Previously, I have discussed what makes two of the three main characters from the musical Chess tick. I’ve talked about Anatoly Sergievsky and Florence Vassy, and now it’s time to focus on the American (or British, depending on the version) chess champion, Freddie Trumper.
In part one of my three-part series on the musical Chess, I focused on Anatoly Sergievsky and the problems that he faced when making a decision between the game he loves and the woman he loves, Budapest-born Brit Florence Vassy.
Since we’re coming up on the 20th anniversary of the musical Chess, I would like to take a couple IBDs to discuss the lead characters in this musical.
First off, I want to discuss how criminally underrated this musical is. I think, because it was released in the 1980s during the end of the Cold War, the story of a Russian chess player falling in love with an American during a world chess match that pitted the U.S.S.R against the U.S.A just got slammed. Nowadays, Chess is mostly known for the song “One Night in Bangkok.” But there is so much more to this musical. Spoilers after the jump.
A few weeks ago I had the song ‘I Know Him So Well’ from the musical Chess stuck in my head so I went to the good ol’ YouTube to satisfy my need to hear it. In doing so, I found this video parody starring Susan Boyle and Peter Kay:
Can I just say perfect parody is perfect? Everything is spot on in this from the hair, to the sets, to the little bits of visual comedy thrown in. If you’re not familiar with Chess, the music was written by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus of ABBA so there was plenty of popular interest in the show. As such, several of the songs had music videos created for them and had success on the pop charts. You can view the original video for this song here to compare it to the parody. Seriously, everything is captured and parodied perfectly.
One song in particular from the show can still be heard fairly often on the radio (well, I guess I have no basis to say it’s played often. I very rarely listen to the radio but I’ve heard it played at work at least once):
BTW, the actor performing the song is Murray Head. You know, original Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar and Anthony Stewart Head‘s brother? Damn, that’s a talented family.