Discount Broadway Tickets

9 CHESS Covers On Its 32nd Birthday

Last updated April 28th, 2020 by BroadwayBox Staff
9 CHESS Covers On Its 32nd Birthday

Photo by Emilio Madrid

Two men part of our favorite four person super musical group ABBA, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, were responsible for the music to the musical Chess which opened on Broadway 32 years ago tonight at the Imperial Theatre. The show only ran for 17 preview performances and 68 after opening but the score is popular today and has been performed many times in one format or another (all star benefits, limited runs, concert selections).

We're emphasizing this point because Benny and Björn Ulvaeus both write so beautifully for women allowing their voices to really soar. Look at "The Winner Takes It All" alone! With lyrics by Tim Rice, one of the show's songs we're focusing on today is Chess' Act One showstopper, "Nobody's Side." The synopsis of the show is a bit detailed with topics on the Cold War, chess tournaments, politics and... we want to get to the belting. The show's character Florence sings this after her lover Freddie, who is the world chess champion, has an argument with her. She belts about it and honestly, same.

Let's take a look in absolutely no particular order, because how could you, of nine sensational ladies performing this Chess number.

Karen Olivo

We wish there was a longer clip! The fun starts at 0:26. Karen is serving acting moments and her crystal clear vocals.

Jodi Benson

A year after she was gorgeously flipping her fins into our hearts, Jodi was a FIERCE Florence. Her 1:06? Star! A few years after this, Jodi originated Polly in Broadway's Crazy For You!

Elaine Paige

It's 1985, and we're living. She is delivering sequins, hair teased to the sky, strobe light moments and acting/vocals we idolize. We aren't worthy of her unique pronunication of "promise" at 2:16 - we just aren't. Icon.

Idina Menzel

The master class begins at 4:47. The way she sings at 5:17 - it's like the lyrics are gracefully moving through water. It's a classic Idina signature and it's a delight.

Jessica Vosk

You can tell it's just a love fest between Jessica and her vocalists, Marty Thomas and Marissa Rosen. They all sound fantastic and Jessica really takes off at 2:17!

Julia Murney

This video has over 100k views - most of them are likely ours. Honest acting, classic iconic Murney vocals. We love 2:37 through the end for the impromptu choreo and then of course 3:02.

Kerry Ellis

Excuse me sass, at 2:19! Fierce and fantastic. Kerry is literally glowing in this video and her performance matches its brilliance.

Jessica Hendy

That downbeat at 3:26! Jessica is soaring through this performance. We love her mic stand choreo at 3:37 too. We also love that she holds out that "wrong" forever but her final note at 4:11? Wow wow wow.

Judy Kuhn

Rounding out with our original Broadway Florence. Her voice is so warm and is beautiful on those first verses. We love her "have the nerve to leave" at 1:42. We love a soprano belter - she can sing it all.

Want to try those riffs? Go for it!