Recordings | Nov. 20, 2014

By Cait Brennan, Nov. 20, 2014.

Kristin Chenoweth | Coming Home | Concord Records | 

Kristin Chenoweth has graced the stage for years, but she’s never graced us with a proper live album until now. Recorded in her hometown of Broken Arrow, Okla., (at the Kristin Chenoweth Theater, no less), this career-spanning collection of pop, folk and Broadway favorites crackles with the sparkling wit, good humor and boundless energy of her stage performances.

“I Could Have Danced All Night” starts it off, and truer words were never sung. Chenoweth offers up strong new versions of “For Good” and “Popular” from Wicked, and visits other Broadway showstoppers along the way, including “Bring Him Home” from Les Misérables and “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again,” from Phantom of the Opera. It’s not all show tunes, though; Chenoweth does a particularly lovely version of Dolly Parton’s “Little Sparrow,” digs back into the 19th century for Stephen Foster’s “Hard Times Come Again No More” and digs out a totally left-field take on the Barbra Streisand/Donna Summer’s disco duet “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough).”

If it seems like Chenoweth is bringing an extra layer of emotion here, she is. The entire performance was recorded in front of an audience that included family and lifelong friends, and that added resonance packs a wallop. The concert was also filmed for broadcast on PBS in late November as well as release on DVD.

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Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

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