Passion for The Game and Love
“A genuinley fantastic score, perhaps one of the few musicals between West Side Story and Hamilton to meaninfully sound like a worthwhile product of the popular music of its day.” TIMEOUT NEW YORK
Composed by the men of supergroup ABBA and the smash hit Mamma Mia! featuring ‘80s hits One Night in Bangkok, I Know Him So Well, and Anthem. It’s the 1980’s and the Cold War is at its darkest. Two chess masters meet in Bangkok to battle for the world championship, but their greatest contest is for the love of one woman. This story of love and political intrigue takes us from Bangkok to Budapest where the players, lovers, politicians, and spies all struggle to get the upper hand.
Chess In Concert is a modern classic that explodes into life. We will transform the theater into an intimate cabaret room with a live orchestra and a cast of talented actors performing a concert version of Chess.
MEET THE CAST
MEET THE PRODUCTION TEAM
RICHARD NELSON – Book
BJÖRN ULVAEUS & BENNY ANDERSSON – Music
TIM RICE – Lyrics
JEFFREY CASS – Director
AARON ZIMMERMAN – Musical Director
DE HADDAD – Stage Manager/Asst. Director
TIM ELLIOTT – Sound Mixer
JULIE ANN KORNAK (Florence)
was most recently seen as Charlotte in BST’s A Little Night Music. Other BST credits include: Amalia in She Loves Me, Tanya in Mamma Mia!, Claudia in BST’s Inaugural concert series production of NINE in Concert, and as Francesca in Bridges of Madison County. Julie has also been singing in the Summer in the Parks Concert Series. Julie can be seen singing in many Naperville and local area churches.
JUSTIN MILLER (Anatoly)
is thrilled to be returning to BrightSide Theatre where he was previously seen as Robert Kincaid in The Bridges of Madison County. He was also seen in the national tour of Finding Neverland. Justin has also performed worldwide as a vocalist aboard Seabourn Cruise Line. Other theatre includes: Camelot, Mamma Mia!, A Christmas Carol, and Bright Star.
MICHAEL METCALF (Freddie)
is delighted to be returning to BrightSide Theatre after last being seen as Joseph in their 2018 production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Recent theater credits include Rock of Ages (Mercury); Shrek, Camelot (Music Theater Works); Last Five Years (Steel Beam); Once Upon a Mattress (Theo Ubique); Little Shop of Horrors (Metropolis); All Shook Up, Elephant Man (Raue Center). Upcoming project: Jersey Boys (Mercury)
EDWARD MACLENNAN (Molokov)
is pleased to be teaming back up with BrightSide Theatre in this production of Chess in Concert. He was last seen here playing Guido in Nine in Concert. He has played over fifty roles; among his favorites are Guido Contini in Nine, The Phantom in the Phantom of the Opera, and Edward Bloom in Big Fish.
JIM HEATHERLY (Walter)
happily returns to Brightside Theatre in the award-winning musical Chess in Concert. Over the past 25 years, Jim appeared in over 100 productions. Some of Jim’s favorites include Miracle on 34th Street (Brightside Theatre), Anything Goes (Metropolis Theatre), An Enemy of the People (Goodman Theatre), A Wonderful Life (Theatre-at-the-Center), Guys and Dolls (Light Opera Works), and in New York Orpheus Descending (directed by Austin Pendleton). Jim has appeared in many TV productions and feature films. And Jim recently published a series of Sherlock Holmes novels, with the Arthur Conan Doyle Estate seal.
MEG MCGARRY (Svetlana) i
s so grateful to work with this fabulous company again after last appearing as Maria in The Sound of Music. At home anywhere near a stage, she teaches youth theatre at The Paramount School of the Arts, performs weekly with the band Guided Path at UCC Elmhurst and is the Board President of Fox Country Players.
ZACH GIBSON (Arbiter)
is excited to debut with BrightSide in Chess in Concert and has been involved in regional community theater for over 10 years. Favorite roles include The D’Ysquith Family (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder; 2023 Lou Award Winner – Best Performer Lead Role), Barrett (Titanic the Musical), & Peter Shaw (Silent Sky) [Wheaton Drama]; Quasimodo (Hunchback of Notre Dame) & Officer Lockstock (Urinetown) [NTP]; Father Flynn (Doubt) [Greenman].
