Kristin Chenoweth (born July 24, 1968) is an American singer, musical theatre, film, and television actress, and author. Some of her best-known roles have included her role as Sally Brown in Broadway's You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, her role as Glinda in Broadway's Wicked, and her role as Annabeth Schott in television's The West Wing. She most recently appeared in the role of Olive Snook on the ABC dramedy Pushing Daisies for which she won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy in 2009. Chenoweth is also the face of Jude Frances jewelry.
Chenoweth has a distinctive speaking voice. In FHM's March 2006 issue, she compared her voice to that of Betty Boop.
Chenoweth 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. Chenoweth is able to sing the note "F6" (1396.913Hz), also known as "F above High C"
Adopted at birth, Kristi Dawn Chenoweth grew up in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Her lineage includes one-quarter Cherokee ancestry. 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.
Chenoweth attended Oklahoma City University, where she was a member of Gamma Phi Beta (Beta Omicron) Sorority. She earned a degree in musical theatre and a master's degree in opera performance, studying under voice instructor Florence Birdwell. Professor Birdwell has trained other notables such as 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, reasoning that the name "Kristin" was perhaps more classically suited for an opera singer. 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.
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. 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. She is 4 ft 11 in (150 cm).
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 a production of Molière's Scapin starring Bill Irwin, followed in the spring of 1997 by 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. She has performed several times on the radio program A Prairie Home Companion.
During the 1998–1999 season, 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. (That character replaces the obscure Peanuts character Patty, not to be confused with Peppermint Patty.) The production won Chenoweth the Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards as the season's Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She then starred in the Broadway comedy Epic Proportions, followed by appearances in ABC's television adaptation of the musical Annie (as Lily St. Regis), and in the leading role of Daisy Gamble in the City Center Encores! production of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.
In 2003, Chenoweth performed songs from her album Let Yourself Go in concert for Lincoln Center's 5th American Songbook. 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. She was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her performance as Glinda. After playing Glinda for nine months (not including the years leading up to the Broadway run where she played the role in all of the show's workshops), Chenoweth left Wicked on 18 July 2004 along with co-stars Joel Grey and Norbert Leo Butz. Chenoweth was replaced by Jennifer Laura Thompson.
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 5 May 2004 and 8 May 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.
From December 14, 2006 to March 11, 2007, Chenoweth starred on Broadway in a production of The Apple Tree and received rave reviews for her performance. 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 the Met, following Barbara Cook and Yves Montand. Chenoweth has also performed leading roles at the Goodspeed Opera House and the Guthrie Theatre, and she was chosen by the late Jerome Robbins as the guest soloist in his West Side Story Suite of Dances at New York City Ballet.
Chenoweth hosted the 52nd Annual Drama Desk Awards on 20 May 2007
Chenoweth played Elizabeth in the pre-Broadway workshop in Mel Brooks' Broadway adaptation of his film Young Frankenstein, however, due to her Pushing Daisies 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 because of the resumption of filming.
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. 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. Although expected to sell-out, the Metropolitan was ultimately forced to cancel the opera because of Ghosts' exorbitant production costs, and the company's Television and film
In television, Chenoweth starred in a short-lived sitcom, Kristin, for NBC that ran for six episodes (13 were filmed). It was a mid-season replacement in 2001 that co-starred Jon Tenney. Beginning in the sixth season (2004–2005) of The West Wing, Chenoweth had a recurring role playing media consultant Annabeth Schott, and became a main cast member in the show's seventh and final season (2005-2006). She performed "For Good," a song she had sung in Wicked, at the memorial service for her friend and West Wing costar John Spencer.
Chenoweth was a part of ABC's An American Celebration at Ford's Theatre with Kelsey Grammer, NBC's Salute to the Olympic Winners, The Kennedy Center Gala honoring Julie Andrews, and an episode of Frasier on NBC. She also starred as Marian Paroo in the ABC television production of Meredith Willson's The Music Man opposite Matthew Broderick.
Chenoweth appeared in Nora Ephron's 2005 film version of Bewitched. 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. Chenoweth got the part of Maria Kelly, Kidman's character's best friend.
In 2006, she appeared in five films including The Pink Panther, RV, Stranger Than Fiction, Running with Scissors and Deck the Halls. Chenoweth also appeared as Mr. Noodle's Sister Ms. Noodle in Sesame Street's Elmo's World television series alongside Michael Jeter and Bill Irwin.
In February 2007, Chenoweth co-hosted on an episode of The View and was invited back after performing a song from The Apple Tree on the show. She was also featured briefly in the first season finale of Ugly Betty. In fall 2007, she became a member of the cast of the ABC show Pushing Daisies. The comedic drama is the story of Ned, a man who can bring the dead back to life. Chenoweth plays Olive Snook, a co-worker and neighbor of Ned's who is in love with him. In the show, she has sung numerous times, doing a take on "Hopelessly Devoted To You", a duet with Ellen Green for "Birdhouse in Your Soul", Eternal Flame, and Candle on the Water with a group of male singers. Chenoweth sang in the second episode of season one. She received an Emmy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in 2008 for her role as Olive in Pushing Daisies. 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 Tinkerbell film.
Chenoweth appeared in the 2008 holiday romantic comedy film Four Christmases, playing the sister of Reese Witherspoon's character. She was also on the short-lived FOX animated sitcom "Sit Down, Shut Up" as the voice of Miracle Grohe, a hippie science teacher who takes her baby, Merch, to school.
She also appeared on the Fox News Channel's 2008 special "A Fox and Friends Christmas", where she sang "Do You Hear What I Hear?" from her Christmas album A Lovely Way to Spend Christmas.
Chenoweth stars as a "suicidal prostitute" in the indie drama Into Temptation under writer-director Patrick Coyle. The film was recently screened at the Newport Beach Film Festival. She also has been cast to star in a new NBC David E. Kelley drama entitled Legally Mad and will play an attorney named Skippy Pylon. She recently finished shooting the pilot episode. However, NBC passed on the show.
On Sept. 20, 2009 Chenoweth won her first Emmy award for her role in "Pushing Daisies."
On August 27, 2008, Chenoweth released a video with funnyordie.com 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, and the lyrics were written by Amy Rhodes, who also wrote the clip. The video was shot in five hours in a room of a Hilton Hotel. Chenoweth admitted that she was hesitant about performing the lyrics.
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* Chenoweth will play a role in the Fox series, Glee. She wl be playing a talented former member of the glee club who returns to demonstrate her singing and performing technique.
* Chenoweth will continue to lend her voice to the role of Rosetta for the rest of the three Tinker Bell films.
* Chenoweth will star in the Lifetime Original Movie, Twelve Men of Christmas, which will premiere in December 2009 as part of Lifetime's annual "Fa La La La Lifetime" programming.
* Chenoweth will play "a wedding extraodinator" in the Disney comedy You Again.
* She will star in the new Off-Broadway play Love, Loss, and What I Wore which will play a twelve-week engagement at the Westside Theatre beginning September 21, 2009. She will perform in the show from Nov. 18–Dec. 13.
* Chenoweth is scheduled to appear as a guest judge on the ninth season of American Idol on August 28, 2009 in Orlando, Florida.
Special events and appearances