NEW YORK (AP) — Tony- and Emmy Award-winner Kristin Chenoweth will deliver some must-have songs when she takes to a Broadway stage Wednesday. But she also promises some intriguing curveballs.
“The West Wing” and “Glee” star will definitely sing “Popular” from the musical “Wicked,” which set her on a path to fame. Yet she also plans a gorgeous medley of Willie Nelson’s “Always on My Mind” and Stephen Sondheim’s “Losing My Mind,” a mingling of unlike song masters.
“This is what happens at 3 a.m. when you have an idea and you go, ‘It shouldn’t work.’ But somehow, for me emotionally, it does,” the actress and singer said.
Chenoweth recently previewed a few of the songs in her upcoming concert, “My Love Letter to Broadway,” that starts Wednesday and runs through Nov. 13 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. She devised the show with director Richard-Jay Alexander.
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“Everybody always asks me what it’s like to work with Kristin Chenoweth. It’s sort of like going to work every day with a bunch of Play-Doh and just having a blast,” said Alexander. “There’s a lot of creative juices. So much so that we have to sort of rope this gal in.”
The two have included the classic tune — though reworked — “You Made Me Love You (I Didn’t Want to Do It)” and Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “A House Is Not a Home.” Picking the rest from throughout Broadway history has been a challenge.
“I’ll tell you, it is hell for me because there are too many songs I want to sing. When people ask me, ‘What’s your favorite?’ it just doesn’t occur to me to have a favorite — there are so many,” Chenoweth said.
In addition to the concert stand, the Oklahoma-raised star also will appear on NBC’s “Hairspray Live!” on Dec. 7 — playing the vampy Velma Von Tussle — and she has a new album, “The Art of Elegance,” with such classics as “Let’s Fall in Love” and “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered.”
For the concert, Chenoweth has turned her “Popular” into a hilarious lampooning of Donald Trump, complete with flipping her hair into a Trumpian pompadour and singing “Popular” about him. Though the entertainer has rarely waded into politics, she said this year she had little choice.
“I come from a conservative, Christian background, which I’m very proud of. And I have a lot of conservative beliefs. And, for me, the best candidate happens to be a woman running this time,” said Chenoweth.
“I think that this is the election certainly of my lifetime. I feel like, if not now, then when do I? If I don’t do it now, then when?” She added: “So I’m having fun with it.”