Interview: Kristin Chenoweth Shares Details on Filming 'Tribulation,' the SCHMIGADOON! Showstopper

You can catch episode five of Schmigadoon! tomorrow, August 6th, on Apple TV Plus.

By: Aug. 05, 2021

Interview: Kristin Chenoweth Shares Details on Filming 'Tribulation,' the SCHMIGADOON! Showstopper

Earlier this week, BroadwayWorld shared a clip from this Friday's new episode of Schmigadoon!, featuring Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth doing her best Harold Hill in the show-stopping number "Tribulation."

We had the pleasure of speaking to Chenoweth about filming the incredible number under intense COVID restrictions, how she prepared for the physical gymnastics of it all (hint: hotel room exercise equipment), her relationship with director Barry Sonnenfeld, and more.

Emmy and Tony Award winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth's career spans film, television, voiceover and stage. In 2015, Chenoweth received a coveted star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 2009, she received an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in Pushing Daisies. In 1999, she won a Tony Award for You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown and she was also nominated for her original role of Glinda the Good Witch in Wicked in 2004.

Read the full interview - and watch a clip from 'Tribulation' - below.

The first two episodes of "Schmigadoon!" premiered globally on Apple TV+ on Friday, July 16. The series continues with one new episode weekly, every Friday through August 13.

A parody of iconic Golden Age musicals, "Schmigadoon!" stars Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key as a couple on a backpacking trip designed to reinvigorate their relationship who discover a magical town living in a 1940s musical. They then learn that they can't leave until they find "true love." The six-episode season also stars Alan Cumming, Kristin Chenoweth, Aaron Tveit, Dove Cameron, Ariana DeBose, Fred Armisen, Jaime Camil, Jane Krakowski and Ann Harada. Martin Short guest stars.

Photo Credit: Apple TV

Up first, I really want to hear about your Harold Hill moment! I wanna talk about this huge musical number. Tell me about filming "Tribulation."

Okay. Sarah. We had a 14-day quarantine. I spent the entire time on an elliptical in my room that Apple was kind enough to arrange for me doing that song, "Tribulation," over and over.

By day 8, I started getting a little - I'm a little cray-cray, so let's watch some 90 Day Fiancé. Some Below Deck.

But all I wanted to do - and you know this, being a Broadway lover yourself - I didn't want one second on that set to be wasted because of COVID. I'm working with a ton of ensemble who committed with me - we all worked together. If one of us messed us up, the whole thing is over. It's, I think, over five minutes. I just look at the people that were with me, to be honest with you. I see every face, and remember how committed they were to be with me.

And that is why I get emotional! Because that's why I love theatre. I actually love the community. I love our tribe. I love our group. I love being together. And the thing we're asked not to do is be together or touch or sing.

All of the things that we love - we're being asked not to do. But we did it! We did it safely. We had cones we wore, like we'd been spayed and neutered. We didn't have much rehearsal. I went home and did a lot of my rehearsals alone in a hotel room, and they did, too. And we did it three times total - the first take is what he used.

That's amazing - what an incredible feat to pull of within those restrictions.

I can't believe we did it. I look at the whole cast and the crew. The crew! Who's, by the way, before us and after us. They're going home to their families. None of it was lost on us. And we really did - we stayed in our pods. Like, I have friends in Vancouver - we didn't do that. I have one friend I saw, but she was on a TV show as well, and staying just nearby, and we were doing COVID tests every day. So we felt okay.

But I didn't go out and socialize. I didn't go see all my musician friends. I didn't do that. Neither did Alan, neither did Dove, neither did Ari, neither did Cecily, neither did Fred, neither did all of us. That's how I think we got away with it! Thank God.

I had to ask, because I know you worked with Barry Sonnenfeld on Pushing Daisies, which is one of my favorite shows of all time. What was it like to reunite with him on Schmigadoon?

This is our fifth time! First of all, I love him. He's like a big brother to me. So it's very family. I'm very close with his wife and daughter. In the movie RV that he directed, his daughter - his actual daughter - played my daughter. So we're really tight. Really close.

It was wonderful to be together, but it was also hard because every day I always demand a hug from Sonnenfeld. And we can't! And he's there - by the way, Sonnenfeld had a mask, goggles, and the cone. And he wore glasses, and they would fog up. And there he is - he's, like, directing away. So, to say that I love him is not enough. I love him.

Schmigadoon! returns to Apple TV Plus tomorrow, August 6th. Watch clips from "Tribulation" here:

Next On Stage


The Emmys Deny Apples SCHMIGADOON! Award Category Move Photo
The Emmys Deny Apple's SCHMIGADOON! Award Category Move

The Television Academy has denied Apple's petition to move Schmigadoon! to the scripted variety category for the 2023 Emmy Awards. Apple had submitted Schmigadoon's second season in the scripted variety series category, after previously being placed in comedy series for season one.

Video: Watch Ariana DeBose Parody DREAMGIRLS in SCHMIGADOON! Photo
Video: Watch Ariana DeBose Parody DREAMGIRLS in SCHMIGADOON!

Ariana DeBose kicked off the final episode of Schmigadoon! season two by belting out 'It's Over.' The song is heavily inspired by 'Hard to Say Goodbye, My Love' from Dreamgirls. The seond season of Schmigadoon! also featured references to Chicago, Pippin, Cabaret, Sweeney Todd, and more. Watch the video of the performance now!

Interview: Kristin Chenoweth & Alan Cumming Talk SCHMIGADOON! Finale Photo
Interview: Kristin Chenoweth & Alan Cumming Talk SCHMIGADOON! Finale

Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming are back together for season two of Schmigadoon, teaming up for a bloody-good parody of Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett. BroadwayWorld sat down with Cumming and Chenoweth, who spilled on filming their big musical number, wanting to play their Sweeney Todd roles IRL, the Schmigadoon groupchat, and more!

Listen: Hear the SCHMIGADOON! Season 2 Soundtrack Photo
Listen: Hear the SCHMIGADOON! Season 2 Soundtrack

The album’s 26 vocal tracks are performed throughout the series’ 6 episodes by returning stars Cecily Strong, Keegan-Michael Key, Ariana DeBose, Martin Short, Dove Cameron, Jaime Camil, Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Ann Harada, Jane Krakowski, and Aaron Tveit as well as season two newcomers Tituss Burgess and Patrick Page.



Recommended For You