Kristin Chenoweth life and biography

Kristin Chenoweth picture, image, poster

Kristin Chenoweth biography

Date of birth : 1968-07-24
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2023-07-24
Credited as : Singer and actress, Glee Star, The Witches

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Kristin Chenoweth is an American singer and actress, with credits in musical theatre, film and television.

Dancing and singing were a big part of her life. "I grew up singing gospel and country music, and it was one of the biggest influences for me musically. I loved singers like Amy Grant and Sandi Patty. ... and I was also listening to Barbra Streisand and Judy Garland, but these are the singers that really made an influence on my life," she said in an interview with Robert Diamond for the Broadway World website. When she was 12, she sang for the entire Southern Baptist Convention, performing "I'm Four Foot Eleven and I'm Going to Heaven." She wanted to head to Nashville right after graduating from high school, but her parents insisted that she go to college. She studied at Oklahoma City University, receiving a bachelor of arts degree in musical theatre and a master of arts degree in opera performance. While there, she won the Miss Oklahoma University title, and was runner-up in the 1991 Miss Oklahoma beauty pageant.

She performed in a stage revue at Opryland and then won a Most Talented Up-and-Coming Singer Award in the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, which led to a full scholarship to Philadelphia's Academy of Vocal Arts. Before leaving for Philadelphia, she took time to help a friend move to New York City, and while there she auditioned for an Off-Broadway show, "Animal Crackers," and was offered a role. She turned down the scholarship and accepted the part.

Chenoweth made her Broadway debut in a production of Moliere's Scapin, starring Bill Irwin. She followed that in the spring of 1997 with the Kander and Ebb musical Steel Pier, winning a Theatre World award. The following season she appeared in the City Center Encores! production of Strike Up the Band, and the Lincoln Center Theater production of A New Brain. She created the role of Sally in the first Broadway production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown for the 1998-99 season, winning a Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award, and an Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical.

The year 1999 found her on television with a supporting role on the AMC comedy-drama Paramour. She was then cast in the ABC-TV remake of Annie. She had her first non-musical role on Broadway as the star of the comedy Epic Proportions. She then signed a deal with NBC for a 13-episode commitment for her own talk show, simply called Kristin, which premiered in the summer of 2001. The show did not do well in the ratings, but Chenoweth said she would try it again. The year 2001 was a busy one for Chenoweth, as she signed to play in the pilot Seven Roses on CBS, released her first CD, Let Yourself Go, and played Marian the Librarian in a TV production of The Music Man, opposite Matthew Broderick.

In October of 2003, she opened the Broadway production of Wicked as Glinda, the good witch, where, as described by Entertainment Weekly, she hung "suspended in mid air in a mechanical bubble, armed with a magic wand, a sparkling smile, and a soprano that soars far beyond the land of Oz." Wicked became a major Broadway hit, and Chenoweth was nominated for the 2004 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. In Dance Spirit, Chenoweth admitted to the challenges of both singing and dancing in Wicked: "It's hard because, growing up as a dancer, you learn to engage the exact opposite muscles---as far as the diaphragm---as you do to sing. The trick is maintaining your technique---keeping the breath coming from down low and not totally letting your stomach hang out when you're dancing."

Chenoweth has worked hard to stay in shape in order to keep up with the cardiovascular demands of her Broadway performances. She told Dance Spirit, "You've got to find ways to breathe while you're dancing so that when it comes time for you to stop and sing again, you have it. To prepare, I do a lot of aerobic activity. Many times at the gym, people will look at me because I'll be on the treadmill humming."

Also in 2003, she began an ongoing role on Sesame Street as Ms. Noodle. She also starred in a video/DVD with Sesame Street star Elmo, in Elmo's World: Happy Holidays!. In the spring of 2004, as she was finishing up her run in Wicked and rehearsing for a role in Pink Panther, she fulfilled her dream of singing the role of Cunegonde in Candide. The song "Glitter and Be Gay" from that show has become a staple in her concert performances.

In the fall of 2004 Chenoweth joined the television cast of NBC's Emmy-winning series The West Wing, as Annabeth Schott, the spitfire whiz at public relations. Of her busy career, she told the Broadway World website, "I don't vacation or have any sort of life. ... but there are bigger problems to have. I love my work so much, that I just want to do it all." In the spring of 2005 she released a new CD, titled As I Am, a collection of familiar Christian hits. "I've really wanted to make this spiritual, inspirational record since the events of 9/11, and I'm glad that I can finally put it out there," she stated on the Broadway World website. The album does include one non-spiritual song that has become a signature piece for Chenoweth, called "Taylor, the Latte Boy," a fun, lighthearted romp about a barista at Starbucks.

In the summer of 2005 she played Marie, the nosy neighbor in Bewitched, a film starring Nicole Kidman. Next came Pink Panther, with Chenoweth playing alongside Steve Martin and Kevin Kline. She then went on to work on the film Running with Scissors, starring Annette Bening and Gwyneth Paltrow. Further roles are planned, with Emma Thompson in Fiction and with Robin Williams in RV, both scheduled for release in 2006.

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.

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 if 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.

Chenoweth has performed with numerous symphonies, and held roles on and off Broadway, on television, and in film. It doesn't look as if her career will be ending anytime soon. But if it does, "I'm really interested in forensic science," she told Entertainment Weekly. "I'd love to learn about DNA and fighting crime."

Selected discography:

- Let Yourself Go Sony, 2001
- As I Am Sony, 2005

Selected filmography:

- Holidate
- Candy Land
- Tinkerbell
- The Boy Next Door
- Roald Dahl's The Witches
- RV
- The Pink Panther
- Bewitched
- Rio 2

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