Kristin Chenoweth: I want to see a drag queen play Glinda in Wicked

Courtesy of Kristin Chenoweth / Wicked Broadway

The pint-size opera sensation revealed to Gay Times she’d like to see new life brought to the signature character – including the exciting suggestion of a drag queen playing her bubbly role of Glinda.

“A drag Glinda? Did you just say a drag Glinda?” Kristin starts in a conversation with Gay Times – confirming she’d like to see gender-bending to a role she originated in 2003.

“I’m going to say something. Not only do I think it’s a fantastic idea, but I would hope that person… I would hope that person would teach me again how to dress a wig and maybe do my makeup – so I’m all for it. ”

Taken with such an idea, Kristin confirms it has her blessing once again, adding a call for those who can make it happen to do so: “Come on now, let’s see what that looks like! Why not?!”

For the three of you that don’t know – like, where have you been? – Kristin originated the role of Glinda in the original Broadway cast of Wicked – alongside now Frozen star Idina Menzel.

Related: Blonde bombshell Kristin Chenoweth announces London Palladium concert

Wicked Broadway

A fighter for LGBT+ rights both throughout her career and in her personal life, Kristin’s waved the rainbow flag proud on many occasions. Never mind the fact she’s voiced two huge LGBT+ anthems in Glitter and Be Gay and, of course, Defying Gravity.

And, when the discussion of equality on stage comes up, she’s quick to praise London’s great work – hopeful Broadway will follow soon in ensuring we see all stories and people lighting up that billboard.

“I think you guys are ahead of the game and we’re getting there,” Kristin starts, labelling London ahead of New York for greater representation for LGBT+ actors and stories on stage. “I always think, for me, the best person for the role should get it – and that means gender, sexual orientation. You guys are definitely ahead of the curve, but we’re trailing behind you closely.

“When I did Promises, Promises with Sean Hayes, there was an article written about different people who shouldn’t ‘play straight’. I’m a pretty nice gal, but that really, how would you say, pissed me off! I had to write an article about it.”

She adds: “To me, I don’t care what a persons colour is or a persons sexual orientation is, if they’re right for the role, them boom – they should get it. That’s where we’re headed and I think we’re making strides in the right direction. That’s my message.”

Related: Exclusive: Listen to Amber Riley + cast performing One Night Only from Dreamgirls album

But does the same apply in equal opportunities for strong female roles on Broadway?

“There’s certain roles that have been played by men that I’m actually considering doing,” she starts. “Why do we have to put rules on things? Let’s show our young community and our young artists that we can play.

“Being someone who believes in women’s rights and LGBT+ rights, I think it’s again looking at things from a different perspective… again, the best person for the role!”


Related: Kristin Chenoweth joins NBC’s Hairspray Live!

This month, Kristin returns to play a solo and rather intimate gig here in London’s West End. Performing live at the world-famous London Palladium, she explains a little more on why this show is her most open and honest gig in the city to-date.

“The Palladium comes with such a great reputation,” she smiles. “It’s just my pianist and I. It’s not a band or orchestra and I can’t wait to do some of the new material from my album.

“I tell ya, last time I was here, I did things that people wanted from me and I’m never going to not do that because I don’t want to be killer first of all.

“You’re going to get everything to country music to Gershwin and Cole Porter. It’s all over the map and that’s what the gift is when you get to do it with just a piano. There are no rules and I’ve discovered something going a long the way – that as long as I sing my truth, it might not be your taste, but you can’t get mad at it.”

© Kristin Chenoweth via Twitter

Related: Nicole Scherzinger in talks to star in movie adaptation of musical Wicked

And the chances of her playing a season in the West End? Kristin is game.

“It would be surprising how little it would take, my darling.” she laughs directly back at us. “I have been asked to come a couple of times to come and it didn’t feel right.

“On The 20th Century that I did last on Broadway had talk of moving it but it really needs the right theatre, and I don’t want to do it unless it’s the right place. I was so ready, willing and able to come over there in the right piece and I’ve several things in development.

“I still sort of want to come over there with On The 20th Century before that goal passes me by. But, hey, you never know, it might be Mame or Hello, Dolly! or something different. It’s on my bucket list!”

Boys, we’ve got to make this happen.

More information on how you can see Kristin at the London Palladium can be found here.



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