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Kristin Chenoweth (1968)

Kristi Dawn Chenoweth

Type :  

  Summary  

Kristin Chenoweth is an American singer and actress, with credits in musical theatre, film and television. She is best known on Broadway for her performance as Sally Brown in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown , for which she won a Tony Award, and for originating the role of Glinda in the musical Wicked . Her best-known television role is Annabeth Schott in NBC's The West Wing. As Olive Snook on the ABC comedy-drama Pushing Daisies, she won a 2009 Emmy Award.

An Oklahoma native, Chenoweth sang gospel music as a child and studied opera before deciding to pursue a career in musical theatre. In 1997, she made her Broadway debut in Steel Pier. Besides You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Wicked, Chenoweth's stage work includes five City Center Encores! productions, Broadway's The Apple Tree in 2006 and Promises, Promises in 2010, as well as Off-Broadway and regional theatre productions.

Chenoweth had her own TV series Kristin in 2001, and has guest starred on many shows, including Sesame Street and Glee, for which she was nominated for Emmy awards in 2010 and 2011. In films, she has played mostly character roles, such as in Bewitched , The Pink Panther and RV . She has also played roles in made-for-TV movies, done voice work in animated films and the animated TV series Sit Down, Shut Up, hosted several award shows and released several albums of songs, including A Lovely Way to Spend Christmas . Chenoweth also penned a 2009 memoir, A Little Bit Wicked: Life, Love, and Faith in Stages.

  Biography  

 early life
Adopted as a baby, Kristi Dawn Chenoweth was born and grew up in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, a suburb of Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has said that she is one-quarter Cherokee. At an early age, she performed gospel songs for local churches. A performing highlight of her childhood was a solo appearance at the Southern Baptist Convention national conference at the age of 12, where she performed the Evie Tornquist-Karlsson song "Four Feet Eleven". The chorus begins, "I'm only 4 feet 11, but I'm going to Heaven" .

After graduating from Broken Arrow Senior High, where she participated in school plays, Chenoweth attended Oklahoma City University, where she was a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority. She earned a BFA degree in musical theatre and a master's degree in opera performance, studying under voice instructor Florence Birdwell, who also trained Miss America 1981, Susan Powell, and three-time Tony nominee Kelli O'Hara. It was Birdwell who suggested to Chenoweth that she add an "n" to her first name. While at OCU, Chenoweth competed in beauty pageants, winning the title of "Miss OCU" and was the first runner-up in the Miss Oklahoma pageant in 1991. In 1992, Chenoweth participated in a studio recording of The Most Happy Fella.

Chenoweth participated in a number of vocal competitions and was named "most promising up-and-coming singer" in the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, which came with a full scholarship to Philadelphia's Academy of Vocal Arts. Two weeks before school started, however, she went to New York City to help a friend move. While there, she auditioned for the 1993 Paper Mill Playhouse production of the musical Animal Crackers and got the role of Arabella Rittenhouse. She turned down the scholarship and moved to New York to do the show and pursue a career in musical theatre.

 career
Chenoweth has appeared in theater, television,film and on the concert stage. She was awarded an honorary doctorate in Performing Arts from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts on May 30, 2009, where she was the commencement speaker.

 Theatre


After Animal Crackers, Chenoweth continued to appear in regional theatre productions, such as Babes in Arms and Phantom , also taking roles in Off-Broadway productions like Luisa in The Fantasticks, and Kristy in Box Office of the Damned . In 1997, she appeared as Hyacinth in the Roundabout Theater Company production of Moliere's farcical Scapin, earning her first New York Times review, with Ben Brantley writing "Kristin Chenoweth's sob-prone ingenue ... delightful". She made her Broadway debut in the spring of 1997 as Precious McGuire in the musical Steel Pier by Kander and Ebb, for which she won a Theatre World award. In 1998 she appeared in the City Center Encores! staged concert of the George and Ira Gershwin musical Strike up the Band as Anne Draper and the Lincoln Center Theatre production of William Finn's A New Brain.

