The Joy Factor: Kristin Chenoweth

Do you know what difference it makes in a professional setting when someone clearly loves what they're doing? Kristin Chenoweth, the critically acclaimed singer/actress/comedienne with a Tony and an Emmy to her name, is one of those performers. Even when she takes on a serious role like Fran in Promises, Promises, you can just see she loves what she's doing. It's that extra oomph behind a note--the sparkle during a performance--that some people grow out of. Not Kristin. One of my favorite Kristin Chenoweth performances is of the song "Taylor, The Latte Boy." It's a comedic love song to the barista at her local Starbucks. He makes the drink just how she likes it and greets her in the morning with a smile. It is the most adorable song and makes me incredible jealous of the songwriters who came up with it.

She's just so happy and likable when she performs music. She absolutely revels in hyperbole and absurdity. She has the Tony Award for playing a comic-strip character to prove that.

But it's easy to be bright and cheerful when that's the essence of a song. What about something that's a bit more vocally demanding and dry? Something that requires classical technique and a subtle hand for tomfoolery. I know the concert staging of Candide at the New York Philharmonic is polarizing. I think it's hard to argue with how well Kristin Chenoweth handles arguably the most challenging song in the history of musical theater. It's practically an aria.

Do you see what I'm talking about here? Kristin has this effortless quality about her that comes out when a musician loves what they're doing. I can see some people commenting that these are all lighter or satirical examples. That is true. To that I present you with this clip.

That is not a happy moment in Promises, Promises. Yet, Kristin is living in this moment. Her understanding of the art and power of music is clear. This is a performer who lives in music because she likes music.

In conclusion, I am jealous of the songwriters who get to write for her special skills. Super jealous.

But at least watching her perform music makes me happy. That's what the joy factor is all about.

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