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Great Performances: ‘Chess’ in Concert

Airs Wednesday, June 17 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: The Chess cast, featuring Josh Groban, Idina Menzel and Adam Pascal (in center), takes a bow.

Before taking Broadway by storm with the jukebox hit Mamma Mia, ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus teamed with lyricist Tim Rice (Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita) in 1986 to create an original musical, the cult favorite Chess. Set during the Cold War intrigue of international chess tournaments, the musical dramatizes the romantic checkmate between an American chess champion, his lover and a Russian opponent secretly planning to defect to the West. Idina Menzel (Wicked, Enchanted), Adam Pascal (Rent) and pop superstar Josh Groban headline a concert production from London’s Royal Albert Hall, performing a captivating score that includes the top-40 single One Night in Bangkok, as well as memorable songs such as Anthem and I Know Him So Well. Watch a preview and an interview with Josh Groban online.