In 1999, Chenoweth performed in the Broadway revival of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown as the title character's little sister, Sally, a character that was not present in the original production. She won the Tony, Drama Desk, Clarence Derwent, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. Later that year, she starred on Broadway in the short-lived comic play Epic Proportions, followed by starring as Daisy Gamble in the "Encores!" production of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever in February 2000.

After this, Chenoweth split her time between stage and TV or film roles and released her first solo album, Let Yourself Go . In 2002, she performed in the City Center Encores! 10th Anniversary Bash. In October 2003, she returned to Broadway in Wicked, the musical about the early years of the witches of Oz, in the joint-leading role of Glinda, the Good Witch of the North. She was nominated for a 2004 Tony Award as Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her performance, losing to her co-star Idina Menzel . Chenoweth was also nominated for the Drama Desk Award and the Drama League Award for this role. After playing Glinda for nine months, Chenoweth left Wicked, on July 18, 2004, soon joining the cast of The West Wing in Los Angeles.

Chenoweth played Cunegonde in the New York Philharmonic revival of Candide, directed by Lonny Price, in May 2004. The production was also broadcast on PBS's Great Performances. A performance of the rarely sung duet "We Are Women", between Cunegonde and the Old Lady , was included in the production.

From December 2006 to March 2007, she starred on Broadway as Eve in a revival of The Apple Tree with co-stars Brian d'Arcy James and former fiancé Marc Kudisch. She received nominations for the Drama Desk Award and the Drama League Award. She hosted that year's Drama Desk Awards ceremony.

Chenoweth played Elizabeth in a 2006 workshop of Mel Brooks's musical theatre adaptation of his film Young Frankenstein, but due to other commitments, she was unable to appear in the Broadway production. In 2008 she was scheduled to reprise her role as Cunegonde in an English National Opera production of Candide, but she had to pull out. She appeared in the Encores! semi-staged production of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's Music in the Air in February 2009. Chenoweth was scheduled to return to The Metropolitan Opera in 2010 to play Samira in John Corigliano's opera The Ghosts of Versailles. The Met cancelled the expensive production in 2008 as the U.S. economy weakened.

Chenoweth starred as Fran Kubelik in the 2010 Broadway revival of the musical Promises, Promises, opposite Sean Hayes, which opened on April 25, 2010. The songs "I Say a Little Prayer" and "A House Is Not a Home" were added for her to sing. Chenoweth and Hayes remained in the cast until the show closed on January 2, 2011, although she missed performances from December 29, 2010 to January 1, 2011 to perform a New Year's Eve concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall on December 31, 2010.

Chenoweth took part in a reading of the musical On the Twentieth Century for the Roundabout Theatre Company in early 2011 with Hugh Jackman and Andrea Martin. She played televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker in a reading of a new musical called Rise in spring 2011.

 Television work
After a guest appearance on LateLine, a role in the short-lived television series Paramour and several roles in television films such as Annie , Chenoweth starred in her own NBC sitcom, the semi-autobiographical Kristin in 2001. It was short-lived, with thirteen episodes filmed, but only six episodes aired. Chenoweth appeared in the lead role of Marian in the 2003 television film, The Music Man, opposite Matthew Broderick. She also guest-starred on such shows as Frasier , Sesame Street and Ugly Betty .

In 2004, Chenoweth began playing the recurring role of media consultant Annabeth Schott in The West Wing. For her performance, she was nominated twice, along with the cast, for a Screen Actors Guild Award. She appeared in the final two seasons of the program, through 2006.

From 2007 to 2009, Chenoweth played Olive Snook in the television series Pushing Daisies. For her performance she received critical acclaim and was nominated two years in a row for an Emmy Award, winning in 2009 as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. The series was cancelled after two seasons.

