Over the years, Kristin Chenoweth has practically become a one-woman variety show, a triple threat who has tried everything from co-hosting awards shows and recording country and gospel albums to acting in movies and giving Emmy-winning television turns.
But the Broken Arrow native knows that many people primarily regard her as a star of the Great White Way.
“I will continue to put all kinds of music out there because I love all kinds of music ... but the truth is I am linked to Broadway forever. And I'm very proud of that,” Chenoweth said in a teleconference before co-hosting December's American Country Awards for the second straight year.
On Sunday, Chenoweth, 44, will pay homage to “The Dames of Broadway — All of 'Em!!!” during a special “Live From Lincoln Center” concert televised on PBS. Part of the center's “American Songbook” series, the show will air at 7 p.m. on OETA.
Mary-Mitchell Campbell and Richard Jay-Alexander will join the Oklahoma City University alumna in performing the greatest hits from musicals including “42nd Street,” “The Most Happy Fella,” “Carousel,” “Show Boat,” “Wonderful Town,” “The Music Man,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Funny Girl” and “Hello, Dolly!”
“Nothing makes me happier than to be doing what I love to do, and that's singing,” Chenoweth said. “I've always said that that's the way I want to die ... which sounds a little morbid, but I would, because it makes me happy.”
Her musical tastes are as varied as the rest of her resume. With her 2002 appearance in the Lincoln Center's “American Songbook” series, she performed songs from “Let Yourself Go,” her album devoted to songs from 1930s musicals. She followed that collection with a gospel album, “As I Am,” in 2005; a holiday offering, “A Lovely Way to Spend Christmas,” in 2008; and her country music debut, “Some Lessons Learned,” in 2011.
“I find it sort of frustrating that ... with country music it has to be just that. That's it. That's not me. If that means I never really get accepted or played on the radio there, that's OK, but it bums me out that it's like that,” she said. “I am who I am, and there's a lot in there, a lot in this voice.”
The Oklahoma Music Hall of Famer attributes her diverse sonic palate to her suburban Tulsa upbringing.