The British and American producers of the musical
Chess have postponed indefinitely an
American production of the show, leaving in question when – and if – the musical
will open in
“I think it will open, and I hope it will open, because it’s a terrific show,” Tyler Gatchell, an executive producer and the general manager of the production, said yesterday. Last week Gerald Schoenfeld, president of the Shubert Organization, said that rehearsals for the Broadway production would begin in early February. Yesterday, however, the producers – Three Knights Ltd., Shubert and Robert Fox Ltd. – together cited “insurmountable scheduling difficulties” as the reason for the postponement.
“It’s nothing superdramatic,” Tim Rice, the lyricist and a producer of the
show, said of the decision to postpone, in a telephone conversation yesterday
From the outset, however, Chess –
which has been running in
Change of directors
The original director, Michael Bennett, withdrew because of illness after
several months of work on the
For the Broadway production, Mr Rice rewrote the book with Richard Nelson and added several new songs. The show seemed to be headed for a Broadway opening this season, but the exact date had been a matter of debate for more than a year. Mr Rice acknowledged that while coordinating the British, Swedish and American interests in the show was a complex matter, it was nothing compared with fitting the director’s schedule to a Broadway timetable. Mr Nunn, who could not be reached for comment yesterday, is one of the busiest directors in the industry.
A dispute emerged over whether the show would try out on the road before
Chess marks Mr Rice’s first venture in producing. “I would like to have come in nine months ago,” he said of the American production. With vague talk of a fall 1988 production, he must now consider the possibility of finding a new director if Mr Nunn is not available.
“Obviously, I’m disappointed,” Mr Rice said. “In retrospect, I think the less
people you get involved, the better. The barrier of the
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