Kristin Chenoweth: Wikis


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Kristin Chenoweth

Chenoweth at the 2008 Primetime Emmy Awards
Born Kristi Dawn Chenoweth
July 23, 1968 (1968-07-23) (age 41)
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma,
United States
Occupation Actress, singer, author
Years active 1991–present
Official website

Kristin Chenoweth (born July 23, 1968)[1] is an American singer, musical theatre, film, and television actress, and author. Some of her best-known Broadway work has included her Tony Award-winning performance as Sally Brown in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and creating the role of Glinda in the musical Wicked. Her best-known television role is Annabeth Schott in television's The West Wing. As Olive Snook on the ABC comedy-drama Pushing Daisies, she won a 2009 Emmy Award.[2]


Early life

Adopted at birth, Kristi Dawn Chenoweth grew up in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Her lineage includes one-quarter Cherokee ancestry.[3] Her vocal ability and talent were realized at a young age, performing songs for local churches. A highlight of her childhood was a special solo appearance at the Southern Baptist Convention national conference at the age of 12. She performed the song "I'm Four Foot Eleven and I'm Going to Heaven" for an audience of approximately 40,000 delegates. (She is, indeed, 4 ft 11 in (150 cm).)[4][5]

After graduating from Broken Arrow Senior High, Chenoweth attended Oklahoma City University, where she was a member of Gamma Phi Beta (Beta Omicron) sorority.[6][7][4] She earned a 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.[6] It was Birdwell who suggested to Chenoweth that she add an "n" to her first name.[8] While at OCU, Chenoweth won the title of "Miss OCU" and went on to win second runner-up in the Miss Oklahoma pageant in 1991. For a period of time, she performed on stage at Opryland USA in Nashville, Tennessee.

Chenoweth won a number of competitions, including a "most talented up-and-coming singer" award in the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, which came with a full scholarship to Philadelphia's Academy of Vocal Arts.[9] Two weeks before school started, she went to New York City to help a friend move. While there, she auditioned for the Paper Mill Playhouse's 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.[9]



Kristin Chenoweth (holding her dog, Madeline Kahn "Maddie" Chenoweth) joins Laura Bush and celebrity models to raise awareness of heart disease in the Red Dress Collection Celebrity Fashion Show

Chenoweth made her Broadway debut in the spring of 1997 in the musical Steel Pier by John Kander and Fred Ebb, for which she won a Theatre World award. The following season, she appeared in the City Center Encores production of the George and Ira Gershwin musical Strike up the Band and the Lincoln Center Theatre production of William Finn's A New Brain.

In early 1999, she 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. The performance won Chenoweth the Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. [10] She then starred on Broadway in the short lived musical-comedy Epic Proportions in 1999,[11] followed by starring in the leading role of Daisy Gamble in the City Center Encores production of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever in February 2000.[12]

In October 2002, Chenoweth performed songs from her album Let Yourself Go in concert for Lincoln Center's American Songbook concert series.[13]

She also performed in City Center Encores 10th Anniversary Bash. In London, she was involved in Divas at Donmar for director Sam Mendes, then appeared in the Actor's Fund Benefit Concert of the musical Funny Girl in New York City.

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 (playing Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West). She was additionally nominated for the Drama Desk Award and the Drama League Award. After playing Glinda for nine months Chenoweth left Wicked on July 18, 2004 along with co-stars Joel Grey and Norbert Leo Butz.[14]

Chenoweth played Cunegonde in a revival of Candide, directed by Lonny Price in 2004. Price's semi-staged concert production with the New York Philharmonic under conductor Marin Alsop, ran for four performances between May 5, 2004 and May 8, 2004. The production featured Paul Groves as Candide, Sir Thomas Allen as Dr. Pangloss, Patti LuPone as the Old Lady, with choruses from both Westminster Choir College and the Juilliard School completing the performance cast, and 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.[15]

From December 2006 to March 2007, Chenoweth starred on Broadway in a production of The Apple Tree and received rave reviews for her performance. She received nominations for the Drama Desk Award and the Drama League Award. Her co-stars included Brian d'Arcy James and former fiancé Marc Kudisch. On 19 January 2007, she 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.[16] Chenoweth additionally hosted that year's Drama Desk Awards ceremony.

