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Kristin Chenoweth on Explaining She's Not Actually Tinkerbelle

Photo: Courtesy of Kristin Chenoweth
Photo: Courtesy of Kristin Chenoweth

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Kristin Chenoweth will headline the Goodman Theatre Gala at the Hilton Chicago this Saturday (score your ticket here.) As the four-foot-eleven star gets ready to serenade Chicago with her gigantic voice, we chatted with her about dream roles, playing an evil queen, and which song gets her to the dance floor in a flash.

As a little girl, what was your first dream role? And, have you ever played it?
My first dream role was Giselle, as a ballerina. But clearly I didn't grow tall enough, so I never got to make that happen.

Who first believed in you, as a performer?
My mom and dad.

One of your signature songs is "For Good" from Wicked. How on earth do you sing around a lump in your throat?
It's always difficult to sing when you have a lump in your throat. Your larynx goes up in your brain! Just take a breath, think about the words, and breathe.

Whose singing voice gives you chills?
Deborah Voigt.

Photo" via Zimbio

You've played some roles that kids can identify with. What's been your funniest or most memorable encounter with a young fan?
It's funny when parents explain to their child I was in an animated series called Tinker Bell. Once, a little girl screamed and cried and pointed at me. She said "no, no, no!" She couldn't understand I was actually just the voice. It was fun trying to explain that.

You played Maleficient in Disney's upcoming movie, The Descendants. What tricks do you use to get into villain mode?
I really try not to think of anyone as a villain in any part I play, because the minute you play at something, it seems false. I try and find the redeeming quality of the person. I often think it stems from insecurities, and I tend to go from there.

One more question: what's your favorite song to dance to? Maybe we can put in a request with the Goodman Gala band!
It's definitely Prince's "Raspberry Beret."
· Goodman Theatre [Official Site]