STAN AUSTIN (Gregor)
Chess in Concert marks Stan’s third production for BrightSide, following Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, The Musical (Lou Award Nomination) and Bill Austin in Mamma Mia!. He has had many featured roles in the Chicago area including Stuart Dalrymple (Brigadoon-Music Theatre Works), Narrator/Mysterious Man (Into the Woods-Big Noise Theatre), Judge Turpin (Sweeney Todd), The Chairman (Mystery of Edwin Drood) and Mr. Lawrence (Little Women -Lou Award Nomination) all at Wheaton Drama.
HENRY ALLOWAY (Ensemble)
is so excited to be a part of Chess in Concert! Previously, Henry has performed in several shows throughout the Midwest. Most recently, they had opportunities to perform in Bussy Talks (Self), Sondheim on Sondheim (Matthew Scott), and Rent (Roger u/s and ensemble).
AMY BAMBERGER (Ensemble)
returns to BrightSide after performing in Disney’s Descendants (Evil Queen) and Nine in Concert (Stephanie Necrophorus). Other favorite roles include Lucy in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (WCT), Penelope Pennywise in Urinetown (GreenMan), and Vi Moore in Footloose (WPA). Chess was Amy’s first musical obsession as a youth.
ANDREW BUEL (Ensemble)
is glad to return to BrightSide and be a part of the Chess in Concert ensemble. He was most recently seen as a member of the Quintet in A Little Night Music. His acting has taken him all over the Chicago suburbs, from Naperville to St. Charles to Skokie to Volo.
BOB BULLEN (Ensemble)
Three years ago Bob took to the stage after a 23-year hiatus and hasn’t looked back. Recent credits: Titanic the Musical (Wheaton Drama), The Pajama Game (Summer Place Theatre), Sondheim on Sondheim (Village Theatre Guild), and Sweeney Todd (North Riverside Players).
KRISTINA DRENDEL (Ensemble)
is delighted to be performing with BrightSide again after last appearing in A Little Night Music! She holds a B.A. in Musical Theatre from Columbia College Chicago and an M.A. in English from Arizona State University. She has worked with multiple Chicagoland theatres including Goodly Creatures, Canterbury Summer Theatre, Chicago Kids Company, and Paradox Theatre Works.
MARIANNE EMBREE (Ensemble)
this is her second show with BrightSide Theater, and she is hoping the trend continues. Most recently she appeared at BrightSide as Tessitura in Gypsy. Regionally, she has appeared in Seussical, the Musical (Sour Kangaroo), Spamalot (Lady of the Lake) and Steel Magnolias (M’Lynn). In addition to professional work in Nashville, TN, she traveled the nation performing in shows such as Guys and Dolls (Sarah), The Secret Garden (Rose), City of Angels (Alaura) and Will Rogers Follies (Betty Blake).
NICHOLAS J GREANIAS (Ensemble)
is delighted to be making his first appearance with BrightSide Theatre. A retired United States diplomat, Nick has performed in 8 countries and 14 states. Nick’s favorite characterizations include Tevye, Henry Higgins, Don Quixote, John Adams, Fagin, the King of Siam, Emile de Becque, and a half-dozen Gilbert and Sullivan baritone roles.
MEGHAN KESSEL (Ensemble)
is happy to be back at BrightSide! Past BrightSide Theatre credits: A Little Night Music, Gypsy, City of Angels in Concert, She Loves Me, and Promises, Promises in Concert. Other favorites include Little Red Riding Hood (Little Red), Metropolis’ Christmas Carol (Christmas Past), and 9 to 5 (Judy Bernly). When not on stage Meghan is a Music Director, teaches at Old Town School of Folk Music, and does TYA with AlphaBet Soup Productions.
CHRISTINE RONNA (Ensemble)
is happy to be back at BrightSide Theatre. She was most recently seen at BrightSide playing Oolie/Donna in City of Angels in Concert. Her other BrightSide credits include Rosie in Mamma Mia!, Mrs. Fezziwig in A Christmas Carol the Musical, Marge in The Bridges of Madison County, General Cartwright in Guys and Dolls, and Sister Margaretta in The Sound of Music.
JOHN SALOMONE (Ensemble)
is thrilled to be back performing with BrightSide Theatre, having previously played Corny Collins in their production of Hairspray. In addition to Corny, John’s favorite past roles include Curly (Oklahoma!), Don Lockwood (Singin’ in the Rain), and Harold Hill (The Music Man). John is a high school math teacher at Marmion Academy in Aurora
AMY STEELE (Ensemble)
is happy to be working again with BrightSide Theatre. Favorite credits include The Sound of Music (Beverly Arts Center), The Last 5 Years (Steel Beam), Striking 12 (BoHo); Little Women (JPAC); and Shout! The Mod Musical (Drury Lane Water Tower).