The Muny Announces the Starring Cast for The Muny Premiere of Chess
ST. LOUIS (May 11, 2023) – The Muny announced today that Jessica Vosk, Jarrod Spector, John Riddle, Rodney Hicks, Tally Sessions, Phillip Johnson Richardson and Taylor Louderman will star in The Muny premiere of Chess, July 5-11, 2023. The groundbreaking pop rock musical is led by director and choreographer Josh Rhodes, with associate director/choreographer Lee Wilkins and music direction by Jason DeBord with Michael Horsley as the associate music director. Chess is presented in partnership with The Saint Louis Chess Club and World Chess Hall of Fame.
“The music to Chess is some of the greatest Broadway pop ever,” said Muny Artistic Director and Executive Producer Mike Isaacson, “I can’t wait for this glorious cast to take on this legendary show. Checkmate.”
JESSICA VOSK (Florence Vassy) returns to The Muny after starring as the Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat last summer. Broadway: Fiddler on the Roof, Finding Neverland, The Bridges of Madison County. Vosk recently returned to Carnegie Hall in Get Happy: A Judy Garland Centennial Celebration after her sold-out solo concert there, and just wrapped a 20-city solo concert tour. Best known for her star-turn as Elphaba in Wicked, both on tour and in the 15th Anniversary Broadway company, she recently performed “Defying Gravity” in the Great Performances 50th Anniversary Concert (PBS). She starred in the Jerome Robbins tribute Something to Dance About with the company of the NYC Ballet. Jessica produced two albums that debuted on the Billboard and iTunes charts, Wild and Free and A Very Coco Christmas. Having started with a career in finance, her one-of-a-kind story has been covered by ABC’s 20/20 and NBC Nightly News.
JARROD SPECTOR (Frederick Trumper) Broadway: Les Misérables (Gavroche), Jersey Boys (Frankie Valli), Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Barry Mann, Tony nomination), The Cher Show (Sonny Bono). New York: Hamlet (Hamlet). National tours: Les Misérables, Jersey Boys. Regional: Piece of My Heart (Bert Berns, New York Stage and Film), Presto Change-O (Michael, Barrington Stage), Roman Holiday (Irving Radovich, Golden Gate Theatre), The Cher Show (Sonny Bono, Nederlander Theatre), Bruce (Steven Spielberg, Seattle Rep). TV/Streaming: Halston, Wormwood, A Killer Party, The Kate (in concert, playing himself, Regional Emmy nomination). Jarrod tours the country with his critically acclaimed solo concerts and duet performances with his wife, Kelli Barrett, and has released two solo albums.
JOHN RIDDLE (Anatoly Sergievsky) received his Equity card 15 years ago in the ensemble of The Muny’s Annie. Other Muny: Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Titanic, Show Boat, Legally Blonde and others. Recently, John played Raoul in the final Broadway company of The Phantom of the Opera. He originated the roles of Young Anton in The Visit opposite Chita Rivera and Hans in Disney’s Frozen. Off-Broadway/New York: Titanique (Cal Hockley), The Secret Garden in Concert (Lincoln Center), Into the Woods (Cinderella’s Prince, Town Hall). National tour: Evita. Regional: Kennedy Center, Long Wharf Theatre, Goodspeed Musicals, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Casa Mañana, Naples Opera. Other: Cincinnati Pops Orchestra.
RODNEY HICKS (Walter de Courcey) Muny: Paint Your Wagon (Ford). Broadway: Come From Away (Bob, OBC), The Scottsboro Boys (Clarence Norris, OBC), Jesus Christ Superstar (Peter, 2000 revival), Rent (Ensemble and Benny in the closing cast). TV/Film: Leverage (TNT), Grimm (NBC), NYPD Blue (ABC), Law & Order: Criminal Intent (NBC), Hope & Faith (ABC), Student Affairs (pilot). Rodney can currently be seen in Mighty Oak (Apple TV/Paramount Pictures) and the upcoming feature film The Sleepover (Disney+/Imagine Entertainment).
TALLY SESSIONS (Alexander Molokov) Muny: South Pacific, Spamalot. Broadway: Company, Anastasia, War Paint, Falsettos, Paramour, School of Rock, Big Fish, The House of Blue Leaves. Off-Broadway: Giant (Public Theater), Queen of the Mist (Transport Group), Anyone Can Whistle (NY City Center Encores!), Yank!; Godspell and Hallelujah, Baby! (York Theatre). Tours: Legally Blonde, South Pacific, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Regional theatres: Paper Mill Playhouse (Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, South Pacific, Little Shop of Horrors), Goodspeed Musicals (Holiday Inn, Carousel, Lizzie Borden), Old Globe (The Gardens of Anuncia, Rain, Robin and the Seven Hoods), Signature Theatre (Assassins, The Gospel According to Fishman), Kansas City Rep (Sweeney Todd), Asolo Rep (The Sound of Music), Westport Playhouse (The Immigrant), Olney Theatre (Carousel), Studio Theatre (Silence!), Kennedy Center (How to Succeed…). Film/TV: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Falling Water, Elementary and Burning Man. Awards: Two Carbonell Awards, Henry Award, two Helen Hayes nominations, Connecticut Critics Circle nomination.
PHILLIP JOHNSON RICHARDSON (Arbiter) Muny: Newsies, All Shook Up, Jesus Christ Superstar, Aida, The Music Man. Regional: Goddess (Berkeley Rep) and Hamilton (Chicago’s CIBC Theatre). Film/TV: Sharper, The Last O.G.; Little Voice, Chicago PD, Proven Innocent and The Other Two. Education: BFA, Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
TAYLOR LOUDERMAN (Svetlana Sergievskaya) is a Tony-nominated actress from Bourbon, MO. Favorite Muny credits: Aida (Amneris), Grease (Sandy), Hairspray (Amber), Kinky Boots (Lauren), and Muny Teens! She made her Broadway debut starring in Bring It On: The Musical with The Muny’s own Mike Isaacson. Additional credits include the original Broadway cast of Mean Girls (Regina), Kinky Boots (Lauren), NBC’s KENAN (Tami), Peter Pan Live! (Wendy), Nick Jr.’s Sunny Day (Blair), and CBS’s EVIL (Malindaz).
About the show:
Before Mamma Mia!, members of the pop group ABBA teamed up with Tim Rice (Jesus Christ Superstar, The Lion King, Evita) to create a dynamic drama 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 makes its move to St. Louis (home of the first world championship) and onto the Muny stage for the first time, as the game’s long history continues to rise in popularity.
The Telsey Office is the official casting partner for The Muny. Full casting will be announced at a later date.
For headshots and show logo, please click HERE.
The Muny’s 2023 Season includes Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (June 12-18), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (June 22-30), Chess (July 5-11), West Side Story (July 15-21), Little Shop of Horrors (July 25-31), Rent (August 4-10) and Sister Act (August 14-20).
Season tickets are currently on sale. Single tickets will be available beginning May 22. Muny gift cards for the 105th season are now available online and at The Muny Box Office. For more information, visit muny.org or call (314) 361-1900.