Emmy and Tony Award-winning powerhouse Kristin Chenoweth ignited the Segerstrom Hall’s stage in her one-night-only performance in Costa Mesa on Oct. 23. The evening was filled with a selection of songs from her recent album, “For the Girls,” along with tribute tunes and Broadway hits — leaving her Orange County audience misty-eyed and in awe of the powerful pipes that came out of her 4-foot-11 frame.
Here are 8 notable highlights of the evening:
- In true SoCal style, the Oklahoma-bred Chenoweth drank from a large In-N-Out cup throughout the show, stating the fast food joint is a “must” when she is in town.
- She shared in excitement that her former professor was in attendance, and is a current professor at Chapman University. At one point she asked, “Where are my Chapman students at?” which received cheers throughout the venue. In true mentor style, she gave advice, pointed out vocal ranges, and even pointed out mistakes on her part to the students throughout the performance.
- Her guitarist Josh Bryant took center stage with her to perform the Eagles’ rock ballad “Desperado.” At the end of the song, she leaned over and planted a smooch on the 38-year-old, snickering and saying, “I didn’t tell you how well I knew him.”
- Before she sang a beautiful rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” she dedicated it to her dear friend, OC arts philanthropist Julia Argyros, who was also in the audience. Then she thanked her for buying her lunch at The Capital Grille earlier that day.
- She paid homage to Julie Andrews, Judy Garland, Betty Buckley, and several Broadway stars that have influenced her throughout her flourishing career.
- She made it Christmas in October, singing “(Everybody’s Waitin’ For) The Man With The Bag/Jingle Bell Rock” from her new holiday album, Happiness is…Christmas! released on Oct. 22.
- She shared her love for binge-watching crime documentaries, Bravo’s Real Housewives series, and the Britney Spears documentary throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. After she saw the Spears’ doc, she jokingly said she called Britney up to offer her some advice, before belting out her iconic Wicked tune “Popular,” with anecdotes for Britney in between.
- Not a dry eye was left in the house when she concluded the concert with a breathtaking rendition of “Smile,” sung entirely without her microphone.
After the past year-and-a-half void of live concerts and performances, Chenoweth was a pro at carrying her audience from beginning to end with a lighthearted yet sentimental performance that allowed everyone to reflect on how much the arts are truly needed.
For more information on upcoming performances at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, visit scfta.org