The Jamestown College theater department’s fall musical is “Chess,” a story about chess and the cold war. Â I had an opportunity to watch it last night.
It was an enjoyable event, although the second half seemed to drag on a bit, especially since it got increasingly sappy. Â It’s sometimes hard for me to take people seriously when they are singing about “true love” at the top of their voices. Â But I digress.
Jeff Prentice, who played the Russian chess player Anatoly, is an excellent singer, so his rendition of “Anthem” was quite powerful. Â Also good was “Pity the Child,” sung by Jordan Wolfe as American chess player Freddie. Â But I think my favorites of the night were some of the secondary characters, particularly Brandon Bodien as the match Arbiter and Logan Caldwell as “the agent” Walter. Â Both Bodien and Caldwell can sing well, and their acting is also engaging and humorous.
Best Russian accent prize goes to Morgan Bossman, who did a touching portrayal of Anatoly’s scorned wife Svetlana. Â Bossman had the most believable cadence for a Russian speaking English, and her managed to bring a bit of the accent into her songs.
Most surprising singer award goes to Rhys Harries, who played a relatively minor part as Florence’s father. Â When he appears toward the end of the play, he looked almost unable to speak, let alone sing. Â Yet his voice was excellent.
If you’re interested in catching the show, you’ve got one more chance tonight!