PLAYBILL BRIEF ENCOUNTER With Kristin Chenoweth, Bouncing Back From Adversity

By Kenneth Jones
14 Sep 2012

Chenoweth on "The Good Wife."
Photo by John Paul Filo/CBS
Does this down time make you more sensitive or connected to the world around you?
KC: I got to know my neighbors. I mean, that sounds hilarious, but I've never really gotten to know people like that. To find out about their lives and their struggles. This has been a time of literally just listening and reconnecting with old friends that I wanted to be with. For example, Jim Newman was just here with me during the taping of the Anderson show; I met him doing Steel Pier. Debra Monk is like my second mom, and I hadn't gotten to see her very much, and I have now, since I've been hurt. And I want that to continue. I want to spend time with the people that I love the most, instead of doing all business all the time. That's no fun. That's no good for your soul.

When you're back on the hamster wheel of your career, you'll probably be thinking more deeply about your friends and your connections.
KC: Absolutely, I will. There's no question. There's no question.

I just referred to your career as a hamster wheel.
KC: [Laughs.] By the way, you're not wrong! That's how I sometimes feel. Get me in the Habitrail right away, you know!

You've talked a little bit about the injury and what happened. Do you remember it happening or was it sudden and you were out?
KC: It was very sudden. Josh Charles was in the scene with me, and he was kind of waiting to enter — off to the side — and we were outside, and it was very windy. And, I just remember having a prop phone — and it was somebody's phone, it started ringing — and I said, "Hey, somebody's phone's ringing," and that's all I remember. So the good news is: for anybody who's had somebody pass away from something very quick, I am here to tell you, "They never knew what hit them," because I never knew what hit me. I got knocked out right away and then slammed to the ground, and that's where my head hit the curb. So, I remember nothing.

Chenoweth in concert at City Center
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

What is the extent of your injuries?
KC: Very stretched ligaments in the front of my neck. The doctor seems to believe that I probably might have cracked — hairline-fractured — a rib or two, just because of the pain I was in from that. But they were really unable to get the correct X-ray because I couldn't sit up. But they didn't really seem to care about that injury [laughs], because they were so concerned about the head. Mainly, it's been the head, the neck and the ribs — and not to mention that my nose isn't exactly the same as it used to be. That's kind of a bummer, but hey, it could've been worse!

The selfish question from your fans is, "Does it affect the singing voice?"
KC: The chords, actually, look great. I was scoped by [throat specialist] Dr. [Gwen] Korovin and everything. It's the muscles surrounding that that get so fatigued, and that's why I'm working on building back up. I do have some concerts I'd certainly like to make in November, and rescheduling London for March. So I have some goals ahead that I'd like to reach, but I have a great PT — physical therapist — and I'm really trying to say "no" more, so that I can get healthy and come back stronger.

I had a ball at your concert at City Center earlier this year.
KC: Thank you so much for coming! I'm so proud of it. I'm so proud of it!

When are we seeing it again?
KC: Well, I'm probably going to do a modified version of it at some upcoming concerts, but by the time London comes in March, I would like to be doing that show again. You work so hard to do all those different styles — and do them well, in a way that you can respect how you've done it — and I'd like to get back there. So certainly after Christmas I'd like to be doing that again.

Has London been officially announced or are you in discussions for London?
KC: It's been officially offered and being worked-through right now at the Royal Opera House. I was supposed to play Royal Albert Hall Sept. 17, but clearly, I didn't make that date. So having to move venues in order to get over there is what I'm willing to do, and certainly that venue is fantastic. The Opera House is in the middle of the West End, and the next day, I'll be doing Manchester. So I'm just excited to get onstage again, you know. November is Fresno, Sacramento and Costa Mesa, so that's November dates. I'm really looking forward to having those, to see where I'm at. I'll be rehearsing — getting my butt back into rehearsal soon — just so I can build back up.

It's about building your stamina again.
KC: That's exactly right.