18 June 2013

Kristin Chenoweth cast a spell over the Sydney Opera House

Best known on-stage for creating the role of Glinda, the good witch, in the original Broadway and West End productions of Wicked, Kristin Chenoweth is touring  capital cities after appearing as the headline act for the opening weekend of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival.

Her final show of this tour was the Sydney Opera House, but it’s the one she will surely remember very fondly of her time in this country. A sold out Concert Hall awaited her on Monday night and she was welcomed with a prolonged and very enthusiastic collection of applause, cheers and floor stomping. Her assembled munchkins were all hers – and she sure cast a spell over us.
She wasted no time in showcasing the kind of voice she has been blessed with in opening songs by Kander & Ebb Maybe this time from Cabaret and the gorgeous My Colouring Book. But Kristin Chenoweth is not just a singer, she’s one of those entertainers with a massive E, funny, engaging and a great story teller, not afraid to send herself up performing a hilarious routine with puppets from Avenue Q, which opened in the same season as Wicked and beat it to the Tony Award. 
Kristin guest starred on musical TV show Glee as April Rhodes and sang One last bell to answer and A house is not a home from that show which won her the first of what were to be many standing ovations. Supported by wonderful music from a small 12 piece orchestra and three singer/dancers under the musical direction of Mary-Mitchell Campbell this was as good as cabaret gets.

After interval we got what many had come to hear – songs from Wicked, freshening Popular by paying tribute to the shows huge international success and all its Glinda’s by singing in three different languages, English, German and Japanese.

What happened next fits into the ‘you had to there moments’. Sitting in the house seats was Lucy Durack, Australia’s Glinda; Kristin then introduced her and completely taken by surprise called her up on stage to sing with her. Kristin asked Lucy to sing Glinda’s part to her Elphaba’s part of For Good the big duet from the show. Naturally, Lucy wasn’t warmed up, but by halfway through the song goosebumps were flying up the neck of everyone in the hall – a truly electrifying and unforgettable moment - for the band, the singers, the audience and I’m sure for Lucy and Kristin.

Every following song was greeted with as much gusto and we got an eclectic mix of gospel, country, operetta and even disco. Kristin Chenoweth received four encores each accompanying prolonged standing ovations – a curtain call worthy of a really wonderful evening.

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