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Trivia / Chess

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The Tabletop Game:


The musical:

  • Break Away Pop Hit:
    • "One Night in Bangkok" is easily the most well known song from the musical, getting a single in 1984 and gaining heavy air time on classic 80s and rock stations to this day. It's fair to find plenty of people who know the song but don't know the musical it originated from.
      • Also, this is where most first heard the phrase, "the world's your oyster", usually in the context of feeling one has infinite potential for pleasure and fulfillment at that point in their life. Few realize the phrase was copied form the lackluster Shakespeare play, The Merry Wives of Windsor - and was spoken as a sociopathic belief that one has the ability to take whatever they desire from the world by force; "Why, then the world's mine oyster. Which I with sword will open."
    • To a lesser extent, "I Know Him So Well", which was also a smash hit with its single.
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  • Cut Song: The Broadway version, which was famously being rewritten as the season went on, has these a plenty. "Let's Work Together", the Villain Song, was cut early on. But even before that, "East and West" seems to have been cut before opening night; it was only shown during previews. (For the interested, it took the place of "Embassy Lament" and featured two CIA guys trying to convince Anatoly to move to New York City or LA, respectively).
  • Missing Episode: The Sydney rewrite was never recorded on a studio album, and the Broadway rewrite's album had several songs redacted. As such, the only way to hear the music exclusive to those renditions was to go to the concert while they were still in theatres. Once the run ended, the music was lost in the ether, although full scripts (without musical notation) still circulate.
    • Averted somewhat with the Broadway version now; it is occasionally performed by theatre troupes in America, allowing people a chance to hear the music. Still no studio recording, though.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: Reading up on Reagan-era political intrigue is helpful for modern audiences.
  • What Could Have Been: Tim Rice, Benny Andersson, and Björn Ulvaeus originally sought out Russian music star Alla Pugacheva to sing the role of Svetlana in the original concept album, but in the case of Art Imitates Life, the Soviet authorities would have none of it, so the Scottish singer Barbara Dickson was cast instead.


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