In 2009, Chenoweth lent her voice to the animated comedy series Sit Down, Shut Up as Miracle Grohe, a science teacher who does not believe in science. The series lasted just thirteen episodes. Later that year, Chenoweth guest starred as April Rhodes in Glee, singing several songs, earning enthusiastic notices. The character is a former member of the glee club who never finished high school and ended up hitting rock bottom. A review in USA Today observed, "Her presence may not make much sense, but it means hearing Chenoweth sing, we can put up with any explanation the show cares to offer." She received a Satellite Award for Outstanding Guest Star. In April 2010, Chenoweth returned to Glee as April Rhodes, singing more songs. The Los Angeles Times review commented, "the best part about 'Home' was undoubtedly the return of Kristin Chenoweth as April. ... From her spunky duet of 'Fire' with Schue, to the heart-achingly lonely coo of 'One Less Bell to Answer' which segued into a fantastic reprise of 'A House Is Not a Home' and of course her bone-chilling take on 'Home' ... I fell in love with her again." She was nominated for both 2010 and 2011 Emmy Awards for her performances on Glee. Chenoweth returned to Glee in 2011.

In 2011, Chenoweth joined the cast of a pilot for ABC called Good Christian Bitches as a character named Carlene Cockburn. On May 13, 2011, ABC picked it up and changed the title to GCB. The series is expected to debut during the 2011–12 season.

 Films
Chenoweth made her film debut in the film Topa Topa Bluffs in 2002 playing the role of Patty. After several years away from film she returned to the big screen in the 2005 film version of Bewitched, directed by Nora Ephron. The film's star, Nicole Kidman, had attended a performance of Wicked and was so impressed with Chenoweth that Kidman asked Ephron to cast Chenoweth in the film. Chenoweth played the part of Maria Kelly, the Kidman character's neighbor. In 2006, Chenoweth played supporting roles in five films, The Pink Panther, RV, Running with Scissors, Deck the Halls, and Stranger Than Fiction.

On February 24, 2008, Chenoweth sang "That's How You Know" from the film Enchanted at the 80th Academy Awards in the Kodak Theater. She also voiced Rosetta, the garden fairy in the 2008 animated film Tinker Bell. Later that year, Chenoweth appeared in the 2008 holiday romantic comedy film Four Christmases, playing the sister of Reese Witherspoon's character.

In 2009, Chenoweth starred as a "suicidal prostitute" in the indie drama Into Temptation, written and directed by Patrick Coyle. The film was screened at the Newport Beach Film Festival and since then has been released on DVD. Also in 2009, Chenoweth reprised her voice role of Rosetta in Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure and filmed the Disney comedy You Again . Chenoweth hosted the 15th Annual Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards which aired January 15, 2010, on VH1.

 Other media
Chenoweth often appears on Prairie Home Companion.

On August 27, 2008, Chenoweth released an internet video with Funny or Die titled Intervention with Kristin Chenoweth. The video parodied A&E's show Intervention, with Chenoweth starring as a singing, dancing interventionist. The song was composed by Andrew Lippa, Chenoweth's frequent musical director and composer for her concert songs as well as the composer of "My New Philosophy", which she sang in the revival of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. The lyrics are by Amy Rhodes, who also wrote the clip. Chenoweth admitted that she was hesitant about performing the lyrics. In 2010, she appeared in a three-minute video short for Glamour Magazine entitled "iPad or Bust". Chenoweth posed for the cover and a photo spread in the March 2006 edition of FHM magazine.

In 2011, Chenoweth released her first televised music video on Country Music Television, directed by Roman White, "I Want Somebody". The video for the single peaked at #19 on CMT's Top Twenty Countdown.

 Recordings and concerts

Chenoweth has a distinctive speaking voice, one she has compared to that of Betty Boop. She is a classically trained coloratura soprano, able to sing the note "F6" (also known as "F above High C").

Among other early recordings, Chenoweth participated in a studio cast recording of The Most Happy Fella in 1992. She was also in the cast recordings of A New Brain and You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and a studio cast recording of 110 in the Shade . In 2000, she was featured on the album Grateful: The Songs of John Bucchino. The next year, with Mandy Patinkin, she was featured on the album entitled "Kidults". Also in 2001, she released her debut album Let Yourself Go, which was a collection of standards from the musicals of the 1930s. One of the tracks featured a duet with Jason Alexander. In October 2002, Chenoweth performed songs from her solo album, Let Yourself Go, in concert for Lincoln Center's American Songbook concert series. The same year, she appeared as Fanny Brice in the Actor's Fund Benefit Concert of the musical Funny Girl in New York City. In 2003 in London, she performed a solo concert as part of the Divas at Donmar series for director Sam Mendes. Later that year, she sang Glinda in the cast recording of Wicked and the soundrack recording of Disney's The Music Man. In 2004, she released her second album As I Am, which was a Christian music album containing various spiritual songs. The album peaked at number 31 on the U.S. Christian Albums Chart. The same year, Chenoweth gave a concert at Carnegie Hall.

