The Best Audition Songs for Chess – by Character

Do you have an upcoming audition for Chess? Well unless you have specifically been asked to sing a song from the show that you’re auditioning for, it’s generally best not to. That said, you should still show off similar vocals and personality. So here’s our list of audition songs for Chess, broken down by character.

Since Chess is a pre-contemporary musical from the 1980s, most of the following songs are from pre-contemporary musicals as well (1970s-1990s). In addition, there are lots of dramatic, epic, and rock vibes included below in order to match the style of the show.


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Step 1: Read your audition details

Please read your audition details carefully, as they sometimes specify the type of song they’d like to hear (a ballad, something upbeat, etc.). Make sure to select a song that’s appropriate for your casting call. Also, as you’re picking out a song, these links may be helpful:

Backing Tracks for the Songs Below

The “Chess Audition Songs” Spotify Playlist


Step 2: Get to know the show

In casting calls, they often ask for you to be “familiar with the show”. And even if it’s not requested, it’s generally assumed. One way to do this is to read through the synopsis while listening to the Chess cast album➝. Or you can watch the live recording➝.


Step 3: Pick an audition song

Next, based on your personality and vocal type, decide whether you’d like to audition for the ensemble or a specific character. Just keep in mind that if you audition for a specific character, you still might not be chosen for that particular role.

There’s usually a spot on the audition form asking if you are open to being in the ensemble or accepting a different role. I would suggest ticking that box and taking whatever you are offered. Every role is important, and you will earn valuable experience in a show.

And on that same note, even if you audition for the ensemble (and not a specific character), there’s always a chance you might get chosen for a leading/supporting role!

To summarize, keep an open mind and try not to take the process too seriously. And when you’re ready, choose the song that you feel most comfortable with from the list below.


Alexander/Ivan Molokov

Bolero de Amor” – Copacabana

Buffalo Nickel Photoplay, Inc.” – Ragtime

Falcon in the Dive” – The Scarlet Pimpernel

The Contest” – Sweeney Todd


Anatoly Sergievsky

Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” – Les Misérables

Gethsemane” – Jesus Christ Superstar

Love Changes Everything” – Aspects of Love

Sunset Boulevard” – Sunset Boulevard


Florence Vassy

I Don’t Know How to Love Him” – Jesus Christ Superstar

I Guess I’ll Miss the Man” – Pippin

Now That I’ve Seen Her” – Miss Saigon

Maybe” – Miss Saigon


Frederick Trumper (Freddie)

Alas for You” – Godspell

One Song Glory” – Rent

Radames’ Letter” – Aida

Your Eyes” – Rent


Svetlana Sergievsky

A New Life” – Jekyll & Hyde

Anything But Lonely” – Aspects of Love

As If We Never Said Goodbye” – Sunset Boulevard

Someone Like You” – Jekyll & Hyde


The Arbiter

If You Want to Die in Bed” – Miss Saigon

I’m Martin Guerre” – Martin Guerre

Live With Somebody You Love” – Martin Guerre

The American Dream” – Miss Saigon


Walter de Courcey

No One Has Ever Loved Me” – Passion

Pilate’s Dream” – Jesus Christ Superstar

She Was There” – The Scarlet Pimpernel

Stars” – Les Misérables


Ensemble (Altos)

I Dreamed a Dream” – Les Misérables

I’d Give My Life For You” – Miss Saigon

Take That Look Off Your Face” – Tell Me on a Sunday


Ensemble (Baritones)

Bui Doi” – Miss Saigon

In Every Age” – Titanic

Where’s the Girl?” – The Scarlet Pimpernel


Ensemble (Basses)

Funny” – City of Angels

She Is a Diamond” – Evita

The Greatest Star of All” – Sunset Boulevard


Ensemble (Contras)

Gifts of Love” – The Baker’s Wife

Tell Me It’s Not True” – Blood Brothers

You Must Love Me” – Evita


Psst… Here’s where you can find out your vocal type!


