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BWW Interview: Kristin Chenoweth Reflects on Choosing YOU'RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN Over ANNIE GET YOUR GUN

Screen Actors Guild Foundation and Broadway World have partnered for filmed Conversations Q&A series to recognize and celebrate the vibrant theatre community in New York City and the union actors who aspire to have a career on the stage and screen. The most recent conversation featured 2015 Tony nominee Kristin Chenoweth, moderated by BroadwayWorld's Richard Ridge, discussing how things are going at On the Twentieth Century, how she looks back on some of her past shows, and so much more.

Check out Kristin's favorite menories from YOU'RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN below and watch the full interview here!


The role of Sally in the musical You're a Good Man Charlie Brown was a big career changer for you, wasn't it? What made you say yes to Charlie Brown?

Here's why. Charlie Brown, there were six people in it, and Annie Get Your Gun starred my favorite star, Bernadette Peters. There's always little forks in the road for me, my life. I don't know what that is, but I think it's to remind me to remember to tell you to listen to your inside voice, not the others that talk to you. For me, it's God, but whatever that means to you. My inside voice was saying, "Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown." And I didn't even know what part, because the director said, "You're going to audition - if you take this job, it's not for Peppermint Patty, it's not for Patty, which was an amalgamation of all the girls who aren't Lucy. I can't tell you what it is because I have to get it cleared, so you'll just have to take the job on faith."

And then, I have my favorite star in the world, Bernadette Peters, and I would play the supporting character, I think her name is Winnie, which I had done in summer stock. So I was like, "Ok, I already know that." But Winnie was going to be a ton of dancing. And I just kept thinking about it and thinking about it. And I had that inner voice. And then, Mark Redanty, when I made the decision, he goes, "Wow, I'm surprised. The easier thing would have been job security, Bernadette Peters. But you're doing this, and I think that's wise, I think that you're listening." I said, "I don't know why, I have to do it."

And then, first day of rehearsal, still didn't know what part I was going to play. I show up, and everybody at their little place at the table, you know, when you do the read through, they had like Charlie Brown hat, there's Anthony Rapp, and a little book of all Charlie Brown, Lucy, there's Ilana Levine, Roger Bart, and for me, it said Sally. And he goes, "See?" And I go, "Charlie Brown's little sister?!" "Yeah, that's you." So Charles Schulz had said yes, and it wasn't - it's just one of those weird, crazy...

Tell me about working with composer Andrew Lippa, and how he came up with your show-stopping number "My New Philosophy."

Well, they told me that I was going to get a song, excuse me... Sally was going to get a song. Let's not get confused here. And I was like, "I wonder what it will be?" Like "I'm Charlie Brown's little sister!" And I noticed that Sally had a lot of - she was sophisticated in her humor. Which made me nervous, because I thought, "Oh, please don't sell this as a kiddie show." Which, I love kids, but I didn't want people to think they were coming to the theme park.

You know, Shakespeare it's not, let's just be honest, but they're little vignettes, and one of the things that Andrew noticed after reading all the vignettes, and we both did - he was like, "You ever notice how Sally always has a new philosophy?" And I said, "I know. She always has a new philosophy for this and new philosophy for - 'Today my new philosophy is...'" He said, "That's going to be the song, My New Philosophy." And thus the song was born. He's a genius and I love him. Scene.


Chenoweth's Broadway credits include: You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Awards); Steel Pier (Theatre World Award) Wicked; Promises, Promises; Epic Proportions; Scapin. Off-Broadway: A New Brain, Dames at Sea, The Fantasticks, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever and Strike Up the Band.

Films include: The Boy Next Door, Strange Magic, Rio 2, A Bet's a Bet, Hard Sell, Bewitched, The Pink Panther, RV, Running With Scissors, Stranger Than Fiction, Deck the Halls, Four Christmases. TV: "Descendants," "Pushing Daisies" (Emmy Award), "Glee," "The West Wing," "GCB," "The Good Wife," "12 Men of Christmas," "The Music Man," "Annie" and "Kristin." An Oklahoma Hall of Famer, Chenoweth has performed her solo concerts across the globe at legendary venues, including Carnegie Hall, the Royal Albert Hall and Sydney Opera House. She holds honorary doctorate degrees from UNCSA and OCU.



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