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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Audio Beaverhausen: Coming Home for the Holidays with Kristin Chenoweth

At one point in her concert recording, Coming Home, released November 17th, Kristin Chenoweth says she's "not a screamer but a singer." Take that, Idina Menzel! But, indeed, that proclamation rings true.

Ms C already has released a Christmas album but, as I listened to Coming Home on the night before Thanksgiving, I found it a nice bit of holiday-season easy listening. Kristin's voice is reminiscent of Broadway divas of the '50s and '60s like Barbara Cook, for example, powerful yet velvety smooth. She has every right to be a "show"-off. It is an operatic coloratura soprano very much at odds with her girlish speaking voice.

When the diminutive (4' 11") diva sings "I Could Have Danced All Night" from The King & I or "Maybe This Time" from Cabaret, it's Wow! and Holy cow!, even Ker-pow!, as she performs for her home town of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma (where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain -- but she doesn't do that song herein). I wouldn't miss a concert of hers when it comes to New York City after hearing this cd (also available for download at Amazon and Cd Baby).

I've long been a fan of KC, though, from stage to screen (her line, "Two scoops of crazy with a side of kookoo-kachoo!" from You Again is a scene-stealing classic) and tv (Pushing Up Daisies and (another guilty pleasure) GCB (Good Christian Bitches), a one-season flop that was kind of like Dynasty as political satire that I watched religiously.

Chenoweth is a progressive GCB herself, an evangelical Christian who is a big supporter of the LGBT community. Many of her song choices on the PBS-produced album seem to reflect this. Her amazing cover of "Over the Rainbow," for instance. Or Dolly Parton's "Little Sparrow." Or disco-ing down with "No More Tears." Whether singing pop, or Broadway tunes like her gorgeous rendition of Jerome Kern's "All the Things You Are," Chenoweth's melifluous talent is a godsend. For that, I truly give thanks.

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