Chenoweth played Elizabeth in the pre-Broadway workshop in Mel Brooks's Broadway adaptation of his film Young Frankenstein, however, due to other commitments, she was unable to appear in the production. Similarly, in 2008 she had been scheduled to reprise her role as Cunegonde in an English National Opera production of Candide, but she had to pull out at the last minute.

She appeared in Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's Music in the Air for its short semi-staged running from February 5–8, 2009.[17] Chenoweth had been scheduled to return to The Metropolitan Opera in 2010 to play Samira in John Corigliano's opera The Ghosts of Versailles after being invited by general manager Peter Gelb to perform.[18] Although expected to sell-out, the Metropolitan was ultimately forced to cancel the opera because of Ghosts' exorbitant production costs, and the company's budget limitations due to recent economic conditions.[19]

Chenoweth will play Fran Kubelik in the Broadway revival of the musical Promises, Promises. She will play opposite Sean Hayes and the production is scheduled to open in April 2010.[20]

Television work

After a guest appearance on LateLine and several roles in some television films such as Annie, Chenoweth was given her own NBC sitcom entitled Kristin in 2001. It was short-lived, with thirteen episodes filmed, but only six episodes that were aired.[21]

Throughout the mid-2000s, Chenoweth appeared on several television programs and several motion pictures made for television, in particular a starring role in the Emmy Award nominated television film The Music Man.

In 2004, Chenoweth landed a role playing 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.

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

In 2009, Chenoweth lent her voice to the animation comedy series Sit Down Shut Up. She voiced the role of Miracle Grohe who was a science teacher who didn't believe in science. The series lasted just thirteen episodes. Later that year, Chenoweth guest starred as April Rhodes in Glee. She received a Satellite Award for Outstanding Guest Star.


Chenoweth made her film debut in the film Topa Topa Buffs 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's charisma and stage presence that Kidman asked Ephron to cast Chenoweth in the film.[citation needed] Chenoweth got the part of Maria Kelly, Kidman's character's best friend.

In 2006, she appeared in five films: The Pink Panther, RV, Stranger Than Fiction, Running with Scissors and Deck the Halls.

On February 24, 2008, Chenoweth sang "That's How You Know" from the film Enchanted[22] 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.[23]

In 2009, Chenoweth starred as a "suicidal prostitute" in the indie drama Into Temptation under writer-director Patrick Coyle. The film was screened at the Newport Beach Film Festival and since then has been released on DVD.[24] Also in 2009 Chenoweth reprised her voice role of Rosetta in Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure and she recently completed filming for the Disney comedy film You Again.

Chenoweth has been cast as the China Doll Princess in the CGI 2011 animated film Dorothy Of Oz. Lea Michele and Kelsey Grammer are also set to appear in the film.[25]

Chenoweth hosted the 15th Annual Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards which aired January 15, 2010 on VH1.[26]


On August 27, 2008, Chenoweth released a video with Funny or Die titled Intervention with Kristin Chenoweth.[27] 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, and the lyrics were written by Amy Rhodes, who also wrote the clip.[27] The video was shot in five hours in a room of a Hilton Hotel.[28] Chenoweth admitted that she was hesitant about performing the lyrics.[28]

Recording career

Chenoweth has a distinctive speaking voice, one she has compared to that of Betty Boop.[29] She is a classically trained coloratura soprano, and well known for her skilled singing technique and artistic interpretations. She has a vocal range of four octaves.[30] Chenoweth is able to sing the note "F6" (1396.913 Hz), also known as "F above High C".[31]

Chenoweth released her debut album Let Yourself Go in 2001 which was a collection of jazz standards from the musicals of the 1930s. One of the tracks featured a duet with Jason Alexander. 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 US Christian Albums Chart.

