KRISTIN CHENOWETH: SWEET CHARITY

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By P.K. Greenfield with Photos by Jerritt Clark

 

The Star of Broadway Shines On and Off The Great White Way.

The summer sun lit up the terrace at the penthouse of Town New Development in SOHO’s 53 Greene Street. Invited guests sat in chaise lounges, sipping cocktails and enjoying hors d’oeuvres while waiting for the guest of honor.

Kristin Chenoweth made an entrance very similar to one of her Broadway openings; the applause, admiration and attention seamlessly follow her like a spotlight. She even captured the sun on this day with a beautiful seafoam green outfit and a one-of-a-kind handbag made for her recent performance in ‘On The Twentieth Century’. The clasp has a bejeweled choo choo train that sparkled almost as much as her baby blue eyes.

This soirée was for the launch of her pictorial in a local society magazine: Social Life. While the Paparazzi swarmed into action, Millennium Magazine sat down with her for an honest discussion of her career and charitable endeavors. Here is what we discovered about the dynamic diva.

MM: Now that “On The Twentieth Century” has ended. What’s your next stop?

KC: It’s going to be a tough one to say goodbye. My co-star, Peter Gallagher and the entire cast and crew have been amazing. It’s always hard when a show closes. It’s part of the work but it’s sad to leave people that you come close to.  To answer your question, my next stop is Los Angeles; I am receiving a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame that happens to coincide with my birthday.

MM: Which actors would you like to share the stage with that you haven’t worked with yet?

KC: Wow! There are many but off the top of my head I will say, Elaine Paige, Bernadette Peters, those are the two that quickly come to mind. Hugh Jackman, of course. Hello! He and I have talked about that and have dreams of working together at some point. My list could go on and on but those are the ones that quickly come to mind.

MM: I know you do a lot of charity work. Talk to me about that.

KC: Well, the most important one that I’m currently working with is the theatre in my hometown in Oklahoma; they named it the Kristin Chenoweth Theatre and it’s at the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center.

MM: I did my homework and that’s the name of your high school.

KC: Yes, you sure did your homework. They rebuilt the building and it’s now a gorgeous, 1,400 seat theatre that all of the Broadway tours will come through. In fact, Liza will be there, Bernadette will be there…

MM: Those ladies don’t need last names.

KC: Exactly (she laughs). These are the people that I look up to and honor and they will be performing at the theatre that bares my family’s name. It’s such an honor and so important for the community.

MM: Tell me about the performing arts camp that you started for kids.

KC: I’m glad you asked about this. You really did your research. We are doing a camp in Oklahoma where kids audition and ten of them will receive a full scholarship. I’m going to be doing master classes beginning in August and will make various appearances. This is going to be my legacy and the way that I want to be remembered.

MM: What inspired this for you?

KC: I sing a song in my concerts called, ‘I was here.’ That sparked the idea. This is my way of giving back and continuing to mentor young talent. I think it’s important to help and teach the next generation of performers. This will put my stamp on the art form.

Ms. Chenoweth won her first Tony award for her performance as Sally Brown in ‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown’ on Broadway.  You might also recognize her as Glinda from the original production of ‘Wicked’. TV fans remember her memorable performances on ‘The West Wing’ and ‘Pushing Daisies’. These are just a few examples of her outstanding work on both stage and screen.

As the sun set over the Hudson River, she continued to light up the room patiently dedicating her time talking with every guest.


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