Kristin Chenoweth: In conversation at the Paley Theatre
By: Natalie Atkins
I had the pleasure of going to the Kristin Chenoweth: In Conversation at the Paly Center in Los Angeles. The evening started with about 20 different clips of Kristin’s performances on stage and screen throughout the years. Some well-known hits and some you would only know if you a Kristin Superfan. It was incredible to see a montage of her performances including clips of recent, well-known performances in Pushing Daisies, West Wing, Glee, and Wicked just to name a few. In one clip she sang “Popular” in Japanese, German and English.
Bryan Fuller an American television writer, producer and good friend to Kristin was the host for the evening. The friendship between Kristin and Bryan was easy to see in the way the two went back and forth and referenced times in the past. The entire evening Kristin came off as someone who has become very comfortable in her skin, genuine, light-hearted and quick to turn any situation into a funny one with a phrase or look at the audience.
Kristin brought up how in her youth she entered into a pageant to win scholarship money. Though she did not win the pageant, she was quick to tell us she won talent by singing Victor Herbert’s Art Is Calling For Me. However, it taught her an important lesson she has carried with her, her whole life. She learned to always compete with herself not anyone else out there.
Kristin talked about how so many legends of today inspired her as a young woman starting a career in music and mentioned how she has mentored both Ariana Grande and Dove Cameron and absolutely adores those young women. She talked about how Judy Garland, Carol Burnett, Debra Monk, Patti Lupone, and Dolly Parton were all mentors to her through the years. Kristin is a very petite woman and is not shy about her small stature. She recalled back to the first time she saw Judy Garland sing. She described Judy Garland’s voice as twice the size as she was, and that she used her voice to create humor. This inspired Kristin to perform like that with her voice. She went on to announce that this evening they had just finished recording a new album dedicated to the woman singers and songwriters who have inspired her through the years. She would not specifically about the album, but I am sure we will hear some beautiful classics with Kristin’s twist on them.
Bryan brought up the sheer amount of times Kristin has sung on television and Kristin herself said she was surprised. She said she does not always look for only singing roles. When she looks at a role that doesn’t sing she tries to imagine how they would sing. If she can imagine that, she takes the part. It is so interesting to me to see how much music and singing has become just another part of this very talented woman. Multiple times during the evening she would easily slip in and out of a line of a song without skipping a beat.
Though it may seem like Kristin Chenoweth has done everything she still has hopes and dreams for the future of her career and there are things that still scare her when performing. Kristin says concertizing is something she absolutely loves but scares her the most. It is her voice, singing the song her way through her truths. There is no character to hide behind. As for her hopes and dreams? Kristin aspires to be in a Tony award-winning musical and wants to be in a musical in the Big Screen. I was nice to hear that someone and talented and famous as Kristin Chenoweth has the same dreams as many little boys and girls today. You can see Kristin Chenoweth performing live at the Hollywood Bowl this summer.