Broadway, film, television and recording star Kristin Chenoweth will appear with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, led by Principal Pops conductor Jack Everly, for a one-night only engagement on Tuesday, Nov. 24 at 7:30 p.m. at the Hilbert Circle Theatre.
Chenoweth received an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for the ABC series “Pushing Daisies.” For her role as April Rhodes in Fox’s hit TV series ”Glee,” she was nominated for two Emmy Awards and a People’s Choice Award. Chenoweth is also well known by Broadway fans for her origination of the role of Glinda the Good Witch in “Wicked” which earned her a Tony Award Nomination, and for her Tony-winning performance in “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.” She recently returned to Broadway in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s “On the Twentieth Century.” Her performance as glamorous film star Lily Garland earned her a Tony Award in the category Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical. Earlier this year, she co-starred in the Universal film “The Boy Next Door,” alongside Jennifer Lopez. In July 2015, Chenoweth was seen in the Disney Channel’s “Descendants,” where she played the classic Sleeping Beauty villain Maleficent.
Also a concert stage performer, Chenoweth has played to sold-out crowds in concert halls all over the world. She made her Australian national touring debut in 2013, headlining the Adelaide Cabaret Festival and performing at the famed Sydney Opera House. That same year, she also performed at The Allen Room in New York’s at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, with her show, “Kristin Chenoweth: The Dames of Broadway… All of ‘Em!!!,” which also aired on PBS. Chenoweth’s ISO appearance is just one of numerous performing concert dates scheduled in cities across the country.
Recently atombash.com spoke by phone with Chenoweth about her upcoming concert with the ISO, future projects and her thoughts regarding the terrorist incident in Paris.
Have you ever played Indy?
No, this is my first time. I am really nervous. Obviously, I really want to knock things out of the park. There are people that I really respect who have come out there and told me that it is a great community. I am really nervous.
What will your concert program consist of?
I am going to do a few songs that people want me to do. I learned that if I don’t, I could be shot. (Laughs). I am going to do a couple of things that I am known for. Also, I’ve been adding music, signifying my roots, over the past several years that I enjoy and that weave in and out of my show. I am going to sing a gospel song. I was raised in the church and that’s where I learned to sing. For sure I am going to do a country song by Dolly Parton that has become an anthem for me that I have I have been falling more and more in love with. I will definitely do some Kander & Ebb and Victor Herbert. I also do a section of songs from movies that I have loved over the years, and which feature music by composers such as Mancini and Rogers & Hammerstein.
I presume “Popular” (from “Wicked”) will be included in your program? How do you keep it fresh and do you ever grow tired of singing it?
Oh sure. I love the song. Lucky for me but every time I do it I do it differently. For this concert, I am doing it a new way which I can’t give away. I was doing “Popular” in all the languages where “Wicked” is being performed in different countries so that was fun. I did it in Japanese, German and Chinese. Now I am doing it in a different way. It will always be fun. One time I sang it about it about Anthony Weiner around the time of his scandal (Laughs).
You are on a tour that has been going on since August, right?
I feel like I am always on tour. I am calling it a “Coming Home Tour” but this is music that is touching me right now. I have dates for three years in advance. Am I going on a proper bus tour from city to city? No. Now I do maybe two or three concerts a week, which, by the way, isn’t exactly easy either but I take a few days off so I can continue other aspects of my career. So I am always on tour, I guess. I love it. I love it. I am happiest when I am on stage. For sure.
Do you have any film and TV projects going on you can tell me about?
I have a movie I will be doing in Louisiana. It’s an independent feature film with Eric Stoltz directing.
He’s an actor isn’t he?
Yes. An incredible actor but a lot of people don’t know but he has been directing for many years. He has directed for shows such as “Glee,” “The West Wing” and “Good Wife.”
Did he direct you in any of the episodes you filmed for “Glee?”
Not one. We have been friends throughout the years because of the business and always said “Crap. We have to work together some day.” Finally, this opportunity came up and he called me. The shooting starts pretty soon. I don’t know if you remember the movie “Election.” It’s more in that tone. It’s sort of a black comedy. I play a mom who is pretty selfish and really into herself. But in the end she comes through for her daughter. I like the character and I like that Bruce Dern has a part it in as well. We’ll be shooting it in Baton Rouge.
Any chance we’ll see you on Broadway anytime soon?
I am trying to figure out what that will be. Of course I am always looking for the next role I want to do. I am attached to a couple of projects that aren’t just quite ready. One about Tammy Faye Bakker Messner is pretty important to me. Another one is an adaptation of a film called “Soapdish.” I am a little bit of a perfectionist, though, and I want them to be truly ready.
What are your thoughts about what happened in Paris?
Like the rest of the world I was shocked and saddened. When 9/11 happened the French said “Today we are all Americans.” On Instagram I posted “On 9/11 you guys said ‘We Are All Americans’ and now we say ‘We Are All French.’” I feel it is no longer a problem with just America, or Iraq, or Paris or New York. It is a world problem. Now we all truly understand that when we reach out and hold each other’s hands we realize we are all humans. Yes, we are proud Americans. Yes, we are proud Parisians. Yes, we should be proud of our heritage and our history but when things like this happen it reminds us that we are all human first and foremost.
I thought of the fear that people must have felt and their sheer sadness. I was going on stage in Florida that night. I don’t know how other artists feel but I was not in the mood. I was doing a gala that night in Fort Walton, Florida for the Sinfonia Gulf Coast 10th Anniversary. After the first number, I said “We had a bad day today. But we are not going to let what happened, ruin your day and your celebration but we must acknowledge it.” Later on Twitter I posted a quote by Leonard Bernstein which reads “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.” That is what I feel.
Your fans will know what to expect from you concert but what about those who may not be familiar with you?
I go to a lot of concerts featuring entertainers I am not that familiar with, such as a heavy metal band or a country artist but I always just want to be entertained. There are a lot of beautiful voices on the radio, right? But here is a live performer who is going to entertain you and that is what I hope people will walk away with. I just leave it all up there, so they’ll be entertained no matter what. I will also have a very special guest singing with me who people will love.
For tickets and information about Kristin Chenoweth with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 7:30 p.m., at Hilbert Circle Theatre call (317) 639-4300 or visit indianapolissymphony.org.