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One More Attempt at a coherent book 
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Fresh Face
Fresh Face

Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:36 pm
Posts: 15
Post One More Attempt at a coherent book
OK, here is yet another attempt at getting a song order that is somewhat coherent. My focus here was to try to do a few things: create a unified match; make the main romance a little less sudden, both in terms of its formation and its collapse; return the story to the original concept of relationships as a chess match (rather than the metaphor for political gamesmanship it became in most of the later versions); make Anatoly the emotional focus (rather than Florence) in order to have the London Endgame make emotional and dramatic sense. I would also tried to reduce the strident tone that productions seem to veer towards. I laid things out as a compromise; not quite how I would plot it starting from scratch, but not simply rearranging preexisting material either. No significant new musical material is really required. You could get by with almost all existing lyrics but new ones would be preferred.

Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:27 am
Fresh Face
Fresh Face

Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:36 pm
Posts: 15
Post Re: One More Attempt at a coherent book

Overture (Stockholm)/Story of Chess (Concept/London Lyrics): Arbiter, Company
[I like the long version of Story of Chess, but likely cutting it in half would work better.]

Act I:

[Brief monologue by Arbiter similar to London. It is the cold war (no specific dates need to be mentioned), and the world chess championships are about to take place in Merano. The American champion will defend against a new Soviet opponent.]

Merano (London, rearranged, one verse dropped, whistling sequence dropped)/What a Scene, What a Joy (London)/Introductions (Sydney, altered dialogue and lyrics)/Diplomats Song (London, one verse dropped, final verse changed to the Broadway lyrics)/Merano Reprise (Company, “Now for the sell…”): Arbiter, Freddie, Florence, Anatoly, Molokov, Walter, Company

[Each song in this sequence runs into the next without pause. The town is in full welcome mode for the World Chess Championships. The press swarms as the contestants and their entourages arrive. Freddie arrives first. The Arbiter welcomes both delegations: Freddie, Florence, Walter, Anatoly and Molokov. It is clear that Freddie does not like Anatoly and detests Molokov. Molokov notes that Florence is from Hungary. After the introductions, there is a press photo op and Diplomats Song is sung led by Walter and Molokov. All rejoin for the reprise as they join in the festivities.]

Chess Hymn (London, extended introduction): Company

[It is the Opening Ceremonies. During the musical introduction to the Chess Hymn, Florence and Freddie discuss last minute preparations (strategies, exercise schedules, meal plans etc) prior to the first match. Florence is patient but mildly exasperated, their relationship more like mother and child. This could be done initially with the scrim down so that a scene change could be done, with the scrim rising to reveal the opening ceremonies once the choir starts to sing. The musical introduction could be lengthened to include a verse which is hummed by the choir in order to cover the dialogue required.]

Arbiter (Stockholm, Concept lyrics): Arbiter, Company

[As the music begins, the Arbiter explains the rules (First 12 games are in Merano, the second 12 are in Bangkok. A win is 1 point, draw is 0.5 point; first to 12.5 points wins; in the event of a tie, the champion (Freddie) retains the title). He then sings his song. New lyrics are needed for the extra choruses. This song leads directly into the next.]

Chess (Concept, truncated): Instrumental

[There would be dialogue overtop of this: commentary on the match, commentary on chess, clips of press conferences both before and during the match, news clips of political events outside the match. Some of the clips could be lifted straight from the Broadway press conference scene and the London Chess. In the clips, Freddie is belligerent and accuses the Soviets of cheating. Anatoly remains diplomatic, but is given little chance to speak before Molokov takes over and makes politically charged statements. Freddie becomes more agitated both in the clips and on stage as the match proceeds. He eventually blows up for unclear reasons, flips the board, and storms out]

Quartet (London): Molokov, Florence, Anatoly, Arbiter

[After the song finishes, the Arbiter blames both parties and gives them 24 hours to resolve things or the championship is cancelled. He exits. Anatoly makes his remark about it being a shame that Florence cannot choose her employer, and she replies that he has the same issue (a la Broadway). Florence and Molokov is cut and replaced by a scene similar to the US Tour version. Florence and Molokov spar with each other, and it is revealed that Florence’s family was lost during the 1956 invasion. Anatoly (over Molokov’s strenuous objections) resolves things by suggesting a meeting with only him, Freddie and Florence, out of public view.]

American and Florence/Someone Else’s Story (Broadway): Freddie, Florence

[Scene opens with dialogue. Freddie is alone. Florence enters and informs him that they have a meeting at the Mountain Inn with only Anatoly. She asks what happened and how he knew the Russians were cheating. Freddie tells her that he faked it to buy time. She gets annoyed that she was left to clean up his mess. He questions her loyalty and accuses her of being attracted to Anatoly. The song starts. At the end of American and Florence, she runs off and sings Somone Else’s Story. At the end of SES, Florence returns to find a note from Freddie apologizing and saying that he will meet her at the top of the mountain.]

