2023 Season

Chess: The Musical Comes to Saint Louis, The Chess Capital of The United States

The Muny Announces New Partnership With Saint Louis Chess Club and the World Chess Hall Of Fame to Promote the Game of Chess

SAINT LOUIS (April 13, 2023) – Chess makes another big move in Saint Louis, the home of the first world championship, and onto the Muny stage for the first time. The Muny, America’s largest and oldest outdoor theatre, announced a new collaboration with the Saint Louis Chess Club (STLCC) and World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF) to bring CHESS: The Musical[BE1]  to Saint Louis. The musical will run on The Muny Stage July 5-11, 2023.


Before Mamma Mia!, members of the pop group ABBA teamed up with Sir Tim Rice (Jesus Christ Superstar, The Lion King, Evita) to create a dynamic drama, CHESS, centered around the world chess championship; mirroring the 1980s Cold War tensions of USA vs. Soviet Russia. The dazzling and beautiful pop rock score became a worldwide smash, including the hit single “One Night in Bangkok.”

CHESS: The Musical, which originated in London’s West End in 1986, features music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, lyrics by Ulvaeus and Sir Tim Rice - adapted from the book by Sir Tim Rice.

“Creating CHESS for The Muny audience is a long-held dream,” said Mike Issaacson, Artistic Director and Executive Producer, The Muny. “We are grateful to work with two of the world’s leading chess organizations to be able to offer this outstanding musical for the first time in Saint Louis history. Their inspiration, guidance and knowledge about the world of chess is unparalleled.”

Serving as the principal show sponsors, the STLCC and WCHOF are responsible for driving the resurgence of chess in the United States and helping Saint Louis be recognized as America’s Chess Capital. Together with The Muny, the organizations will collaborate to enrich the experience for theatregoers and chess enthusiasts alike through events and special promotions this May through July.

“We are excited to collaborate with The Muny to share the love of chess with the Saint Louis community in yet another innovative form,” said Shannon Bailey, Chief Curator, World Chess Hall of Fame. “CHESS: The Musical offers a unique metaphor of romantic rivalries and political intrigue and is a fantastic reminder for us all to continue to explore the connection of chess to art, culture and history.”

Show attendees will be able to view special artifacts and ephemera from CHESS during Sound Moves: Where Music Meets Chess, a new exhibition presented by the World Chess Hall of Fame opening in May 2023.

“The Saint Louis Chess Club is equally looking forward to collaborating with The Muny to both bring CHESS: The Musical to our city, as well as continue to invite new people to discover the possibilities of chess,” said Tony Rich, Executive Director, Saint Louis Chess Club. “We invite the Saint Louis community to visit our campus in the Central West End or online to learn about a variety of educational programming and events, each designed for all age groups and skill levels.”

The Muny’s 2023 Season will feature:

  • Beautiful: The Carole King Musical - June 12-18
  • Disney’s Beauty and the Beast - June 22-30
  • CHESS: The Musical - July 5-11
  • West Side Story - July 15-21
  • Little Shop of Horrors - July 25-31
  • Rent August - 4-10
  • Sister Act - August 14-20

Season tickets and Muny gift cards for the 105thseason are now available online and at The Muny Box Office.  Single tickets for individual shows will be available beginning May 22, 2023. For more information, visit or call 314-361-1900.

For more information about The Muny, visit


About The Muny
The Muny’s mission is to enrich lives by producing exceptional musical theatre, accessible to all, while continuing its remarkable tradition in Forest Park. As the nation’s largest outdoor musical theatre, The Muny produces seven world-class musicals and welcomes over 350,000 theatre goers each summer. Now celebrating 105 seasons in St. Louis, The Muny remains one of the premier institutions in musical theatre. For more information about The Muny, visit

About Saint Louis Chess Club

The Saint Louis Chess Club is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that is committed to making chess an important part of our community. In addition to providing a forum for the community to play tournaments and casual games, the club also offers chess improvement classes, beginner lessons and special lectures.

Recognizing the cognitive and behavioral benefits of chess, the Saint Louis Chess Club is committed to supporting those chess programs that already exist in area schools while encouraging the development of new in-school and after-school programs. For more information, visit

About World Chess Hall of Fame

The World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to building awareness of the cultural and artistic significance of chess. It opened on September 9, 2011, in the Central West End after moving from previous locations in New York, Washington, D.C., and Miami. Housed in a historic 15,900 square-foot residence-turned-business in Saint Louis' Central West End neighborhood, the WCHOF features World Chess Hall of Fame inductees, United States Chess Hall of Fame inductees selected by the U.S. Chess Trust, artifacts from the permanent collection and exhibitions highlighting the great players, historic games and rich cultural history of chess. The WCHOF partners with the Saint Louis Chess Club to provide innovative programming and outreach to local, national and international audiences. For more information, visit

Media Contacts:

The Muny, please contact Eric Pugh, Eric Pugh, Director of Marketing - [email protected] or 314-595-5702             

Saint Louis Chess Club and World Chess Hall of fame, please contact [email protected] or 601-953-7224

Media Resources:

For organization and show logos, please click HERE.

Categories: 2023 Season, Announcements, Muny News, Press

Sign Up to Receive News and Updates

More from 2023 Season