Like me, Kristin Chenoweth was born and raised in Oklahoma; unlike me, she is an award winning singer and stage, screen, and television actress. She is loved and admired here in our home state, being an inductee into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, as well as the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.
Now she has added another honor to the list. In a ceremony in Oklahoma City she was named an Oklahoma Cultural Ambassador, only one of seven people to be so honored. The award goes to “native Oklahomans who have achieved national and international acclaim in the arts”.
We have learned so much about …the power of the arts to better the health of our communities.Amber Sharples, Director, Oklahoma Arts Council
Kristin, who was surprised and emotional, said
I was a tiny girl from Broken Arrow, who didn’t really fit into a lot of things. My voice sounded funny, but ..I felt at home on stage- which is why I’m in therapy. But I do love it here.Kristin Chenoweth
I appreciate and admire Kristin’s transparency, which is one reason I enjoyed her memoir and reviewed it on this blog. I’ll leave the link to the original post but here are some excerpts.
a review of
by Kristin Chenoweth
I have been to the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center in Oklahoma where Kristin Chenoweth conducts an annual Broadway Bootcamp. But I didn’t know much about her until I listened to the audiobook version of her memoir A Little Bit Wicked: Life, Love, and Faith in Stages, read by her. Now I almost feel like we are best friends.
From the opening paragraph, Kristin is candid, no nonsense, transparent, and hilarious. She’s one of those “you never know what she’s going to say next” people and you don’t want to miss any of it. She is just as up front sharing her failures as she is celebrating her successes.This part of the country is referred to as the “Bible belt” and Kristin admits to reading and believing it. So don’t be surprised when she mentions and even occasionally quotes from the Bible in her memoir. Like when she talks about the circumstances of her birth.
Kristin’s faith and family
Kristin was adopted at birth by a couple who had one child but were unable to have more. She describes herself as the product of “forbidden love.” Her biological mother was an unmarried flight attendant who became pregnant. Instead of abortion or raising a child alone, she opted for adoption.
Kristin joined the Chenoweth family soon after birth.Her adoptive parents have loved her and supported her career and she is immensely grateful to them. (They were with her at the ceremony honoring her as an Ambassador)
Addendum: Since I first wrote this review, I have learned that Kristin has met her biological mother and learned that her birth father was a talented singer and musician.
Kristin’s personal life
Unlike many entertainment celebrities, Kristen doesn’t seem to have any skeletons in her closet; she has avoided problems with alcohol, drugs, abusive relationships, financial problems, or other scandals.
Kristin makes living with Meniere’s Disease sound like a sitcom. Meniere’s causes dysfunction of the inner ear, resulting in sudden, unpredictable, debilitating attacks of vertigo(dizziness), nausea, and vomiting. Episodes resolves after a few hours or sometimes days.
There is no cure for Meniere’s except a radical ear surgery which might leave her with hearing loss. As a professional singer she doesn’t want to risk that, so she copes with the condition with humor and an unwillingness to let it stop her from fulfilling her work commitments.
Kristin has her serious side, evident as she describes singing at her beloved grandfather’s funeral, and supporting her mother through breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.
She sometimes feels caught between the Christian community which criticizes her liberal social views and her friends with unconventional lifestyles who are turned off by her uncompromising Christian witness. As she puts it, she wants to love and help everyone in the same way Jesus did; she doesn’t want to take sides or exclude people just because they are different.
Kristin’s performing career
Kristin has and still does perform on the stage, movies, and television, and records albums. She won a Tony award as Sally Brown in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”
I hope you will read, or better yet listen to Kristen’s memoir.
She may be “A Little Bit Wicked”, but I think you will love her as much as we do here in Oklahoma.
These are affiliate links which support this blog in sharing the HEART of health.
Enjoy Kristin’s singing
Listen on Apple Music to COMING HOME
Buy on the iTunes Store THE ART OF ELEGANCE album
And find it on Amazon
After hearing how wonderful it is, I finally saw the touring production of WICKED and it is every bit as “wicked” as everyone says.
Although Kristin no longer performs in it, other actresses bring Glinda and Elphaba to life with singing, non-stop action, and gorgeous costumes.
It may be based on a children’s story, but WICKED is a touching saga of love, friendship, betrayal, courage, and forgiveness. Don’t miss it if you have a chance to see it.
You can stream the WICKED album free with Amazon Prime (affiliate link).
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Kristin Chenoweth was born and raised in Oklahoma; unlike me, she is an award winning singer and stage, screen, and television actress. She is loved and admired here in our home state, being an inductee into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, as well as the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.
Broken Arrow trivia
- Named the #1 happiest city in Oklahoma (Zippia 2020)
- 9th lowest crime in United States (Business Insider 2018)
- 267th largest city in the United States
- median age-37 years
- #1 Best City in Oklahoma for First Time Home Buyers 2020 (Wallethub)
The largest employer in the city is Broken Arrow Public Schools with 2379 employees for 19,000 students.
The Pride of Broken Arrow, the high school’s marching band, won the 2021 Bands of America National Championship with an intense performance called “The Edge of Eternity”. The Pride practices 10 hours daily in the summer (when daytime temps can reach 100+), and most evenings and weekends through the fall.
As of 2022, Broken Arrow has a council-manager form of government. Three out of 5 city councilors are women; one serves as Mayor, and one as Vice Mayor (chosen among the counsilors)
And it is a “sweet” place to live; 255 people work for the 9th largest employer, Blue Bell Ice Cream!