Live review: Kristin Chenoweth in Concert (Adelaide)

Live review: Kristin Chenoweth in Concert (Adelaide)

By Shona Benson via limelightmagazine.com Kristin, you had me from ‘hello…’ The musicals diva proves she is everything a Broadway legend should be, and more. Adelaide Festival Theatre, June 8 (Adelaide Cabaret Festival) It’s almost impossible to describe Kristin Chenoweth without falling into a gush of superlatives. As she stepped onto the Festival Theatre stage, as part of the 2013 Adelaide Cabaret Festival and marking the start of her Australian tour, the audience went wild. She hadn’t even said anything; she just waved and smiled, and radiated a brilliance and warmth that charged the auditorium. And then, after her opening number, she made a joke about Farmers Union iced coffee and sipped a Boost smoothie; we were under her spell. Old fans, diehard devotees, new followers, everyone loved it. Supported by her long-time friend and Music Director, Mary-Mitchell Campbell, three accomplished backing singers and the Adelaide Art Orchestra, Chenoweth moved seamlessly from one number to the next, placing trademark favourites next to classics. Technically she is brilliant; her clarity, breathtaking and her range, astounding. This, combined with great emotion and sensitivity in every note and word, makes her performance sheer genius. With each song, it felt as if the music physically touched you, wrapped around you; we were all enveloped in something exquisite and magical. Alongside her knock out voice, Chenoweth’s stage presence is extraordinary and, despite being a tiny 4’ 11”, she filled the Festival Theatre with consummate ease and grace. At one point, she asked if someone in the audience would like to sing with her, For Good from Wicked. 16 year old Milly shot up her hand. When asked if she knew the song, she said, “Yes, it was sung at my friend’s funeral, it means so much to me,” then stuttered, “Sorry, was that the wrong thing to say?” Chenoweth, perhaps thinking of the time she had sung it at her friend, John Spencer’s funeral, beamed and came straight back at her, “Not at all girl, get up here!” Milly clearly felt like her evening had turned into a dream. Chenoweth held her hand and together they sang and, even though we didn’t know her, we all thought of Milly’s friend. Kristin called her inspirational; tears flowed across the stalls. Amongst the emotion, there are self-effacing jokes about shoes, entertaining Hollywood glamour stories, comic banter with Dolly Parton and stunning outfits, but Chenoweth also shares things she feels strongly and passionately about too, her family, her faith and her charity work. Each disclosure is perfectly pitched, never crass or out of place. “Everyone needs to leave their mark,” she said. It is clear she is leaving hers, several times over. The energy that poured from the theatre at the end of the evening was tangible. Debates enthused as to what was the best bit, smiles rang out on everyone and texts and tweets instantly implored “if you can, get a ticket”. One ardent fan remarked, to get an Adelaide audience out of their seats so easily is a feat in itself, but to do it several times over in one night, is extraordinary. “Absolutely wicked,” joked another! Truly, nothing but superlatives would do. Kristin Chenoweth in Concert, Australian Tour: Queensland Performing Arts Centre, June 14, Sydney Opera House, June 17