Ensemble (Mezzos)

Another Suitcase in Another Hall” – Evita

Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” – Evita

When Will Someone Hear?” – Martin Guerre


Ensemble (Sopranos)

I’m Leaving You” – The Life

No One Knows Who I Am” – Jekyll & Hyde

Simple” – Nine


Ensemble (Tenors)

Heaven on Their Minds” – Jesus Christ Superstar

On This Night of A Thousand Stars” – Evita

Why God Why?” – Miss Saigon


Step 4: Select a monologue

If requested, here are a few audition monologues for Chess:

• “I Can’t Trust Anything➝” from Watson Intelligence  (Eliza)

• “It’s Best➝” from Elsewhere➝

• “It’s Never One Thing➝” from Shows for Days  (Irene)

• “Some People Get Locked Up➝” from Pretty Theft➝  (Joe)

• “Wormhole➝” from Ohio  (Zach)


Final Step: Prepare for your audition

After collecting your materials and getting familiar with the show, it’s time to move forward with the actual preparation. If you’re in need of some guidance on this step, you can always go through this FREE audition prep checklist!


Want more songs? Check out these DIY Rep Books for EVERY vocal type!

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Chess Song List

Here’s a list of the musical numbers in Chess, along with which characters sing in each of them. Unless you have been asked to, do not choose from the below songs for your audition! The following is more intended to be used for character research purposes.

* That said, if you’ve specifically been asked to sing a song from the show, you can find the sheet music for the best possible audition songs below.


Act 1:

“The Story of Chess” – The Arbiter, Ensemble

“Merano / What a Scene! What a Joy!” – Mayor, Freddie, Florence, Ensemble

“Commie Newspapers” – Freddie, Florence

“Press Conference” – Freddie, Florence, Ensemble

“Molokov and Anatoly” – Anatoly, Molokov

Where I Want to Be” – Anatoly

“Difficult and Dangerous Times” – Molokov, Florence, Ensemble

“The Arbiter” – The Arbiter, Ensemble

“Hymn to Chess” – The Arbiter, Ensemble

“The Merchandisers” – Ensemble

“The Arbiter (Reprise)” – The Arbiter, Ensemble

“Quartet (A Model of Decorum and Tranquility)” – Molokov, Florence, The Arbiter, Anatoly

“Florence and Molokov” – Molokov, Florence

“1956 – Budapest is Rising” – Florence, Freddie, Ensemble

Nobody’s Side” – Florence, Ensemble

“Mountain Duet” – Florence, Anatoly

“Florence Quits” – Freddie, Florence

Pity the Child #1” – Freddie

“Embassy Lament” – Ensemble

Heaven Help My Heart” – Florence

“Anatoly and the Press” – Anatoly, Walter, Ensemble

Anthem” – Anatoly


Act 2:

“One Night in Bangkok” – Freddie, Ensemble

“One More Opponent” – Anatoly, Florence

“You and I” – Anatoly, Florence

“The Soviet Machine” – Molokov, Ensemble

“The Interview” – Walter, Freddie, Anatoly

Someone Else’s Story” – Svetlana

“The Deal (No Deal)” – The Arbiter, Molokov, Svetlana, Walter, Florence, Freddie, Anatoly, Ensemble

“Pity the Child #2” – Freddie

“I Know Him So Well” – Florence, Svetlana

“Talking Chess” – Freddie, Anatoly

“Endgame #1” – The Arbiter, Frederick, Ensemble

“Endgame #2” – Molokov, Freddie, Florence, Ensemble

“Endgame #3 / Chess Game #3” – Anatoly, Svetlana, Florence

“You and I (Reprise)” – Florence, Anatoly

“Walter and Florence” – Walter, Florence

“Anthem (Reprise) / Finale” – Walter, Florence, Anatoly, Svetlana, Company


Which of these audition songs for Chess did you choose?

And what role are you auditioning for? We would love to hear all about it in the comments! And in the meantime, you can check out our database of best audition songs for other musicals.


Need extra help? Just go through this free audition prep checklist!

Sign up for your free audition prep checklist.


Stacy Karyn, author of Audition Songs for Chess.
Author: Stacy Karyn

Stacy Karyn is the founder of Theatre Trip, author of The Thespian’s Bucket List, and creator of The Cast Album List. She has a TESOL drama certificate, a BA in theatre, and has worked and interned with Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters.


 

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