2004 Honoree

Kristin Chenoweth


Where in the world is Broken Arrow, Oklahoma? Not a question your average New Yorker can answer, but one that makes Kristin Chenoweth reminiscent of her childhood singing in the youth choir. She was offered a full scholarship to study Opera at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. It was a dream come true, but one that would have to be put on hold. She had just landed a role in an Off-Broadway show after just wanting to experience a New York audition. By Blake Simpson

“When I am challenged to do something and I am able to walk away knowing in my heart I did my absolute best, I love it.”

That choice would later result in Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards as the season’s Best Featured Actress in a Musical for 1998’s “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.” But Kristin’s current success is making headlines in the city as “Glinda, the Good Witch” in the critically acclaimed Broadway show “Wicked.” The sky’s the limit for this Oklahoma native.

“I was on my way to study opera in Philadelphia when I agreed to help my friend move into his apartment in New York,” Kristin recalls. “While I was there, I decided to go to an Off-Broadway audition. I had to wait five hours to be seen because I was not in a union and after the audition the director; Charlie Repole, came out to speak with me. The first thing he asked was ‘Who are you?’”

The audition proved to be a wise choice. In addition to her hectic concert schedule, latest CD release, movie and television offers, Kristin puts everything into all of her projects. “When I am challenged to do something and I am able to walk away knowing in my heart I did my absolute best, I love it,” Kristin says.

Broadway may be her dream, but trying on multiple hats keeps her challenged and the challenge is what truly fuels her love for her work.

Aside from the success of Wicked, Kristin has a solo concert coming up at Carnegie Hall in September.

“Being an actress is hard. If you love your work, but can see yourself doing anything else and still be happy, then go ahead and do it, because this is a really tough business. If you can’t ever see yourself doing anything else, then just keep doing what you’re doing. I was born to do this. I am an actress.”

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