Ranking 12 Absolutely Epic YouTube Performances of Chess' "Someone Else's Story"
June 20th, 2017
by Josh Ferri
Sir Tim Rice told What’s OnStage that a new Broadway production of Chess is in the works, and fans of the cult musical are losing their minds (understandably!). The score is full of songs theatre nerds love “Nobody’s Side”, “Anthem”, “I Know Him So Well”, “Pity the Child” and “One Night in Bangkok”, but today BBox celebrates Chess’ journey back to Broadway with a dozen must-see performances of the beautiful ballad “Someone Else’s Story”.
12. Elaine Paige
I love the history of having the OG Chess star sing this. It takes a while for the emotion to build in this version, but she delivers. I really like what she did around 2:52 and the ending.
11. Alice Ripley
Picture it: 1998 post-Side Show/Tommy/Sunset Alice at the height of her vocal prowess puts her signature stamp on this Chess song in concert, and the result is pretty stunning. It’s only audio, but just listen to 2:08-3:25. #OptingUpAlways
10. Josh Groban
Everything about this. I wish it was the full song so it could be higher on the list. I want to swim head first in those vocals.
9. Rebecca Trehearn
The 2017 Olivier Award winner really takes off after 2:03.
8. Judy Kuhn
Broadway’s original Florence back when it was a Florence number. This vintage broll is epic but again the whole number would have been wonderful to see. Because if we are keeping it 100, few other actors can do a story song with vocals for days (and days) like Judy Kuhn.
7. Maria Mercedes
The original Australian Svetlana gives you some new lyrics, but one hell of a voice! No wonder she’s a legend Down Under. 🙌
6. Kerry Ellis
The West End star performed with Groban, Pascal, and Idina in that famous Royal Albert Hall concert in 2012 and she SLAYS. The former Elphaba makes strong choices and they work for her and the song.
5. Lea Salonga
I live for Ms. Lea’s wistful, moving moment beginning around 1:33. She takes you on a journey, and one that features her rich lower tones. No one does reflective with a hint of melancholy like Lea.
4. Cynthia Erivo
Nothing induces chills like hearing the softer side of Cynthia’s gigantic voice. For this Tony winner the name of the game here is restraint and it’s stunning. She is putting the story front and center. It makes the big soar at 2:15 feel even higher. Then I all but died for the “and if that girl I knew should ask my advice” (2:45-2:57).
3. Helen Sjöholm
My gosh, this Swedish star’s performance feels so raw and real. I feel like she wrote the song—like it's adapted from her diary like in Bandstand! A-C-T-I-N-G.
2. Carolee Carmello
The current Sweeney Todd headliner told us about the game-changing experience of playing the role on tour, and it sounds so right in her voice. This one is all about the layers and texture. That voice! She is filling in every color with every crayon she can find. It’s a gay fantasia on national themes. You better believe praise hands were raised.
1. Sutton Foster
For me, this is the ultimate, and I don’t even know if I can put into words why. It’s like how it’s a stronger choice to get to the brink of tears but not cry. There’s just such truth here, and, of course, the vocals are lit. 🔥 Perfection.