Kristin Chenoweth Wows American Songbook Crowd; Mazzie & Danieley Next

News   Kristin Chenoweth Wows American Songbook Crowd; Mazzie & Danieley Next

Kristin Chenoweth.

Photo by Kwaku Alston

Kristin Chenoweth, the Tony-Award winning star of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, brought the sold-out audience at the John Jay College Theater to its feet Saturday night, the closing performance of her American Songbook concerts for Lincoln Center. The concert at the John Jay Theater marked Chenoweth’s solo New York concert debut, and the star seemed visibly moved by the audience’s enthusiastic response, which included a lengthy standing ovation that prompted her encore of Rodgers and Hart’s “My Funny Valentine.” Chenoweth’s two-act program featured musical direction by Andrew Lippa, the Wild Party composer who also penned the tune that nabbed Chenoweth her Tony, “My New Philosophy.” Chenoweth performed that tune as well as two other Lippa works: “When I First Met Him,” a song cut from the Off-Broadway The Wild Party; and “Lincoln Center,” a comic ditty about Chenoweth learning that she would be performing at the John Jay College Theater rather than the more prestigious Avery Fisher Hall or the Met.

The two-act evening also featured dancers Seán Martin Hingston (Contact) and Vince Pesce (Kiss Me, Kate), who joined Chenoweth on several numbers. The small orchestra comprised Lippa on piano with Sylvia D’Avanzo (violin), Roger Shell (cello), Jim Hershman (guitar), Bill Ellison (bass), Wayne Dunton (drums) and Vincent Della Rocca and Frank Santagata on reeds.

The complete song list for “Let Yourself Go: An Evening with Kristin Chenoweth” follows:

Act One:
“Should I Be Sweet?” (Vincent Youmans/Buddy Da Sylva)
“Lincoln Center” (Andrew Lippa)
“I’m a Stranger Here Myself” (Kurt Weill/Ogden Nash)
“Daddy” (Bobby Troup)
“Just an Ordinary Guy” (Ricky Ian Gordon/Langston Hughes)
Jerome Kern Medley: “Bill,” “Why Was I Born” and “Nobody Else But Me”
“Going to the Dance with You” (Richard Dworsky)
“My New Philosophy” (Andrew Lippa)
“The Girl in 14G” (Jeanine Tesori/Dick Scanlan)

Act Two:
“Let Yourself Go” (Irving Berlin)
“Till There Was You”/“My White Knight” (Meredith Willson)
“Hard Times” (Stephen Foster)
“If You Hadn’t But You Did” (Jule Styne/Betty Comden/Adolph Green)
“When I First Met Him” (Andrew Lippa)
“Taylor (the Latte Boy)” (Zina Goldrich/Marci Heisler)
“Glitter and Be Gay” (Leonard Bernstein/Richard Wilbur)
Encore: “My Funny Valentine” (Rodgers/Hart)

Kristin Chenoweth made her New York theatrical debut opposite Bill Irwin in a production of Molière's Scapin and followed that with a lead role in Kander and Ebb's Steel Pier. Roles in Off-Broadway's A New Brain and the City Center Encores! productions of Strike Up the Band and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever ensued. Chenoweth also starred in her own, short-lived TV series "Kristin," and her other TV appearances include roles in "Frasier" and ABC's television adaptation of the musical Annie. She will also be featured in the TV production of Meredith Willson's The Music Man and the upcoming Broadway musical Wicked.

The American Songbook series continues Oct. 17 (8 and 10 PM) with concerts from Broadway husband-and-wife team Marin Mazzie (Ragtime; Kiss Me, Kate and Jason Danieley (The Full Monty, Candide), who will premiere an evening of duets that includes “Love Call,” “People Will Say We’re in Love,” “Just in Time” and “All the Wasted Time” as well as medleys by Irving Berlin and Stephen Sondheim. Recent Mamma Mia! star Karen Mason will perform selections from her CD “When the Sun Comes Out” on Oct. 18 (8 and 10:30 PM), and Putting it Together’s John Barrowman will offer an evening of Broadway and popular standards on Oct. 19 (8 and 10 PM).

The Oct. 17-19 concerts will be held at the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse (165 W. 65th Street, Rose Building, 10th Floor) at Lincoln Center. Tickets are priced at $30 and $45; call (212) 721-6500 for reservations. Visit www.lincolncenter.org for more information.

—By Andrew Gans