Bootless Presents World Sensation CHESS UK VERSION in Concert

by Patricia Bradford

Wilmington, DE – Bootless Stageworks is proud to present two breathtaking performances of the 1986 West End hit CHESS with lyrics by Tim Rice (Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita) and music by Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of ABBA (Mamma Mia). Bootless’s performance features some of the finest regional talent including: Rick Fountas (Freddie), Michael Poposvsky (Anatoly), Marnie Kanarek (Florence), Jennie Knackstedt (Svetlana), Peter Campbell (Molokov), Dan Urdeneta (Walter) and Justin Walsh (Arbiter), as well as a 12 member chorus and 28 member orchestra, all under the baton of Conductor, James W. Fuerst, and performed as a semi-staged concert similar in style to the 2009 Royal Albert Hall concert version starring Josh Groban and Idina Menzel.

CHESS tells the fictional story of a romantic triangle between American Chess Grandmaster Freddie Trumper, Soviet Chess Grandmaster Anatoly Sergievsky, and Florence Vassy, a woman who manages one and falls in love with another – all within the context of the Cold War. Although the protagonists were not intended to represent any specific individuals, the American character is loosely based on American Chess Grandmaster Bobby Fischer, while elements of the story may have been inspired by the chess careers of Russian Grandmasters, Victor Korchnoi and Anatoly Karpov.

First released as a concept album in 1984, CHESS received critical accolades, with Rolling Stone raving that the album had a “dazzling score.” CHESS quickly became a hit worldwide, reaching Top 10 chart status in the UK, West Germany and South Africa; reaching #47 on the US Billboard 200, #39 in France, #35 in Australia, and #1 on Toppilstan, Sweden’s national record chart. The first theatrical production of CHESS opened on London’s West End in 1986 to rave reviews; “…a major triumph” (Today) and “one of the bigger West End mob scenes in recent memory” (Variety). The musical has since remained popular in the UK, coming in seventh in a recent BBC Radio 2 listener poll of the U.K’s “Number One Essential Musicals,” falling in between Evita and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The international popularity of Chess secures it as being a cult classic for years to come.

Bootless’ performance of CHESS will be presented on April 17th and 18th as part of Bootless’ Annual Artist Fundraiser. All profits from this event will directly enable Bootless Stageworks to increase stipends paid to the talented collective of Emerging Artists that perform with Bootless throughout the season. All performances will take place in Bootless’ new home located at St. Stephens Lutheran Church, 1301 N. Broom St, Wilmington, DE. The venue offers free parking, full ADA access, and is within walking distance to several Trolley Square restaurants and pubs for pre-show dining and after-show drinks. For more information, please visit


Bootless Stageworks provides and cultivates theater experiences among people wanting to be entertained intellectually, aesthetically and emotionally through challenging stage presentations. A collaborative company of emerging artists and dedicated volunteers, Bootless Stageworks creates artistically original, high-quality theatrical performances for the enrichment of target audiences.

Theater/Organization Bootless Stageworks
Theater/Organization Website:

Theater/Organization Address: 1301 N. Broom Street Annex – St. Stephen’s Church Wilmington, Delaware 19806 (Map It)
Theater/Organization Phone: (302)997-9300

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