Russian and Molokov (Concept, one line changed to Sydney)/Where I Want to Be (Concept): Anatoly, Molokov.

[Scene starts with “The man is utterly mad”. Dialogue at the end of Russian and Molokov is altered. Molokov is still upset about Anatoly arranging the meeting without him and dislikes being spoken to harshly. He warns Anatoly that he is not his minion and that they are part of a team. He threatens that they can each be easily replaced, even Anatoly. Molokov leaves and Anatoly sings his solo.]

Jazz Interlude (Stockholm)/Mountain Duet (London): Florence, Anatoly

[Scene opens with Florence waiting impatiently at the bar, while a jazz pianist is playing a la Stockholm. Anatoly arrives and shoos Molokov away. They exchange strained pleasantries and wait in awkward silence. The duet begins. “Who’d ever think it” is cut. At the end of the duet, the couple have their moment and are about to kiss when Freddie arrives, sees them, and storms out. Florence chases after him to explain, but looks back to see Molokov and his men dragging Anatoly away. “Nobody’s Side” starts.]

Nobody’s Side (Broadway): Florence, Anatoly, Company

[This is altered to be a duet. Florence gets the first verse (“What’s going on around me”), Anatoly gets the second (“And when I give my reasons, to justify each move”), and they split the third with Florence getting (“The one I should not think of”) and Anatoly getting (“No lover’s ever faithful”). During the musical bridge, the match restarts. It is clear the match has become personal. At the end of the song, the Arbiter announces that Anatoly has taken a commanding lead. Everyone exits except Freddie and Florence. Florence looks apologetic and comes to try to console him, but Freddie lashes out as the next song begins.]

Florence Quits/A Taste of Pity (Concept): Freddie, Florence

New Song or Scene Using Music From Press Conference/Interview: Florence, Anatoly

[This is a chase scene starting with Florence rushing away carrying her hastily packed suitcase. She bumps into Anatoly, with a similar case, being pursued by Soviet agents. They both throw their cases at the agents and make a run for it. As they escape, they realize that they are both leaving for the same reason: intolerable employment situations. They escape to the British embassy with Molokov recognizing there will be hell to pay. This scene probably works better as spoken word.]

Embassy Lament (RAH2008): Embassy Staff, Anatoly

[This scene is preceded by news reports describing the latest political tensions, the progress of the chess match and Anatoly’s surprise defection. The interior of the embassy is then revealed and the staff sings their song. Anatoly does not have children in this version.]

New Song or Scene Using music from Apukad: Florence and Anatoly

[The couple is relieved and exhausted. Florence asks Anatoly about his wife but he tells her that while there is no ill will, their relationship had long since faded away. They both realize they have abandoned everything they ever had, and turn to each other. They kiss. Fade to black. Ideally this scene contains a new song with new lyrics but it does not have to.]

Anthem (London): Anatoly

[The scene starts with the popping of camera flashes in the dark and the sound of reporters, as Anatoly and Florence emerge from the Embassy. The reporters ask Anatoly why he is leaving and he sings his reply. He leaves with Florence.]

Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:35 am
Fresh Face
Fresh Face

Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:36 pm
Posts: 15
Post Re: One More Attempt at a coherent book
Act 2

Bangkok/One Night in Bankgok (London, Sydney opening): Freddie, Arbiter, Company

[Scene opens with a brief statement by the Arbiter who tells us it is several weeks later and the second half of the match has begun in Bangkok. He sings a modified Sydney Act II opening (“We are a world away from where we started…”) leading into Bangkok.

Heaven Help My Heart (London) or New song based on If the Stars Are in the Sky (Glom Mig Om Du Kan): Anatoly, Florence

[Scene starts with dialogue, as Anatoly and Florence have a quiet moment together. Anatoly gets ready to leave to meet his second, as he is concerned about Freddie’s improved play. Florence complains that because of the match, she hardly sees him anymore. She asks why she is not his second. He states that they have already discussed this and he cannot have her as both a second and a lover. She replies that she has done it before. There is a tense moment, but they calm down before things get out of hand and Anatoly promises that once that match is over, things will be easier. Either Anatoly or Florence exits depending on who gets the next solo. The song follows; either Heaven Help My Heart or a new parallel song where Anatoly feels that things have been wonderful so far, but wonders if this relationship too will decay as his others have once the demands of the relationship increase.]

Soviet Machine (Sydney, rearranged, middle verse cut, spoken words altered): Molokov, Company

[Molokov meets with his deputies. He has been given orders to have Anatoly lose and to get him to come home, using any means necessary in order for the nation to save face. He reveals that they will use Anatoly’s wife to guilt him as well as using information on Florence’s father to try to pressure Florence into helping them. The song ends with Molokov calling Walter to ask for his assistance, as the news shows Svetlana’s arrival.]

