People tend to think that being in a flop is the end of the world. But the truth is that being in something that gets produced can be a stepping stone and lead to other things -- and far better.
As I mentioned yesterday when posting the video of Judy Kuhn in the flop (but Tony-nominated) musical Rags, it only ran four performances. As I also noted, I loved her work. And as it turned out, being in this flop helped get her another role. Not just being in the show, but actually literally that performance on the Tony Awards -- which she had agreed to do, even though the show had already closed.
As I mentioned, she had also created the role of 'Cosette' in the Broadway production of Les Miserables -- which was also nominated that same night. So, the producer of it was in the audience at the Tonys. And he was in the midst of casting his next show. As Kuhn tells the story, the producer later told her that seeing her on the Tonys is what convinced him she was right for the new show, called Chess. He'd always thought of Kuhn as a lilting soprano as 'Cosette,' but seeing that powerful, dramatic number from Rags made him realize that she'd be right for the new show.
Chess had been a very successful concept musical" Chess by the composing team of ABBA -- Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus -- along with Elton John's longtime collaborator Tim Rice. It was eventually adapted for the stage on the West End where it ran for three years, and then Broadway, where it was greatly altered, and its 1988 run did not do well, last only 68 performances.
But it did give Judy Kuhn the opportunity to sing a gorgeous song, and in her quintessential gorgeous way, "Somebody Else's Story." (Not to worry about the two flops. Seven years later, she was, as I mentioned, the singing voice of Disney's Pochahantas.)
There's video of her singing the song in concert, but it's a personal video of lousy quality. Here then is the audio from the original Broadway Cast Album, for "Someone Else’s Story."
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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