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People who like the musical Chess, where do I start if I want to get into that show??? Do I listen to the soundtrack first? Watch the concert? Watch a boot?


I know people who have gotten into it all sorts of ways—I think there are a lot of good answers and it’s hard to know which will appeal to you. Here’s some general advice:

  • If you want to see actors/singers you already like, if you’re into theater at all there is probably at least one version of Chess with someone you know in it. The 2008 Chess In Concert (which is available on DVD, so a lot of people have seen it) has Josh Groban, Idina Menzel, Adam Pascal, Kerry Ellis, etc. The 2003 Chess In Concert (which was professionally filmed is and not available for purchase, but was leaked) has Josh Groban, Julia Murney, Adam Pascal, Norm Lewis, Raul Esparza, Sutton Foster, etc. The 1990 Long Beach Civic Light Opera production has Jodi Benson, voice of Ariel in The Little Mermaid. The 1998 Chess In Concert has Alice Ripley and Brian d’Arcy James (but you may not get to see it). The 1988 Broadway production and 1989 Chess In Concert (the latter is another one which was professionally filmed and a copy of that is around) have Judy Kuhn. And so on, really…
  • If you want a version beloved by hardcore Chess fans (this is purely the impression I get from other fans around Tumblr and I can’t claim to actually speak for Chess fans as a whole), popular album choices include the 1984 Concept Album (It produced big radio hits and inspired this whole mess, and not for nothing) and the 2002 Danish Tour Album (which is in English, and preferably you want to track down the Complete Cast Album even though you can’t easily buy it anymore). Popular productions for watching (ahem) include the 1990 Long Beach Civic Light Opera again (though mostly in comparison to the Broadway production, which it is based on and commonly considered to be an improvement upon), the 1990 Sydney production (which is very different from pretty much any other version of Chess but many people really like what they did with the story), and the 2003 Swedish production (which is in Swedish, but it’s also professionally shot and available for purchase—they have an album too). The 2010 UK Tour is very unconventional in their staging but is notable for, you know, not being several decades old, which has its benefits.
  • If you want to go back to basics and understand where all of these productions and concerts came from and how they came to be so different from each other—it all started with the 1984 Concept Album, and then the 1986 London production (recordings are around, but… almost 30 years old), and then the 1988 Broadway production (an album and other recordings are around, but you know, same). is a great source of information about these earlier productions and the early history of the show in general from someone who was a fan when they were happening.

Uh, good luck, I guess!

Unlike a lot of musicals, it’s one I’d recommend starting with audio recordings. I’d say the Danish Tour Cast is a great introduction for being very complete. And the concept album for being the more famous versions.
As far as videos, I’m super fond of the UK Tour, which is also really well filmed (I forget I’m watching a bootleg sometimes).
These are all ones I’ve shared with non-fans who have gone on to enjoy the show, so they’re probably more accessible than some of the alternatives.

doyouhearthefranzising replied to your post “Holy shit, I just saw the football score! Deutschland uber alles…”

IT’S RIDICULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (and i’m very happy) (and a bit sad for brazil)

I don’t feel it’s much of a jinx to say congratulations!

4 goals in six minutes though that is mental!

Is it mean of me to say that I hope they keep scoring through the second half? I wanna see some records broken!

What about our fans? Are they privileged? Let me tell you about Anders. He was one of two male love interests in Dragon Age II, and the only one of the two that would actually make his intentions known to the player without the player expressing interest first. If you were nice to him, he would make a pass at you, and you could turn him down, and that would be the end of it. And some fans REALLY did not like that.

Some of them asked for a gay toggle; because in a game where there’s mature themes, slavery, death, and none of which we offer toggles for, encountering a gay character? OOH, beyond the pale. They didn’t want to be exposed to homosexuality.

And this one fan on our forums posted that he felt too much attention had been spent on women and gays and not enough on straight male gamers. For all of whom he personally spoke, of course. ‘It’s ridiculous that I even have to use a term like Straight Male Gamers, when in the past I would only have to say fans.’ The purpose of the romances in Dragon Age II was to give each type of fan an equal content. Two romances whether you’re male or female, straight or gay.

How upsetting for this particular Straight Male Gamer to realize he wasn’t being catered to. This was not equality to him, but an imbalance; an imbalance of the natural order. He did not want equality, he’s not interested in equality. To him, from his perspective, equality means he’s getting less. Less options? Actually, no, the number of options we had in that game was actually the same number of options that he would have received earlier. What was his issue was the idea that there was attention being spent on other groups, which SHOULD have rightly gone to him.

Do ALL straight male gamers feel exactly the same as he does? Absolutely not. In the thread where this came up in fact, there was quite a few guys who came in and identified themselves as straight male gamers and said ‘I actually don’t have an issue with that, as long as I receive an experience I enjoy, I think other people should be able to enjoy that too.’ But if you think that Straight Male Gamer Dude is an outlier among our fanbase, you were not paying attention.

This is Anita Sarkeesian, she’s the author of the Feminist Frequency, a blog which examines tropes in the depiction of women in popular culture. You’ve probably all heard about this, it’s a matter of public record, she announced a Kickstarter to start a web series to look at the tropes in video games and she was subjected to a campaign of vicious abuse and harassment by male gamers. Why? Well, because she represents to these guys the loss of their coveted place in the gaming audience. Never mind that well all know Goddamn well that they’re still at the top of the totem pole. What they see themselves losing is sole proprietorship over their domain. That’s what it is.

Everything that is changing about the gaming industry to accommodate these players, to them, is diluting the purity of gaming which has belonged solely to them. That’s what this is all about. And here’s the thing, I’m pretty certain that our industry fears the scrutiny of those guys way more than the scrutiny of everyone else. Because those are the guys that scream at the top of their lungs, they spend their time on every internet forum, they spend their time making Metacritic reviews. Infuriate them, and you become a target. It’s so much easier to say “Well, that’s what our fans are like. There’s nothing we can do.” And that’s bullshit.

They didn’t set the tone, did they? We set the tone. What we put out there, what we permit, whether it’s on our forums, whether it’s on Xbox Live, the things that we permit we are in effect condoning. What happened to Anita, we the industry, are partly responsible for. We’re in part to blame. And if the idea of moral responsibility doesn’t phase you, consider the idea that the time will probably soon come that this will also amount to legal responsibility.

BioWare EA Writer David Gaider speaking on sexism and sexuality in video games. (via lolitsgabe)

also known as “Why I Love And Support BioWare Games”

(via optimisticduelist)

Bioware ain’t perfect, but good gosh it does give me the warm fuzzies when one of their crew knocks it out of the park.

(via northstarfan)

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