Argument (London)/You and I (Broadway): Anatoly, Florence, Svetlana

[Scene starts with Florence watching Svetlana’s arrival. Anatoly is at the chess board, not looking happy about the position he is contemplating. Florence asks Anatoly why, if his marriage was over, his wife is coming to see him. They sing Argument. When the song finishes, time passes and the couple calms down. Anatoly tries to apologize and they sing You and I (but use London’s “each day we get through” lyric). They make up, but then Anatoly is confronted by Svetlana who sings “You knew better than me…”]

A Whole New Boardgame (Broadway, fragment)/No Contest (Broadway)/Pity the Child: Freddie, Walter

[Freddie is at his chessboard while the news is playing, showing that Freddie has evened things up in the match. The clip shows Freddie singing “A Whole New Boardgame” up to “it’s all down to the day that I told her to get out of my life…” when he turns it off. Walter enters to congratulate him. Freddie asks him why he thinks Florence left. Walter tells him that it had nothing to do with chess, but when asked to elaborate, Walter tells him to focus on the match. They sing “No Contest”. As Walter leaves, he tells Freddie to stay focused. Freddie replies that he has never needed a woman’s help to succeed and sings “Pity the Child” where he starts confident, but soon breaks down.]

The Deal (Sydney, rearranged, reorchestrated, modified): Arbiter, Molokov, Walter, Svetlana, Florence, Freddie, Anatoly.

[Song starts with the Arbiter as usual. Between the scene shifts, the Arbiter sings his “Simple Boardgame” line. The scene shifts to Molokov and Walter. Molokov hands him a dossier on Florence’s father and explains how pressuring Anatoly helps both of them. They sing the chorus to “Let’s Work Together”. The scene shifts to the Molokov and Svetlana scene where Molokov is pressuring her to bring Anatoly home. Shift to Svetlana and Anatoly. Instead of singing, they have a spoken conversation from Broadway (“Is she rich?...Is she beautiful?”) overtop the music from the verse of “Where I want to be”, before Svetlana sings the chorus of “Where I Want to Be”. The scene shifts to Walter and Florence. Walter tells her that they can free her father if she pressures Anatoly to lose and go home. He tells her that the match is not going well and Anatoly will lose anyway; she needs to think of herself and her father. He leaves her with a dossier. The scene shifts back to Walter and Molokov who discuss the situation, and decide to enlist Freddie. Walter gives Freddie the dossier and says he can use it to get what he wants: winning the match and winning back Florence. The scene shifts to Freddie and Anatoly. This is reorchestrated to be quieter and quicker (so that it is more underhanded and less strident in tone; it also will sound less repetitious since No Contest has preceded it). Freddie tells Anatoly to go back home to help Florence get her father and he refuses. The scene shifts to Florence (“When I was young, I learned that memory…”). Freddie enters and offers to help Florence. She rejects him. They all sing the “Who’d ever think it, such a squalid little ending…” Anatoly then sings (a la Sydney) his “Now it’s all, Crystal clear” line, Florence sings her “This is my father’s life…” reply and Svetalana sings “If you win, I will lose…” At the end of the song (After the “Nobody’s Side” reprise) the scene is back at the chess match, with the Arbiter announcing that the match is tied with one match to go. In the event of a final draw, Freddie will retain his title. Anatoly walks away, ignoring entreaties from both Florence and Svetlana.

I Know Him So Well (Concept): Florence, Svetlana

[This is done using both the London and Concept musical introductions. The two women do not acknowledge each other during the song.]

Endgame (London, modified): Arbiter, Molokov, Walter, Freddie, Florence, Svetlana, Anatoly Company

[This song follows the London structure. Chess champions are named up until Kaspararov ie up until the end of the cold war. The Arbiter starts the singing (with a new or modified lyric). Walter, talking to Molokov, expresses faith in Freddie (again, new or modified lyric). Molokov and Florence’s lines are verbatim from London. As the match starts, Freddy is upset, singing his lines from Broadway (“So he hasn’t cracked”). As Anatoly continues to ignore her, Florence continues the tune with “As you seem to have shut out”). From this point on, the song follows the Concept version from the “Chess” section and “They all think they see a man” through to the end. Anatoly wins.

You and I (Concept, Story of Chess mostly cut): Florence, Anatoly, Arbiter, Company

[This scene starts with a dialogue between Florence and Anatoly. She congratulates him on his championship. He states that he is a chess player; winning is what he does. There were no alternatives. He doubts that Molokov would genuinely turn over her father as he is not in the business of rewarding defectors; nor were any guarantees given. His wife’s (and their families’) fates were sealed by his defecting. Returning would not really help them, nor would losing, as his defection would need to be visually punished. Florence asks how he feels about her. Anatoly hesitates and asks what she will do. She says that Walter has offered to help her find out what she can from Moscow; however, she cannot do this while they are together. She has decided to leave and try to find her father. Both of them have made logical decisions and the cost has been their relationship. They sing “You and I” and say goodbye. The company reappears, led by the Arbiter, as they were in the prologue. They sing the “Each game of chess” refrain from “Story of Chess”. Florence and Anatoly reenter and reminisce about how things went and wonder what might have been (“This is an all too familiar scene”).

Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:40 am
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