With a selection of her favorite songs and her lovely charisma, award-winning Broadway powerhouse Kristin Chenoweth dazzled her audience of both students and families at Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday night.
Chenoweth walked on stage wearing a UConn shirt. Underneath was an extraordinary dress that glimmered and shone throughout the auditorium.
“Enjoy every moment because it’s fleeting,” Chenoweth said, after discussing some of the history of UConn’s alumni and how some have made names for themselves in the industry.
After discussing her love for the sandwich chain, Subway, and its origins in Connecticut she began the show by singing “I Get Along Without You Very Well” by Chet Baker.
The show included more of her personal favorites, like “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart” by Judy Garland, “The Sweetheart Tree” by Henry Mancini and “Bring Him Home” from Les Misérables. Chenoweth hit the high notes of many songs which invoked an uproar of overwhelming applause and cheers from the audience.
“She just has that voice that you ‘know’ is Kristin Chenoweth,” Emily Karam, a third-semester graphic design major, said. “It’s so recognizable like her high pitch...and she’s so real too, which is lovely. She even cried on stage.”
When she wasn’t singing, Chenoweth shared personal stories with the audience ranging from growing up in Oklahoma to her career on Broadway, when her parents missed one of her shows to go see the popular Broadway musical “Hamilton” instead, causing the audience to laugh. This, amongst other moments, accentuated her charismatic and energetic personality which caused the audience to fall in love with her even further.
The highlight of the show was when Chenoweth sang “Popular” from the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical “Wicked,” in which she starred in the original cast as Glinda the Good Witch. Upon hearing just the first few notes of the song, the crowd became absolutely ecstatic to hear her sing a song from the musical which caused so many members of the audience to originally fall in love with her work.
Chenoweth thrived off of this energy. So much so, in fact, that she encouraged audience members to pull out their phones and begin recording her performance for that particular song. At one point, Chenoweth stopped singing to call an audience member to the front of the stage in order to take a selfie together. Following this, she had an assistant bring up her phone so she could stream live on Instagram for a few moments before resuming the song and prompting the audience to sing along with her.
She continued to astonish the audience with her voice with “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” as arranged by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole and “Taylor, the Latte Boy” by Kristin Chenoweth herself.
“It was everything I wanted it to be and more,” Cole Wood, a first-semester acting major said. “Her voice radiated so well throughout the whole auditorium.”
At the end of the show, Chenoweth brought the UConn Chamber Singers to sing alongside her on stage. They sang “Upon This Rock” by Sandi Patty and “I Was Here” by Lady Antebellum. Following a chorus of applause, she paused before walking off stage to leave her audience with some words of inspiration:
“Celebrate the things that make you different,” Chenoweth said.
Brandon Barzola is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.