In 2008, Chenoweth released her third 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 were several modern holiday tunes, but many traditional carols as well including a stirring rendition of The Lord's Prayer. Unlike her first two albums it made quite an impact on the charts reaching number 77 on the US Billboard Albums Chart, climbing to number 7 on the US Holiday Albums chart and to number 1 on the US Heatseekers Chart.

Special events and appearances

Chenoweth and the cast of the Broadway musical Wicked performed the song "One Short Day" in the 2003 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.[32]

In the 2005 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Chenoweth performed the song "Oklahoma" while riding aboard the "Oklahoma Rising" float. The float was making the first of three annual appearances commemorating the state of Oklahoma's statehood centennial in 2007.[33][34]

She was the star performer of the opening ceremony of the 2007 Tournament of Roses Parade. She sang "Our Good Nature," an original composition written to coincide with the Oklahoma centennial celebration and the theme of the parade.[35]

In the 2008 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, she performed the song "The Christmas Waltz" from her "A Lovely Way to Spend Christmas" album while riding aboard the "The Care Bears Winter Fun-Derland" float.[36]

She sang with Il Divo as part of Il Divo's Christmas Tour 2009 on December 15, 16 and 17 in New York City and December 18 in Boston.[37][38]

Personal life

Chenoweth has written a memoir about her life, A Little Bit Wicked: Life, Love, and Faith in Stages,[39] 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".[40] The book was released on April 14, 2009.[41] The book spent two weeks on The New York Times Best Seller List.

Chenoweth has spoken publicly about her faith; she describes herself as a "non-judgmental, liberal Christian".[42] Raised as a Southern Baptist, she later chose to have a personal connection to a faith that is not based in any one denomination. When in California, she attends a non-denominational church in Malibu; in New York, she attends a United Methodist Church.[citation needed]

Chenoweth also has a large gay fanbase, and was uninvited from a Women of Faith conference in September 2005. According to The New York Times, "when she assured her theater fans that she supports gay rights her Christian base was outraged."[43][44] [45]

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, an appearance that upset some of her gay fans.[46] 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.[47]

She has dated producer/writer Aaron Sorkin.[48] 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" (her description) Matt Albie is modeled after that of Chenoweth and Sorkin;[49] 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 which can cause vertigo, among other symptoms. She has said that, during some performances, she has had to literally lean on her co-stars to keep her balance.[50]

Chenoweth 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. [51]



Year Title Role Venue Notes
1997 Steel Pier Precious McGuire Richard Rodgers Theatre Theatre World Award
1999 You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown Sally Brown Ambassador Theatre Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Epic Proportions Louise Goldman Helen Hayes Theatre
2003 Wicked Glinda George Gershwin Theatre Audience Award for Favorite Onstage Pair (shared with Idina Menzel)
Nominated — Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Nominated — Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical
2006 The Apple Tree Eve
Princess Barbára
Studio 54 Audience Award for Favorite Diva Performance
Nominated — Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Nominated — Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Nominated — Audience Award for Favorite Actress in a Musical
2010 Promises, Promises scheduled Fran Kubelik The Broadway Theatre
Year Title Role Venue Notes
The Fantasticks Luisa Sullivan Street Playhouse
1994 Box Office of the Damned Kristy — The New Girl CSC Theatre
1997 Scapin Hyacinth Laura Pels Theatre
1998 A New Brain Nancy D./Waitress Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre
New York City Center Encores!
Year Title Role Notes
1998 Strike up the Band Anne Draper
2000 On a Clear Day You Can See Forever Daisy Gamble/Melinda
2005 The Apple Tree Eve, Princess Barbára, Ella/Passionella
2007 Stairway to Paradise Female star
2009 Music in the Air Frieda Hatzfeld