On January 19, 2007, Chenoweth performed a solo concert at The Metropolitan Opera in New York, only the third musical theatre star ever to present a solo concert at that location, following Barbara Cook and Yves Montand. The same year, she was featured in songs with Nathan Gunn on an album entitled Just Before Sunrise. The next year, she released her third solo studio album, entitled A Lovely Way to Spend Christmas. The album was much anticipated by both her fans and Chenoweth herself; she had expressed her desire in the past to produce a Christmas album. The album included a duet with John Pizzarelli and there are several modern holiday tunes, but many traditional carols as well including The Lord's Prayer. This album has been her best seller, reaching number 77 on the U.S. Billboard Albums Chart, climbing to number 7 on the U.S. Holiday Albums chart and to number 1 on the U.S. Heatseekers Chart. Among many other solo concerts around the U.S., Chenoweth performed her own concert in 2009 with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, at the Fox Theatre.

Starting in August 2010, during her nights off from Promises, Promises, she travelled to Nashville to record songs for her fourth recording, a country pop album. On September 13, 2011, the album, Some Lessons Learned, was released. The album contains songs by Diane Warren, Dolly Parton and Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott, among others. Chenoweth co-wrote two of the songs.

 personal life
In 2009, Chenoweth wrote a memoir entitled A Little Bit Wicked: Life, Love, and Faith in Stages, describing her adoption, her turn in Wicked and her time in Hollywood. She has stated that the book is not a "tell all", and instead focuses on "how I got where I am so far". The book was released on April 14, 2009. The book spent two weeks on The New York Times Best Seller List.

She has spoken publicly about her religious faith; she describes herself as a "non-judgmental, liberal Christian". Raised as a Southern Baptist, she later chose to have a personal connection to a faith that is not based in any one denomination.

According to The New York Times, when Chenoweth "assured her theater fans that she supports gay rights her Christian base was outraged; she was disinvited from performing at a Women of Faith conference in September 2005." Chenoweth released an album in April 2005 called As I Am, a mixture of hymns and contemporary Christian music, with adult contemporary arrangements. To promote the album, she made an appearance on The 700 Club that upset some of her gay fans. She later said she thought that the "Pat Robertsons and Jerry Falwells of the world are scary" and that she regretted appearing on the show.

She dated producer/writer Aaron Sorkin. In Sorkin's Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, the character of Harriet Hayes bears significant resemblances to Chenoweth, and the relationship between the Christian Hayes and "East coast liberal Jewish atheist" Matt Albie is modeled after that of Chenoweth and Sorkin. For example, Chenoweth's decision to appear on The 700 Club and her falling out with Women of Faith were depicted with the Hayes character.

Chenoweth has Ménière's disease, an inner-ear disorder that can cause vertigo, headaches and nausea, among other symptoms. She has said that, during some performances, she has had to lean on her co-stars to keep her balance and that it has caused her to miss performances.

In May 2010, Chenoweth wrote in response to an article in Newsweek by Ramin Setoodeh, an openly gay writer. Setoodeh thought that her Tony-nominated Promises, Promises co-star, Sean Hayes, "comes off as wooden and insincere" in playing the straight character Chuck, and that Jonathan Groff has a similar credibility problem in the TV show Glee. He questioned whether any openly gay actor could acceptably portray a straight character. Chenoweth called the article "horrendously homophobic" and criticized Setoodeh's view as rationalizing "the same kind of bullying" that gay youths face in high school. Chenoweth argued that audiences "come to the theater to go on a journey" and do not care about an actor's sexual orientation. The story was picked up by major media including The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Kristin Chenoweth", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.