Chess in Concert
Interview with Josh Groban

Josh Groban, star of the Tim Rice musical “Chess in Concert,” speaks candidly to WNET/THIRTEEN about this passion project, his co-stars Idina Menzel (Wicked) and Adam Pascal (Rent), and the chart-topping music, created by ABBA composers Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus. Premiering in HD on THIRTEEN on June 17th at 8 p.m. EST (check local listings), Great Performances is proud to present “Chess in Concert,” taped at the Royal Albert Hall in London in May 2008. Click below to watch a preview of the show, as narrated by the “King of Chess” himself, Josh Groban.

  • mary carey

    Don’t forget to watch Josh on June 17th.

  • MAF

    Another awesome interview with Josh! Thanks for posting it.

  • Becca

    Josh indeed IS the King of CHESS!

  • voicetranced

    The video will not play for me. Says it is not available. PLEASE FIX IT. Thank you.

  • Angel 0404

    Oooh I have goosebumps just remembering it. I was there both nights and everyone gave an outstanding performance. Josh, I know you are modest but you were the BEST!

    Love

    Angel

  • GEW

    Also says video is not available. What is the problem?

  • Rosa

    Oh Josh, so handsome as always :)

  • Wendy

    Can’t wait to see this. The music sounds amazing. Thank you PBS for bring us lots of Josh Groban!

  • César

    I am very, very impatient for to buy this amazing collection of “Chess In Concert”, I mean, doble C.D and DVD, not as a huge ABBA fan, also I am very admirer of Josh Groban, the greatest voice in this century.

  • Kaela

    I cannot wait for this to air on Wednesday!!

  • Sabrina

    Adam Pascal is a personal friend of mine I have known him since he was a baby – we lived in the same building and I was his one and only Nanny.
    He has the face & voice of an angel!

  • Ravenelvenlady

    Josh is obviously the best voice in this production, judging from this delicious clip.

  • Alan

    I have the cd from the original production in the 80s…always liked the music, can’t wait to see this production on tv!

  • mary ellen goodman

    enjoy and am edified by your programs.

  • Dick Barnett

    Josh is great but I have been an Indina Menzel fan since Wicked and think that she is the very, very best!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can’t wait!!!

  • e.barsky

    With Josh Groban performing, and putting his heart into the show, it can only be the best.

  • Keith Riedell

    I’d like to see a complete cast list of all the singers. Adam, Josh, Idina — brilliant casting — but who are singing the other roles?

  • Jeanne Keleman

    But will we be able to watch on line at some point. I shouted out loud at work when I found out about this event ,but alas, cannot get PBS on my tiny TV. I tried so hard to get to London to see the original in the 80s.

  • jawbone

    Listening/watching, getting goosebumps. I’ll must watch again.

  • jawbone

    For #17, a bit of info from Playbill:

    Tony Award winner Idina Menzel as Florence, Tony nominee Adam Pascal as Frederick Trumper with internationally acclaimed vocalist Josh Groban as Anatoly Sergievsky, London Wicked star Kerry Ellis as Svetlana, David Bedella as Molokov, Clarke Peters as Walter and Marti Pellow as The Arbiter. The ensemble included Grant Anthony, Christopher Colley, Tiffany Graves, Leila Benn Harris, David Michael Johnson, Debbie Kurup, Aoife Mulholland and Tabitha Webb.

    Hugh Wooldridge, who adapted the musical for the concert, directed; David Firman conducted the orchestra.

    Isn’t there usually some page here with all those interesting details? Photos, etc.?

  • leo reshler

    at the end of the show they listed the address to send for the dvd. i missed it. can someone please help with the address. i believe the cost was $19.95 . a bargain thank you. leo

  • leo reshler

    my e mail address is casey3741@yahoo.com leo reshler

  • emma jordan

    This was a wonderful performance. I’m now 76. This is one of those “I miss my youth” moments. It brought back such exuberant family memories of London theater in the mid 70’s,mid 80’s. Now if someone would show some interest in doing the other Tim Rice, (composer Steven Oliver) much underrated medieval (Richard the Lionheart) story with the wonderfully witty Rice lyrics, my reverie could be complete. I love PBS.

  • Sarah Melici

    I was thrilled with all of the performers. The music, the story, the performances were so passionate and this was a concert performance! However, I would say it was a bit more than a “concert performance.” How lucky we are to have Channel 13. Thank you.

