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I've seen Chess 33 times now, in London, New York and Chicago. It is one of my favorite musicals. Done rarely, I'm sad to see a production that dishonors the show so thoroughly.

Poor set design, lighting, sound and choreography only begin to explain what is wrong with this production. Singing and acting were quite good, in spots. However, Garrett Marshall's performance as Freddie in such a pivotal role was an embarrassment through and through.

The dance numbers should have been cut. If you don't have good dancers, particularly in a small theater, skip the dancing. Perhaps the best production I've seen, at the Marriott Lincolnshire in Chicago, did not include them. There are workarounds.

There is not one bad song in the entire musical, but the beautiful melodies were lost because the orchestra could hardly be heard. Music often overpowers singing. In this case, it was the exact opposite.

Now 70, I've seen more live theater than a dozen theater-goers together see in a lifetime. Directors are ultimately responsible for the quality of a production. I admire the guts it took to do such a difficult show in the first place, but it is sad to see a musical so good destroyed by direction that can only be described as amateurish.

I wanted this night at the theater to be the highlight of my week. Instead, It brought it to an end with a loud crash.