BWW BLOG: Kristin Chenoweth Rings in 2018 at The Smith Center in Las Vegas
Jess here. One of the greatest things about going home for the holidays is having the luxury of spending New Year's Eve with friends and family. But this year, there was another reality that made the anticipation of that pinnacle moment when the clock strikes 12 an even bigger reason to celebrate - the ringing in of 2018 at the Smith Center in Las Vegas while seeing an amazing performance by Tony and Emmy Award winning actress and vocalist, Kristin Chenoweth!
The incomparable sweet and sassy Chenoweth, well known for her iconic Broadway roles in "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown," "Wicked," and "On the Twentieth Century," just to name a few, took her sold out audience on a journey, and delivered an incredibly entertaining and uplifting evening in true Chenoweth style.
Chenoweth was flanked by her partner-in-crime Music Director, Mary-Mitchell Campbell, who is known for her work in "Finding Neverland," "Big Fish," "The Addams Family," and most recently, "Mean Girls." These exquisitely talented women, along with a stellar five piece band, comprised the showstopping ensemble.
This once in a lifetime evening of music was filled with a collection of truly heartfelt songs encompassing many facets associated with love and loss, but was kept lighthearted with Chenoweth's perfectly timed comedic outtakes.
Chenoweth opened the show with the song "Should I Be Sweet?" from the musical "Take a Chance." She then did an absolutely beautiful rendition of "I Get along Without You Very Well," followed by a performance of "Desperado" by the Eagles, which she dedicated to her brother, Mark Chenoweth. A high point for me was her medley of "Always on My Mind" by Willie Nelson and "Losing my Mind" by Stephen Sondheim. Other favorites included "Bring Him Home" from Les Mis and "Little Sparrow" by Dolly Parton.
Chenoweth also showed some love to the local talent in Las Vegas by having an ensemble of nine vocalists from the community sing back-up for her final two numbers; "Upon this Rock," as well as a song written by the Music Director herself, "Reasons for Hope."
Special guest Brent Barrett of "Closer than Ever" also made an appearance with Chenoweth, singing a mash-up of Burt Bacharach classics; "A House is Not a Home" and "One Less Bell to Answer." He then wowed the crowd with a cover of "Come Back to Me" from "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever."
Finally, no Chenoweth production would be complete without some sass and class, which was fully displayed in her ever-famous rendition of "Popular" from "Wicked," and "I'm Not a Diva" from "Soapdish," a project currently in development.
Thanks to Chenoweth, the audience's year ended on a high note. This show provided the perfect closure to 2017, and after two resounding encores, the inspired crowd was ready to take on 2018 with a new found zest for life. Her empathetic dialogue regarding the Las Vegas Shooting was greatly appreciated, and I'll always remember her beautiful encores of "Over the Rainbow" and "Smile" fondly. Her gifts are unparalleled and inspiring, and her generosity is apparent in all she does. The world is blessed to have artists like Chenoweth, whose talent brightens her audiences' spirits while creating great art.
"That lovely perfection that nothing can dim. Yes, the woman was perfection, so I'm here with him!" -Stephen Sondheim