  • Susan Shuman

    I just loved watching it on PBS; I really had hoped to go to London last year to see it, but I
    couldn’t make it; but this was just great. I want
    to buy the DVD as soon as possible

  • Marj K

    Incredible! I remember the London and B’way versions and was totally blown away during this entire performance. Goosebumps, tears, the works!

  • heather

    I just finished watching Chess the Concert on PBS WOW! Spellbinding, Powerful. I want to own the DVD.

  • Vint Shurtliff

    All I can say is WOW!!! One of TV GREATEST MOMENTS!

  • Mark

    A andmark performance. The refinments over the years has yielded the definitive version. Josh Groban will henceforth be associated with “Anthem”. It’s if Benny knew a “Josh” would come along when he wrote it…I am still wowed

  • ross

    To be honest, I like the original soundtrack of “Chess” with Murray Head and Elaine Paige better, but i am very impressed that Chess has made a comeback.

  • Annabel

    I saw the original show in London years ago and loved it and the music. I’ve torn my place apart trying to find the original CD from then. So wonderful and very nostalgic to see it again. Let’s hope PBS shows us “Aspects of Love” – also fab music.

  • Megan

    Will the DVD of this program be available soon?

  • Dennis

    I had never seen this version of the story. The one I saw only had Freddie and Anatoly play. They get to the same 5-5 point and in the final match and Freddie wins, ending with chants of USA! Actually, I wouldn’t say Freddie won, but that Anatoly threw the match for Florence so her father could be freed. though in the end it wasn’t actually her father.

  • Cindy Wutzke

    Saw 80’s version in Pittsburgh, but also have original 2-CD set. Missed the beginning of this trying to get home in a rainstorm, so just HAD to stay up until 2AM to hear Josh sing Anthem. Had no idea he had such a powerful, effortless voice. Also, loved figuring out the other vocal gymnast was Adam Pascal (original Roger in Rent)- bonus! DVD mighty tempting! Is there CD?

  • Bruce Forbes

    I watched the show, by accident, getting into it about twenty minutes after it started. I ope the sart of the show identified the artists, as the speed-of-light scrawl at the end was unredable. Watching part way into the show it took a few minutes to determine that this was, indeed, “Chess”. A big change from the original, even the concept album. Characters dropped, characters added, musical numbers given to different actors and placed in new part of the play. The title “Chess in Concert” is apt as it is very different from the original. A very compelling performance, especially Mr. Groban. Interesting in the use of a very large chorus. I’ll purchase the CD, but will still prefer the (then) final production i my collection for many years.

  • Bruce Forbes

    I watched the show, by accident, getting into it about twenty minutes after it started. I ope the sart of the show identified the artists, as the speed-of-light scrawl at the end was unredable. Watching part way into the show it took a few minutes to determine that this was, indeed, “Chess”. A big change from the original, even the concept album. Characters dropped, characters added, musical numbers given to different actors and placed in new part of the play. The title “Chess in Concert” is apt as it is very different from the original. A very compelling performance, especially Mr. Groban. Interesting in the use of a very large chorus. I’ll purchase the CD, but will still prefer the (then) final production in my collection for many years.

  • Bruce Forbes

    I watched the show, by accident, getting into it about twenty minutes after it started. I hope the start of the show identified the artists, as the speed-of-light scrawl at the end was unredable. Watching part way into the show it took a few minutes to determine that this was, indeed, “Chess”. A big change from the original, even the concept album. Characters dropped, characters added, musical numbers given to different actors and placed in new part of the play. The title “Chess in Concert” is apt as it is very different from the original. A very compelling performance, especially Mr. Groban. Interesting in the use of a very large chorus. I’ll purchase the CD, but will still prefer the (then) final production in my collection for many years.

  • Ann

    What would I do without PBS! Thank you for another wonderful experience.

  • Byron Bailey

    Wonderful performance. Please find time to air it again. Thank you.

  • Ann Zepke

    I caught the telecast last night. I was not familiar with Chess, so I could make no comparisons. It was simply wonderful as it was!!
    I can’t wait to order the dvd.

  • Maureen

    Chess in Concert was superb! I will definitely be purchasing the CD.

  • Chris

    Exquisite, each and every detail, from the musicians and chorus to the dancers and lead singers. The songs were simply superb. Bravo!

  • Jennie Valentino

    Have been a Chess fan since my brothers introduced me to it several years ago. What a wonderful showcase for it! Josh and Idina, Kerry, and David… what brilliant casting! I hope this gets the music to millions more! I never saw any stage production of the actual musical. Is there one available on video??? I still feel that I am missing part of the story, though this helped to put most the pieces of the musical puzzle into place for me. Any information of a video production of the play would be greatly appreciated. Beautiful rendition!!!!!

