5 Questions With Kristin Chenoweth

NASHVILLE, TN — The Tony Award-winning singer/actress sensation Kristin Chenoweth comes to Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center this week, September 27 -29 for 3 memorable nights of Broadway and classic tunes. With her starring roles in Wicked, Glee, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and more, Kristin Chenoweth has dazzled audiences with her powerhouse vocals and delightful stage presence. Television fans love her from her many roles on various hit TV shows, ranging from dramas to comedy. Currently, Kristin stars as the wickedly outrageous  ‘Lavinia Peck-Foster’ in NBC’s mockumentary-style comedy Trial & Error: Lady, Killer. It’s a role the multi-faceted actress thoroughly enjoys playing, as she shares later. 

Last year, Chenoweth released “The Art of Elegance,” her first album of American Songbook classics.  The album debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Current Jazz and Traditional Jazz charts, and #1 on Amazon’s Vocal Pop chart.

Chenoweth is a graduate of Oklahoma City University with a Master’s degree in Opera Performance. She formed a charity partnership with the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center (BAPAC) Foundation in her home state of Oklahoma. Chenoweth’s accomplishments were honored by her hometown with BAPAC naming “The Kristin Chenoweth Theatre” in 2012. Partnering with the BAPAC in a labor of love, Kristin launched an annual Broadway Bootcamp in 2015, providing young Broadway hopefuls with the opportunity to take classes, hold performances and learn from top mentors in the entertainment industry including Kristin herself.

Earlier this week, the Tribune had the opportunity to speak exclusively with Ms. Chenoweth to ask 5 Questions about her illustrious career and her love for Music City USA. 

TRIBUNE: Are fans surprised to know what an accomplished singer that you are and have been throughout your career? KRISTIN: Yes, a lot of times fans will approach me and say, ‘I didn’t even know that you could sing!’ (she laughs). I also think it’s cool to have fans who don’t know about my singing and music. I kind of like it that way because then it becomes a total surprise to them.”

TRIBUNE: How do you like performing in Nashville? KRISTIN:  I first performed in Nashville in 1988.  I was hired as a singer/dancer for a show at Opryland  ‘Called Way Out West.’ It was a time of my life between my freshman and sophomore years of college. I enjoyed working in the show so much and being in Nashville until I didn’t even want to leave! (she laughs). And then years later, when I recorded my album Lessons Learned, I moved to Nashville for several months to record the project. And then a few years after that I performed with the Nashville Symphony at the Schermerhorn. Performing in Nashville just feels like home for me. It’s a place where I’ve always wanted to live and be a part of. So, that’s just how it’s been with me and my love for Nashville. I’m seriously thinking about moving there. I have several friends who live here. 

TRIBUNE: What do you like about your wickedly naughty character ‘Lavinia Peck-Foster’ on NBC’s Trial & Error? KRISTIN:  “I love playing her. When they offered me the role, I knew that I was going to take it. It was right up my alley.  She’s totally bananas but I love her anyway. Is she guilty or not? Is she a nice person? She’s all of those qualities and more. She’s very much a Mel Brooks-style of character and I love that. 

TRIBUNE: Share details about your Annual Broadway Boot Camp event. KRISTIN: “Thank you for asking. It’s one of the most important events in my life. A few years ago the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center opened, and they named a theater The Kristin Chenoweth Theater. So, since it bore my name, I wanted to do something special with it. Each year I have the Broadway Boot Camp during the same week of the Tony Awards. This is not an easy boot camp. We take about 40 students and we work extensively with them on all elements of what it’s like to be part of a real Broadway show. I have several of my friends who are actually experienced Broadway performers, producers, directors, choreographers, come in to teach classes. We recently had our fourth camp this summer. We have students from all over the country. This is such an important event for me to work with these young students. This is part of my legacy. It’s how I want to be remembered. 

TRIBUNE:  What can fans expect when they attend one your symphony concert shows? KRISTIN: Fans will definitely get the music that they want from me. It’s some country music, opera, the standards, musical theater…It’s everything that I do musically–and very entertaining.  You can expect to hear music ranging from Willie Nelson to Hoagie Carmichael.  I also have local area choirs joining me in song too…I love singing a variety of music but I especially love singing the standards tunes — Gershwin, Cole Porter, Henry Mancini, and Sinatra. I am truly my happiest when I’m singing these types of songs…But on the other hand, I grew up loving the music of Don Henley and Dolly Parton too! 

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