For Diehard Kristin Chenoweth Fans, City Center Concert Was the "Trill" of a Lifetime

By Kenneth Jones
03 Jun 2012

Kristin Chenoweth
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Theatre music naturally spices much of the concert, which is music-directed and arranged by Drama Desk Award winner Mary-Mitchell Campbell (Broadway's Company), aided by a dozen musicians and a clutch of credited theatre orchestrators. ("Hard Times Come Again No More" is not a show tune, of course, but Campbell and Andrew Lippa's arrangement of it is theatrical and transcendent; it builds to something that wails, pleas and laments. American Stephen Foster wrote the song in the 19th century, but it ends up feeling tribal, primal and timeless.)

If you've got tickets to a future stop on the tour (which concludes in Broken Arrow, OK, on June 24), the following information might spoil things — or entice you. At City Center, the concert included a visit by characters from Avenue Q, the show that beat Wicked for the Best Musical Tony; "Popular" from Wicked got a fresh spin (was that Dutch Chenoweth was singing?); "For Good" was a duet with a 15-year-old singer (a protégé of Chenoweth's) plucked from the audience (on tour, the star apparently duets with a random fan pulled from the crowd); "Fathers and Daughters," from Chenoweth's new album "Some Lessons Learned," was a highlight ballad; Bacharach and David were represented with "One Less Bell to Answer/A House Is Not a Home" (the latter heard in the Broadway revival of Promises, Promises starring Chenoweth); Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall got credit for a charming piece of choreography; and Dolly Parton (a hero of Chenoweth's) made a video appearance.

Emmy Award winner Chenoweth ("Pushing Daisies") did make a passing reference to the recent surprise cancellation of her ABC TV series "GCB." (Two of her series co-stars were in the house, and she introduced them: Miriam Shor and Leslie Bibb.) But Chenoweth didn't dwell on that setback. Why wallow when there are so many good songs still to be sung?

Read the June 1 Playbill Diva Talk interview with Kristin Chenoweth.

(Kenneth Jones is managing editor of Follow him on Twitter @PlaybillKenneth.)