  • http://www.wosu.org/blogs/arts/?p=209 WOSU Arts Blog» Blog Archive » Chess on PBS

    [...] The PBS broadcast features Idina Menzel (”Wicked”), Adam Pascal (”Rent”), and Josh Groban in a London concert revival. It features “One Night in Bangkok,” “I Know Him So Well,” and “The Anthem”), and was recorded in performance at Royal Albert Hall.Read the interview with Josh Grobin about the music [...]

  • gary grimes

    How can I buy a copy of Chess in Concert?

  • KristinR

    I saw the musical in London years many ago and loved it. Hearing these amazing performers and and voices bring it back to life was wonderful. The themes are still relevant today. Thank you!

  • Nan

    How come video is not available?

  • Teresa Ferraro

    I love Chess. love the performers. I saw it many years ago in NY and the theme and the music are still with me. I am disappointed I saw that it was schduled for tonight @ 9:00 pm but it was changed to antorhe Great Performance. When will I be able to see it? I ordered the DVD but it is available only after the 13th of july.

  • Paula P

    I was unaware that this program was on, but my hubby saw Josh’s name and recorded it for me. I was amazed at the storyline and the quality of the performance. Josh’s voice is growing and expanding from his early works. He is gaining strength and versitality. I anxiously await his new CD and the Chess DVD. Bravo to the cast!

  • rose laughman

    I throught this performance was just wonderful. I am of course a Big Josh fan, but the hole cast was amazing. This is one I will own. Great performances keep up the good work. You always give us the BEST programing. Thank You

  • CC

    Honestly, Idina Menzel was not great in that role. Her voice sounds immature and nasal. Not sure I like Marti as the Aribter either, it needs a stronger voice. All I can hear when I hear Adam Pascal is Rent. Josh Groban is a good singer but not a good actor. If you want a good recording of Chess get the Swedish version with Helen Sjoholm or the Danish version. They’re the best ones, surpassing the US and UK versions.

  • marylyn

    Loved it!!!!!!!!! I thought Idina voice was a little too nasal sounding but Josh was outstanding. Such a voice for someone so young. He just keeps getting better all the time. I thought his facial expressions were great and his acting was good, but it seemed a little
    ‘cold” with both him and Florence. Not a connection that seemed all that believable with either of them.

  • allison

    oh c’mon guys

    They are all so talented
    It was wonderful

  • Dave

    your Cd finally put a closure to my mom’s death 8 ths after she left this earth. I have seen you in 4 ventures Shrine ( I met David Foster sta beside me ) your brother. Tony Danza was there and then saw you in anaheimn plus 2 more. I still cry when I hear till you are there
    splasher01@juno.com I am memorized by your singing/

  • Deb

    Love this performance from start to finish. I don’t think it could have been any better!

  • rhoda friedman

    please tell me when they are rebroadcasting this show. Thank you

  • Vicki Mingus

    I thought Josh Groban was amazing in Chess. I just bought the DVD and love it. Everything Josh Groban does is wonderful and well worth watching. He is a an amazing singer, songwriter and performer. The more you air this talented man, the better. Thanks PBS.

  • Elke

    All I can say is WOW!JOSH is the best in this Concert…yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah…Josh We love you all here in Germany

  • K.Michael Sturgeon(a.k.a Michael)

    I would like to make and have people to produce my
    new adventure show for kids from Walt Disney
    television,distributed by buena vista and gpn and the creaters of reading rainbow and bill nye the
    science guy.

  • Art Thomson

    This was a great play. We missed it in June when will you repeat it?
    Thank you
    Art

  • Brian Torres

    Fantastic show!!! Why oh why wasn’t this nominated for Emmy awards?????

  • Shannon Cleveland

    I have listened to and owned the broadway version of this play and reading the synopsis of the play, I think Tim Rice was right when in the beginning of the concert he says, “I think we finally got it right.” To those turning this into a huge Josh vs. Adam issue. Let me say while I am a Grobanite I have to say that if you look at vocal quality Josh has (in my opinion) the best typical broadway voice, while Adam has (again in my opinion) the best rocky broadway voice which perfectly suits the rolls they are playing . I love this play/concert and hope Tim is right when on the Website for Chess in concert thinks that more musicals will go this way.

  • GHR

    While captive by Hurricane Irene, we happened across the great concert. Forget about the hurricane…this was the greatest thing going on today.

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