Ellis plays Chess with Menzel

Published April 17, 2008

The Royal Albert Hall’s forthcoming two-night production Chess In Concert should prove a doubly wicked night as Kerry Ellis joins Idina Menzel and Josh Groban in the cast. Also confirmed in the May concert is Broadway favourite Adam Pascal.

Ellis has been playing the role of green witch Elphaba in the London production of Broadway smash hit Wicked since January 2007, taking over from Menzel, who originated the part both in the West End and on Broadway. Chess In Concert will see the two leading ladies team up for a duet of I Know Him So Well, the famous song which became a number one chart hit when it was released by Elaine Paige and Barbara Dickson.

Pascal is well-known on Broadway for originating the role of Roger in the long-running musical Rent, returning to the part in the show’s final cast. His other Broadway credits include Tim Rice and Elton John’s Aida, a revival of Cabaret and concert performances of Chess and Hair.

Tim Rice, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus’s 1986 musical Chess centres on a romantic triangle between two players at a World Chess Championship and the woman who manages one and falls in love with the other. This two-night concert performance, produced by Rice himself, transforms the musical into a rock show, and features the 50-piece City of London Philharmonic and a 100-strong choir, plus the Royal Albert Hall’s pipe organ – the largest in Europe.

Chess In Concert plays at the Royal Albert Hall on 12 and 13 May.

Further casting will be released shortly.

CB