How Kristin Chenoweth Embraced Tuptim, Marian, Rosabella, Flora, Johanna, Dolly and Other Dames

By Steven Suskin
19 Feb 2013

High entertainment spots came with glimpses at two roles she tells us she shouldn't have done. The perky Oklahoman explains how she came to perform Tuptim in The King and I, with dyed hair and severe makeup. (In order to feel more comfortable, she insisted that cast members call her "Christy Chen." Farfetched, but Mom and Pop Chenoweth — sitting in the fifth row — confirmed this.) An unlikely Tuptim, yes, but her "My Lord and Master" was compelling. She then described how she played Val in a Christian production of A Chorus Line, offering as proof her rendition of "Dance, 10; Looks, 3," with lyrics altered to "Boobs and Butt."

Chenoweth's encore came with the only "male" song of the evening, a tender and heartfelt rendition of "Edelweiss." An edited version of the 70-minute American Songbook concert is scheduled for a March 24 broadcast by PBS on "Live From Lincoln Center."

Here' the songlist from the evening:



Somebody, Somewhere
From The Most Happy Fella

(When I Marry) Mister Snow
From Carousel

Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man
From Show Boat

A Quiet Thing
From Flora, the Red Menace

My Funny Valentine
From Babes in Arms

One Hundred Easy Ways to Lose a Man
From Wonderful Town

My White Knight
From The Music Man

Little Girl Blue
From Jumbo

Green Finch and Linnet Bird
From Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Who Are You Now?
From Funny Girl

Moonshine Lullaby
From Annie Get Your Gun

Old Maid
From 110 in the Shade

My Lord and Master
From The King and I

Dance: Ten; Looks: Three
From A Chorus Line

Before the Parade Passes By
From Hello, Dolly!

Edelweiss
From The Sound of Music