Year Film Role Notes
1997 Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas Miss Duster Voice Role
1999 Annie Lily St. Regis TV film
2001 Seven Roses TV film
2002 Topa Topa Bluffs Patty
2003 The Music Man Marion Paroo TV film
2005 Bewitched Maria Kelly
2006 The Pink Panther Cherie
RV Mary Jo Gornicke
Stranger Than Fiction Book Channel host
Running with Scissors Fern Stewart
Deck the Halls Tia Hall
A Sesame Street Christmas Carol Christmas Carole Voice role
2008 Space Chimps Kilowatt Voice role
Tinker Bell Rosetta Voice role
Four Christmases Courtney
2009 Into Temptation Linda Salerno
Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure Rosetta voice role
Twelve Men of Christmas E.J. Baxter Lifetime (TV network) movie
2010 Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue Rosetta in production, voice role
You Again Monique Leroux pre-production
2011 Dorothy of Oz China Doll Princess (rumored) pre-production, voice role
Year Title Role Notes
1999 LateLine Kristin "The Christian Guy"
Paramour Mini-series
2001 Kristin Kristin Yancey Thirteen episodes
Frasier Portia Sanders "Junior Agent"
2002 Baby Bob Crystal Carter "Talking Babies Say the Darndest Things"
2003 Fillmore! Museum Guide Voice role, "Masterstroke of Malevolence"
2005 Great Performances Cunegonde Candide
2004-2006 The West Wing Annabeth Schott Thirty-four episodes, main character
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2004, 2005) (shared with the cast)
2003-2006 Sesame Street Ms. Noodle Two episodes
2001-2007 Elmo's World Ms. Noodle Two episodes
2007 Ugly Betty Diane "East Side Story"
Robot Chicken various "Squaw Bury Shortcake"
2007-2009 Pushing Daisies Olive Snook Twenty-two episodes, main character
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Comedy Series (2009)
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Comedy Series (2008)
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
2009 Sit Down, Shut Up Miracle Grohe Voice role, eleven episodes, main character
Legally Mad Skippy Pylon Pilot, never aired on television
Glee April Rhodes "The Rhodes Not Taken"
Special Achievement Satellite Award for Outstanding Guest Star
2010 American Idol Herself (guest judge) "Orlando Auditions"


Year Album details Peak Certifications
(sales threshold)
U.S. U.S. Holiday U.S. Christian U.S. Heat
2001 Let Yourself Go
  • US sales:
2005 As I Am 31
  • US sales:
2008 A Lovely Way to Spend Christmas 77 7 1
  • US sales: 80,000
"—" denotes releases that did not chart



