Sunday, December 03, 2006

Harriet Hayes is Kristin Chenoweth!?

So I am one of the loyal fans of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. I have never been an Aaron Sorkin fan before...never watched Sports Night or West Wing even. Mostly drawn in my Matthew Perry I've been watching Studio 60 since Day One and enjoying how it manages to portray and even humanize multiple sides of thorny issues without seeming treacly.

One of the most intriguing characters is Harriet Hayes, the comic star of the eponymous Studio 60, who also happens to be a devout Christian. And who also happens to have recently broken up with Perry's Jewish head writer...over something they haven't shared with others...over her appearance on Pat Robertson's 700 Club to promote an album she cut of Christian pop.

Her character has also gone through a firestorm from both sides this season as she was quoted out of context about gay marriage, which angered her gay fans, and then protested that she wasn't homophobic, which angered a Christian organization for whom she did charitable performing. And her character also considered doing a sexy lingerie shot in a men's magazine a la Maxim...which her ex- convinced her was just her trying to get back at the Christian organization for dis-inviting her from their events.

Apparently every bit of the above storyline is based on Kristin Chenoweth. Check out this NY Times profile.

I learned that:

Aaron Sorkin could write that entire story because he and Kristin were an item. And that she gave him permission to use her story for the show.

That she thinks Harriet is judgmental, and the columnist editorializes by calling Harriet's character a bit of an "intolerant pill", neither description being one I would apply to the character.

That she is 38...which she looks much younger than.

That she is going to play the Madeline Kahn role in the upcoming Broadway musical adaptation of Young Frankenstein (and could that be any more perfect?)

That she likes Dancing with the Stars :)

That she may be fantastically talented, but that she also invest a lot of work into her work.

Great article about a truly phenomenal talent. There are so few real Broadway stars left...I rank her up there with Brian Stokes Mitchell, Bernadette Peters and not too many other folks who are still able to get up their on the Broadway stage and be a true star.

Who am I missing?

Audra McDonald. Four Tony awards, five nominations, and she's only 36. She can sell out Carnegie Hall, and she's one of a small group of people whose involvement can get a show off the ground (Kristin Chenoweth being another). She stars in a revival of "110 in the Shade" this Spring, which means that she and Kristin will be competing for this year's Tony (alongside universally praised Christine Ebersole in "Grey Gardens").
Oh yeah! She's totally one. And if I'm going to include Bernadette I suppose I should include Patti LuPone.

Kind of lacking on the male side, huh? Whoa re some other mega-watt guys?
I would vote for Mandy Patinkin...great career on stage, TV, as a concert performer, and, of course, as Inigo Montoya!
Inigo Montoya! how could I forget. Yes, he certainly qualifies...although when's the last time he did a show? Secret Garden right?
Mandy did The Wild Party on Broadway, but that was almost 7 years ago. He's done a few solo concerts as well. He's still a big name, I'd say. But I really don't think there's a male equivalent to Kristin, Audra, Bernadette, etc. Brian Stokes Mitchell is probably about as close as it gets, but I'm not sure his name above the title will sell tons of tickets. There are a lot of great actors working consistently in musical theater: Marc Kudisch, Brian D'Arcy James, Michael Cerveris, Raul Esparza... but none of them seem to have achieved that "bankable star" status.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?