative team also includes Musical Direction by Nick Guerrero, Costume Design by Kaitlynn Farnham, Sound Design by Ian Wehrle, and Lighting Design by Anthony Marinaro. This production is made possible under the leadership of Artistic Director Steve Steiner.
Surflight’s cast of Chess includes familiar and new faces alike. Steve Steiner, Surflight’s Producing Artistic Director, joins the cast as Alexander Molokov, the villainous KGB agent and metaphorical chessmaster. Steve Steiner has appeared in 3 Broadway productions (Buddy Holly…The Buddy Holly Story, Anything Goes 1987 revival, and State Fair), 3 Off-Broadway (Annie Warbucks, Return to the Forbidden Planet, Honky Tonk Highway), 4 national tours and dozens of regional productions. Steve Steiner has also directed 4 national tours, 8 major casino productions, more than 50 regional productions across 17 states, and he is the proud recipient of The Cultural Access Task Force’s Innovator Award for his forward thinking and hiring practices for artists with disabilities.
In the chess tournament between two grandmasters, Danny Crowe plays the American player Frederick Trumper, and Noah Lyon plays the Russian player Anatoly Sergievsky. Crowe’s recent credits include Winston in 1984 at The Circuit Playhouse and Robert in The Bridges of Madison County at the Texas Shakespeare Festival. Lyon has joined us on the Surflight stage this summer as Henri Baurel in An American in Paris and Warner in Legally Blonde, and he has also appeared in The Addams Family and Escape to Margaritaville. Christa Steiner, who most recently joined us on the Surflight stage as Vivienne Kensington in Legally Blonde, portrays Florence Vassy, Freddie’s chess second and Anatoly’s lover. Christa Steiner’s other past Surflight credits include Julia Sullivan in The Wedding Singer and Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, among others.
The rest of the cast includes Mike Brennan (also seen in Escape to Margaritaville, Legally Blonde, The Addams Family, and An American in Paris) as Walter De Courcey, Austin Jacobs (also seen in Escape to Margaritaville, Legally Blonde, The Addams Family, and An American in Paris) as Arbiter and Sophia Swannell (also seen in Legally Blonde, The Addams Family, An American in Paris) as Svetlana. Surflight’s Chess ensemble includes members of the 2022 resident cast: Bridget Bailey, Emma Grace Bailey, Jake Bartley, Rhagan Carter, Jacob Lill, Hector Molina, Filip Przybycien, Katie Van Horn.
Here are more photos from the production.
Performances are August 23-28, August 30-31, September 1-4. All performances are at 8:00pm. There is also a 2:00pm matinee on August 25, 28, 30 and September 4th.
Tickets: Adults- $41.00; Children 12 and Under- $31.00. To purchase tickets; go to www.surflight.org, or call (609) 492-9477.
Surflight Theatre is located at 201 Engleside Avenue in Beach Haven, New Jersey. The mission of Surflight Theatre is to provide high quality professional live theatre to the vacationers of Long Beach Island and the residents of Southern New Jersey, while providing training to young theatre performers and technicians. Our goal is to engage, entertain and foster appreciation of live theatre for adults, teens and children and serve as a community resource. Our Mainstage employs professionals and early career artists for Broadway style productions 7 months of the year. Our Children's Theatre provides entertainment for ages 2-10 to promote a lifelong interest in the performing arts. Our educational program includes Surflight To-Go, a touring educational theatre company.
John Posada is a New Jersey based photographer specializing in live theatre and music performances. For more than 10 years, John has photographed live music events where he mastered the techniques of timing and capturing fast moving action under challenging lighting conditions to capture that perfect moment that tells a story in a single image. Currently, John has photographed over 110 productions for over 70 different theatres and venues. Click here for John's website.