A sold-out crowd at the University of Mary Washington couldn’t get enough of Kristin Chenoweth, who performed with the UMW Philharmonic on Saturday, March 18, in Dodd Auditorium.
The Tony and Emmy award-winning actress wowed the 1,200-plus audience at the UMW Philharmonic’s Celebrity Series concert with her rendition of “Popular” from the smash Broadway hit Wicked and “I Could Have Danced all Night” from her latest album The Art of Elegance. She plied them with jokes and backstories about her hit songs and sang a brief opera aria to the stomach of 7-month pregnant Philharmonic violinist Robyn Bauer.
Chenoweth even invited several local high school students to the stage to close the show. The excited students sang the gospel songs “Upon This Rock” and “I Was Here.” She closed the show with a solo performance of “Smile,” a song made popular by Tony Bennett, who coincidentally performed with the Philharmonic in December.
“She’s an amazing artist and entertainer,” said Philharmonic Director Kevin Bartram. “She has the rare combination of talent and humanity, and the audience, as well as the orchestra, loved her for it.”
The feeling was mutual. Chenoweth already is talking about a return engagement.
“We all loved it. Great crowd and great orchestra,” Chenoweth’s personal manager, Eddie Micone, told Bartram. The next day Micone added, “Kristin is still talking about the show. We would like to come back in two years and do a double engagement—two shows.”
The Philharmonic will celebrate its season finale on Friday, April 28. The 7:30 p.m. concert will be held in Dodd Auditorium.