9 Underrated Kristin Chenoweth Performances That Are Not From Wicked or Glee

Kristin Chenoweth is a pretty lady that you probably know from Wicked and/or Glee, but really, she’s a great person/performer who you should probably know from other things too. For example, once upon a time, Newsweek said some nasty, homophobic things about her Promises, Promises co-star Sean Hayes, so she submitted a response to them, and then she won a award from GLAAD, and then she talked to us and is basically our bff.

Before Glee was a fetus-thought in Ryan Murphy’s mind, Kristin Chenoweth was scraping by doing musicals like A New Brain and Steel Pier. Fast forward 14 years, and she’s starring in ABC’s new comedy GCB (formally Good Christian Bitches). It premiered last night, and I haven’t watched it yet, but Television Without Pity said it was pretty good.

Here are eight performances by Kristin Chenoweth in the order that I thought of them!




I know people have a lot of feelings about their favorite Cunégonde (i.e. everyone loves Barbra Cook, I guess), but as far as I’m concerned, Kristin is definitive. She has the perfect kind of innocence and goofiness and self-awareness, and you seriously cannot argue with her high note at the end of of “Glitter and Be Gay.” Cunégonde is admittedly similar to Glinda, but come on. This is perfect.

Also, you should watch Forbidden Broadway’s “Glitter and Be Glib.”


The Music Man

Marian “The Librarian” Paroo

I used to hate Marian and her big song, “My White Knight,” and then I realized it’s probably the best number in the show. Chenoweth’s phrasing is excellent in this song, and I am a little obsessed with how she pronounces “ashamed” differently each time she says it, like she sings it through her nose the second time. I should go outside more. Anyway, she did a good job in this movie. Matthew Broderick makes a strange Harold Hill, but it’s got a few noteworthy performances.


West Wing

Annabeth Schott

Aka, “Cheno Gets Real For Two Seasons.” Annabeth was the shit.



Lily St. Regis

Between Kristin and Audra McDonald and Andrea McArdle and Alan Cumming, you should watch this movie for the secondary characters alone. I really like this version of “Easy Street” because it’s so sleezy and Cheno’s harmonies are so subtly perfect.


Pushing Daisies

Olive Snook

This is the best TV show of all time, full stop. The writing was great, the characters were funny and well-developed, and they weren’t afraid to be ridiculous, which is why Kristin Chenoweth and Ellen Green sang every once in a while. Ugh, it was so good.


You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown

Sally Brown

A lot of people think she won her Tony for Wicked, but it was for this gem. It was not a strong year for featured actresses in musicals, so it might actually be an overrated performance. I will quote this show at you all day if you let me. One time, she told Seth Rudetsky that the reason she goes into full head voice in the middle of “My New Philosophy” is because that’s Sally’s grown-up voice. I feel like it was because she wanted to show off, but it’s a good moment regardless. I think it’s interesting, anyway. Whatever, your judgmental eyes can’t sting me through the internet.


Let Yourself Go

Sometime between winning a Tony and starring in a musical normal people care about, Kristin’s solo album “Let Yourself Go” happened, and trust me, it is 16 tracks of amazing. She has so much vocal control, you guys! I especially recommend the title track, “How Long Has This Been Going On,” “If You Hadn’t But You Did,” and “Daddy.”  Also, “Taylor the Latte Boy” is not on this CD, but you should listen to that one too. Sidenote, this album was released around the same time as NSYNC’s “No Strings Attached.” Guess which one I owned!


Sesame Street

Ms. Noodle

She’s so diverse!

“omg the Ms. Noodle vid is actually terrifying” — Autostraddle community managerette


Running With Scissors

Fern Stewart

(spoilers in the video)

This movie is weird and kind of depressing, but it features Kristin Chenoweth with a lesbian moment and comes with an Evan-Rachel-Wood-Bisexual bonus. It’s worth Netflixing.

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Grace Ellis has been writing and making hack-job graphics for Autostraddle since 2011 and is a co-creator and co-writer of the comic book series Lumberjanes. She is mostly an intern in name only. (Mostly.) She lives in Columbus, Ohio because why anything. Also, she wants to write the Black Widow movie and feels like if she just keeps telling people, eventually she will be allowed to do it. She has a Twitter and a Tumblr, both of which are pretty above average.

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  1. Lily St. Regis and Olive Snook FTW.

    Sidenote: I miss Pushing Daisies so very, very much.

  2. I saw the title of this article on Twitter, and I was like, “I BET THIS IS A GRACE PARTY…”

    And so it was.

    Meanwhile, this is AMAZING.


    cheno was in running with scissors?

    THAT CANT BE, i fucking love that movie, own the movie personally on dvd plus the soundtrack on cd and watched it only about a gazillion times AND NEVER FUCKING RECOGNIZED IT. what is this. now i hate myself and feel bad, because after seeing that clip, that is indeed cheno. and her unforgettable voice. now i sorta kinda remember about her.

    • omg, she appearantly was also in “stranger than fiction” which i also have seen and lovedand NOT REMEMBERED HER TO BE IN IT.

      i obviously need to wikipedia cheno asap.

      • She was only in Stranger Than Fiction for a hot hot second- it’s basically her voice as a TV interviewer playing in the background of Dustin Hoffman’s office. But you can recognize the Cheno-voice anywhere…

        • I love that movie and that is my favorite part cuz it’s like biting into a doughnut and finding it’s got jelly in the middle!!! assuming of course that you like jelly doughnuts…

  4. I love pushing daises so much! I was devastated when they stopped showing it on TV before the season ended. Literally devastated.

  5. Really?!? How many times have I seen that version of Annie since I was barely old enough to appreciate Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and I NEVER realized, even NOW, that that was Kristin Chenoweth?!?!?!


  6. Chris Colfer (I know, we’re not talking about Glee, but give me a sec, okay?) once said that he had a huge love for Cheno and that they were going to get married and have tiny, high-pitched children.

  7. So glad that both West Wing and Annie are on here! Legit, two of my favorite things.

    I felt like I was going to hate the last 2 seasons of The West Wing because everything was changing, but they, like the rest of the series, were SO GOOD. And Cheno was awesome! Man that’s a great show. Re-Watching it right now for the 3rd time. About to hit the kidnapping episodes. Excited.

  8. Olive Snook’s rendition of Hopelessly Devoted to You makes me melt. That dress. That voice. That dress.

    Forever bitter over the cancellation of Pushing Daisies.

  9. I watched Pushing Daisies just for Cheno and I’ll do the same with GCB. Yay she’s back on TV!

    The world needs more of Cheno!

    <3 Cheno <3

    • Because the whole show was underrated, really. Whether you want to blame the writers strike or not, the fact remains that Pushing Daises was pulled after two partial seasons because of low ratings and drooping viewer numbers. I’m glad she got an Emmy for it because I believe she deserved it, but I still think the show was underrated as a whole.

      Also I wanted an excuse to watch Pushing Daisies clips.

  10. Fun Cheno Lesbian Trivia: She was attached to star in a biopic about Dusty Springfield for a while, and might still be. I would still give my left eyebrow to see that movie be made.

  11. Omg I love Pushing Daisies! It’s so weird and cute and morbid and funny! This is how I know about Kristin Chenoweth. :P

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