Interview: Kristin Chenoweth of AN EVENING WITH KRISTIN CHENOWETH at Mayo Performing Arts Center

By: Sep. 19, 2016
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Kristin Chenoweth opened the NFL season in grand fashion as she sang the national anthem before the New England Patriots took on the Arizona Cardinals September 11. Now, she's kicking off the North Jersey theater season with a concert at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown.

Kristen admitted she likes to shake up her shows a bit. "I never want to get bored myself," she explained over the phone in a soft spoken voice. "I want to keep looking in different directions and try some new songs."

Songs you can expect the Tony and Emmy Award winner to sing range from Dolly Parton and Don Henley to classics from Wicked. "Of course I am going to do 'Popular.' But I do have a new way to do it and I think it's pretty funny."

Earlier this summer, Kristin's 'Glee' co-star, Matthew Morrison, graced the same stage with a solo performance of his own. For one number, he shared the spotlight with Rachel Levy, 17, of Montville, NJ for a duet of 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow.' The two met last winter during Broadway at The White House where Rachel was chosen to perform 'For Good' with Kristen. Will we see an encore of it?

"She is pretty spectacular. You could very well see her up there with me," Kristin hinted. Rachel, a senior in high school, is a member of the Morristown Performing Arts Company. "We're singing with her," she said, but added, it's still unclear whether they will reprise their performance.

Expect a few tunes from Kristin's new album, 'The Art of Elegance,' to be released on September 23 - ironically the same day as Idina Menzel's new album. "I was completely shocked," Kristin exclaimed. "I am sure she was too. I think it's unique to think about. It's a cool universe moment."

Some of those songs will be part of Kristin's set list for when she returns to Broadway later this fall in a limited engagement of MY LOVE LETTER TO BROADWAY. This show, as she describes it, will be new and old, paying homage to song writers and shows. "Since it's Broadway, it has to be special for that."

It's going to be a busy fall for the petite powerhouse with rehearsals for Broadway and Hairspray Live at the same time. Kristin's Velma Von Tussle might be different than previously portrayed. "I am going to do more vocally that I have been allowed in the past," Kristin dished about the part. "Marc Shaiman has let me play with different arrangements of 'Baltimore Crabs.' Plus, don't forget about baton twirling.

Between rehearsing for her solo Broadway show and Hairspray Live, which sometimes will be through Skype, Kristin has a week and half to get ready for the taping. "It's nerve-racking to be honest," she admitted. "I have one night and I don't want to screw it up."

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Broadway World Contributor Leigh Scheps (@LeighTVReporter) with Kristin Chenoweth in 2014 (above) and in 2001 (below) with her mom

While Kristin says she'll be over prepared for it, she's more concerned about her Achilles' heal and staying healthy from all the traveling. She was just in Canada, Arizona, Georiga and Ohio. "I don't go anywhere without a scarf. [On the plane] I wear gloves, spray down the seat with hand sanitizer. I spray hand sanitizer in the air and drink tons of water. I try to catch an hour [of sleep] on the plane if I can. Every bit helps."

Otherwise this Sally Brown really gets the Baltimore crabs.

Catch 'An Evening With Kristin Chenoweth' at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, New Jersey, Friday and Saturday, September 23rd and 24th at 8:00PM.

Photo credit: Gian di Andrea Stefano


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