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anarchist_nomad, you were right.
Idina Menzel is no Elaine Paige.

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Yeah, we watched the CHESS concert as well.

I could forgive her almost everything, but she lost me when she couldn't hold the long note in "Nobody's Side". I'm no great shakes as a singer but _I_ can manage to gasp & hold that note. And I'm an asthmatic! Although some might see that as an advantage in that case... ;)

She just doesn't have the power that song needs.

everything else was lovely though.

I didn't necessarily think her singing was bad, I just found her voice incredibly grating. skitten, who went to college for Music Ed specializing in voice, seemed to think she was a decent singer, but agreed her voice was irritating. She did feel her voice went well with Josh Groban's, however. It didn't go well with anyone else's, or solo, but it went well with his.

I've managed to skip over 25 years of Chess history, going from the Concept Album to the Royal Albert Hall concert. I found it very hard to sing along when they change the words (for reasons I'm not sure I understand... "U.S. v.s. U.S.S.R." works better than the red flag/stars&stripes bit, and why is there no gastly suspicion the Russian's opposition is a fruit?).

They seem to have changed the plot around too, somewhat. There were a number of songs in Act I which were originally in Act II (I haven't watched Act II yet). I never got the impression from the Concept Album that Florence and the American were ever a couple or romantically involved -- that the American saw Florence only as a chess-playing partner (the "chess-playing second" that the Russian asked for), and Florence saw him as her boss. In the Concert, it appears that Freddy's relationship with Florence is the "hook" Molokov wants to exploit to help Anatoly win.

Similarly, I got the impression from the Album that Florence and the Russian had "love at first sight" during the aborted reconciliatory meeting between the players, in the Concert there were previously unheard hints that Florence was falling for Anatoly even before then.

The new placement of "Heaven Help My Heart" will take some processing. Sung in Act I, right as the relationship between Florence and Anatoly is forming, it has a much different meaning and resonance than sung in Act II, right before Florence and the Russian break up. Of course, if in the Concert she's singing about her and Freddy, it's another shift as well.

I didn't say she was bad. I just said that she lost me when she lost that note. This is her character's signature piece. and one of the KNOWN hits from that show. and she can't hold that note.

threw me right out of the concert entrancement.

It still does when I listen to it on the iPod. (we bought & ripped the album.)
I actually prefer her reactions in the lead in (Budapest is Dying) but she loses me in "Nobody's side".

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