As she has many times before, Kristin Chenoweth, the Tony- and Emmy-winning singer and actress, is coming to Fort Lauderdale to perform. But this time, she may actually get to see more of the city than its airport and concert venues.
"I usually fly in for work and then directly have to leave," Chenoweth says. "That's the hardest part, traveling all the time."
On Jan. 14, Chenoweth will bring a mix of show tunes, standards and songs from her 2014 album, "Coming Home," to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale. She'll do the same two nights later at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach.
In the interim, she says she will visit with friends and make time to hit her favorite restaurant: "I like a good chain restaurant. I know I will be going to Outback Steakhouse."
Chenoweth's schedule, and not a reluctance to sightseeing, often precludes her from playing tourist in cities in which she performs. This past summer, the Emmy- and Tony Award-winning actor starred in the Disney Channel movie "Descendants," in which she played Maleficent, the villain from "Sleeping Beauty." The soundtrack from "Descendants" debuted in the top spot on the Billboard 200 chart. Chenoweth has appeared onstage in "Wicked," "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," "Promises, Promises" and "On the Twentieth Century." On television, she is best known for her roles in "Glee" and "Pushing Daisies," for which she won an Emmy.
In advance of her South Florida concerts, Chenoweth recently responded to questions via e-mail.
What songs are you opening and closing with for your concert in Fort Lauderdale?
I never like to reveal my opening and closing songs, because they change all the time. It depends on what I feel like is right for the crowd and venue. I will probably end with my anthem, "I Was Here." But I can't say for sure. That's the great part about concertizing: It's always different. No two shows are the same.
Where do you keep your Tony and Emmy Awards?
I keep my Tony and Emmy awards safely in my theater, in Broken Arrow, Okla. They named the theater after me there years ago. [The Kristen Chenoweth Theatre at the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center] is state-of-the-art, and I'm really proud of it. We are also doing such great work there to bring music to kids all throughout the state by having a summer arts camp. This summer will be our second one. I'm thrilled. This is how I want to be remembered.
Speaking of the Tony Awards, would you ever host the broadcast again?
I would never say never. I would really only wanna do it with Alan Cumming again. We were a good team, and had each other's backs.
What inspired your jewelry line?
The first round of my new designed jewelry came out [in] early December on HSN. It did pretty good, so I go back in March. I'm working on the second new line now. It's delicate, but makes a statement. Kind of how I like to be in my life. There is a whole [Broken Arrow] line because of where I'm from, an homage to my history … and stars and moons, the thought being we must look above and recognize there is something bigger and greater than all of us. It's classic, and I hope people find themselves reaching to wear it again in 10 years, 20, 30, and even pass [it] along to their kids. I am easily inspired by all kinds of jewelry and have been doing it on my own for a long time, anyway. HSN has given me the opportunity to show the world.
You seem to constantly tour. What do you do to decompress?
The most difficult time in an artist's life is a plane, train or car. The going and coming. The best time is usually from 8 p.m. till 10p.m. The goal is to stay healthy. "Travel" and "healthy" don't always go together. I try to wear gloves all the time. I use hand sanitizer and Vicks. I eat better and more healthy. And I sleep. My crew gets bored because I'm always sleeping. Best way to heal. I love to read and get hooked on TV shows. Anything on Netflix. Or go see a movie. I'm not very exciting. I try to save it all up for onstage.
What can you say about your upcoming movies: "Class Rank," "Hard Sell" and "The My Little Pony Movie"?
"My Little Pony" is going to be cute. I had no idea how many fans that franchise had. I am creating the character and will sing. One movie I'm very excited about is "Hard Sell." Actors always wanna play against type. Let's just say I was able to do that. I play an agoraphobic mom [who] smokes, is an addict … but she has such love for her son. He sees some mental illness in her, and basically he becomes the parent. An amazing cast. I'm proud of it.
Kristin Chenoweth will perform 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 14 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $30-$125. Call 954-462-0222 or go to BrowardCenter.org. She also will appear 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16 at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., in West Palm Beach. Tickets cost $30-$300. Call 561-832-7469 or go to Kravis.org