  1. ^ "Kristin". 
  2. ^ Joyce Eng (20 September 2009). "Kristin Chenoweth, Jon Cryer Win First Emmys". Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  3. ^ Brady, James (May 15, 2005). "Brady's Bits: Kristin Chenoweth". Parade. Retrieved September 12, 2009. "Chenoweth’s family name is Welsh, but she’s part Cherokee. 'One-fourth,' she said. 'And I’m the only musician in the family and the only one who isn’t tall.'" 
  4. ^ a b "Biography". Turner Classic Movies.|0&afiPersonalNameId=null. 
  5. ^ "Kristin Chenoweth". Tavis Smiley Archives. PBS. April 29, 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  6. ^ a b [ "Florence Birdwell Professor of Voice Biography at Oklahoma City University], retrieved March 8, 2010
  7. ^ Gamma Phi Beta, retrieved March 8, 2010
  8. ^ Beaujon, Ewa.Keeping it Clean: Kristin Chenoweth, 'A Little Bit Wicked'", April 13, 2009
  9. ^ a b "Kristin Chenoweth biography". Retrieved March 25, 2008. 
  10. ^ "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Ambassador Theatre, Broadway, 1999", retrieved March 7, 2010
  11. ^ "Epic Proportions listing, Helen Hayes Theatre, Broadway, 1999", retrieved March 7, 2010
  12. ^ Brantley, Ben."Theatre Review"Reincarnation With a Green Thumb"The New York Times, February 12, 2000
  13. ^ Holden, Stephen."A Glamorous Chameleon, Catching All the Nuances"October 14, 2002
  14. ^ Simonson, Robert."Original Glinda's Bubble Floats Away July 18 When Chenoweth Leaves Broadway's Wicked", July 18, 2004
  15. ^ Tommasini, Anthony."Music Review: Voltaire Via Bernstein, Donald Trump Reference Included"The New York Times, May 7, 2004
  16. ^ "Kristin Chenoweth: Live at the Met". Retrieved May 22, 2007. 
  17. ^ "Kristin Chenowith Joins Music". Variety. January 12, 2009. 
  18. ^ "Met Opera Seeks Chenoweth for The Ghosts of Versailles". Retrieved May 22, 2007. 
  19. ^ "Met Opera to cut Ghosts". APNewsBreak. 
  20. ^ Kristin Chenoweth, Sean Hayes headed for Broadway in Promises, Promises, Los Angeles Times, October 26, 2009
  21. ^ Wren, Celia."Theater:Trying to Act Saintly Nowadays Can Be a Hair ShirtThe New York Times, July 29, 2001
  22. ^ "YouTube clip of Chenoweth singing "That's How You Know"". 
  23. ^ "Internet Movie Database listing". 
  24. ^ "Kristin Chenoweth lured to "Temptation"". 
  25. ^ J. Weiselman. "PopWrap Exclusive: Lea Michele & Kristin Chenoweth reunite on the big screen", January 12, 2010.
  26. ^ "Kristin Chenoweth to Host 15th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards; Broadcast Jan. 15"]. 
  27. ^ a b "Intervention with Kristin Chenoweth". 
  28. ^ a b "Kristin Chenoweth Reveals Her Crystal Method". 
  29. ^ FHM. March 2006. 
  30. ^ "Sony/BMG Masterworks". 
  31. ^ "Playbill". 
  32. ^ "Wicked and Boy From Oz Featured on Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade". 
  33. ^ "Oklahoma in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade". 
  34. ^ "OK Centennial to be Featured in Thanksgiving Macy's Parade". State of Oklahoma press release. November 18, 2006. 
  35. ^ "Oklahoma". 
  36. ^ "Macy's". 
  37. ^ "Exclusive Performance Coverage". 
  38. ^ "Things are working out". 
  39. ^ "A Little Bit Wicked: Life, Love, and Faith in Stages". 
  40. ^ "Kristin, Kristin, Everywhere". TheaterMania. April 25, 2008. 
  41. ^ "Chenoweth's Autobiography, A Little Bit Wicked, Due in April 2009". 
  42. ^ "Fashion & Style "A Night Out With: Kristin Chenoweth: Head Shots"". The New York Times. 
  43. ^ "Biography". Variety. 
  44. ^ (PDF) thECable. Evangelicals Concerned. p. 10. 
  45. ^ Green, Jesse.She Sings! She Acts! She Prays!"The New York Times, December 3, 2006
  46. ^ "Kristin Chenoweth's Gospel Journey". GayCityNews. 
  47. ^ "The Kristin Library". 
  48. ^ Transcript, Tavis Smiley interview, airdate April 29,, April 29, 2009
  49. ^ Carter, Bill (September 11, 2006). "West Wing to West Coast: TV's Auteur Portrays TV". The New York Times. Retrieved October 25, 2006. 
  50. ^ "April 16, 2009". Fresh Air. 
  51. ^ "Film, TV and Broadway Star Kristin Chenoweth To Deliver University Commencement Address At UNCSA", University of North Carolina School of the Arts press release, May 22, 2009 (accessed March 7, 2010).

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