Reader, did you watch The Queen's Gambit, but felt that there was just ... something missing? Do you lie awake at night, questioning why Beth didn't sing a powerful ballad after losing to Russia's Vasily Borgov in Paris? Were you flabbergasted when the entire Kentucky orphanage didn't delve into a rendition of Annie's "Hard Knock Life" upon Beth's arrival? Do you wish the entire scene of our heroine's first tournament was instead summarized through an ensemble dance number, complete with a kickline, shuffling off to Buffalo, and a whole lot of jazz hands?
Well, reader, it seems today is your lucky day -- The Queen's Gambit may be adapted into a stage production, according to the New York Times. On Monday, theatrical activist group Level Forward announced that they acquired the stage rights to the Walter Tevis’ 1983 novel of the same name, which served as the basis for Netflix's record-breaking series. The decidedly progressive company, which counts Walt Disney's grandniece, Abagail Disney as one of its founders is no strange to Broadway, co-producing several shows in 2019, including Slave Play and Jagged Little Pill.
“It is a privilege for Level Forward to lead the charge of bringing ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ to the stage through the beloved and enduring craft of musical theater," the company's CEO and Producer explained. "Told through a brave and fresh point of view, audiences are already sharing in the friendship and fortitude of the story’s inspiring women who energize and sustain Beth Harmon's journey and ultimate triumph. The story is a siren call amidst our contemporary struggles for gender and racial equity, and we're looking forward to moving the project forward."
Although no talent has signed on for the project, as the New York Times points out, a Queen's Gambit musical would not be the first time a play about chess has made its way to Broadway. Nearly four decades ago, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus (a.k.a the two B's in ABBA) teamed up with Tim Rice to create Chess, a 1986 musical centering around a fictional Cold War-era tournament where an American and Soviet grandmaster go head to head in the game -- and in love.
Chess --- it's a Broadway pasttime?