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scene

Kristin Chenoweth to perform sold-out show at DeBartolo Performing Arts Center

| Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Ivan Skvaril

Kristin Chenoweth is not afraid to get candid. In a series of short clips on her website, for instance, she — along with, presumably, her marketing team — has posted a series of sweet, short glimpses into her life on tour, including her “Life Hacks” series.

In one video, Chenoweth calls out her unicorn slippers as a convenient way for her to feel more at home while she’s traveling in an uncomfortably cramped tour bus with minimal privacy. “When life gets you down, like the loud sound of your toilet in your trailer when everyone knows that you’ve gone to the bathroom, just put these on and you’ll feel much better,” she tells the camera, with a wink and a cheery wave.

When Chenoweth performs her sold-out show at the Leighton Concert Hall in Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center this Friday, her candor — and charisma — will be on full display. Chenoweth’s visit, which forms part of DeBartolo’s Presenting Series, is also part of her own tour, “An Intimate Evening with Kristin Chenoweth.” In previous performances, true to the name of her show, Chenoweth has been known to interact closely with audiences, and visitors can hope for some of the same at Friday’s performance.

A Tony and Emmy award-winner for both her musical and acting chops, Chenoweth garnered notable acclaim for her role as Glinda, the privileged, starry eyed witch of “Popular” standing in the Broadway hit “Wicked,” and won a Tony for her role in the 1999 revival of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” She has acted and voice-acted in a long list of popular shows and movies, including “The West Wing,” “Glee” and “Pushing Daisies.”

Chenoweth’s distinctively high-pitched voice stands out in a crowd. “No, I haven’t sucked helium,” she said with a laugh in August in an interview with Conan O’Brien. “Yes, this is really how I sound.” Chenoweth, a classically-trained soprano, can reach exceptionally high notes without sacrificing the quality of the song. Watching recordings of her performances can often be a bit surprising, given her petite frame — her voice has impeccable range and power, filling whatever space she is in.

At Friday’s performance, audience members will likely hear more than a few selections from Chenoweth’s most recent album, “The Art of Elegance,” a compilation of “American Songbook Classics,” which she released in 2016. Chenoweth is currently working on her upcoming album, which is set to be released in 2019. In the meantime, she’s touring around to music halls and theaters across the country.

To each location she travels, it seems that Chenoweth brings her characteristic spunk along with her. In a clip of Chenoweth which first premiered on “Conan” and then went viral on Twitter, Chenoweth stands in the lobby of a hotel as the fire alarm goes off — the periodic, alarmist beeps that we all know too well. She cocks an ear, and then begins to harmonize with the alarm, in short bursts of perfectly-pitched notes. It’s hilarious, and indicative of her brightness and winning charm. And not to mention impressive — say what you will about fire alarms, but Chenoweth sure can sing.

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