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Kristin Chenoweth Will Share Her Talents With Rockford Symphony


Kristin Chenoweth has dabbled in almost every form of musical entertainment, from gospel and county as a youngster to musical theatre in college and opera performance in graduate school.

She also has proved her acting chops onstage and in movies and television, picking up a number of awards along the way.

Now Chenoweth is criss-crossing the country on a tour she’s lovingly dubbed “the tour that does not end.” She admits she’s actually quite happy visiting the various locales – one of which is Wednesday evening in Rockford.

Her performances vary from stop to stop, depending on the tour city and venue. Chenoweth said she performs a “Piano” show, a “Her-And-A-Band” show or an “Orchestral” show. In Rockford, she’ll appear with the Rockford Symphony Orchestra, and patrons will get the full range of Kristin’s vocal talents and styles.

As part of her Rockford appearance, Chenoweth is bringing her own musical director -- who has Rockford-area connections. Kevin Stites, rated among the “Who’s Who” of Broadway conductors, also conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in concert with Chenoweth, among many other credits.

Kristin Chenoweth shows her appreciation for Kevin Stites, the Rockford-area native who will conduct the Rockford Symphony Orchestra presentation featuring Chenoweth.

He also is among a large group of Kristin’s friends and colleagues that come from the Rockford and northern Illinois region. “There must be something in the water,” Chenoweth joked.

Among the selections Chenoweth will present for the Rockford audience will be “I’m a Fool for Wanting You,” co-written by Frank Sinatra. The Grammy-winning track was included on “The Art of Elegance,” her first album of American Songbook classics which was released last September. It debuted at the top of Billboard’s Current Jazz and Traditional Jazz charts, and Amazon’s Vocal Pop chart.

She also has garnered a Tony for “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown” and another nomination for creating the role of Glinda, the Good Witch in “Wicked.”

She received an Emmy for her television work on “Pushing Daisies” and two more Emmy nominations for “Glee” and critical acclaim for such shows as “The West Wing” and “Descendants.” Chenoweth also recently starred in NBC’s “Hairspray Live!” as Velma Von Tussle.

She returned to the stage in her limited-engagement “My Love Letter to Broadway” at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, receiving rave reviews.

Chenoweth is a graduate of Oklahoma City University with a bachelor’s degree in musical theatre and a master’s degree in Opera Performance. She formed a charity partnership with the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center Foundation in her home state of Oklahoma and was honored when the center named its theater for her.

  • WNIJ's Victor Yehling contributed to this story.
Philip Masterton (“Phil”, nobody calls me Philip) was born just outside Dublin, Ireland and emigrated with his family as a lad. Growing up in Chicago’s northern suburbs he eventually graduated from Loyola University of Chicago with a degree in Mass Media Communications/Radio & TV.
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