Go Away With … Kristin Chenoweth

Photo credit: Jeremy Cowart

By Jae-Ha Kim
Tribune Media Services
September 6, 2011

There is no doubt that Kristin Chenoweth works hard at her career. But the 4-foot-11-inch actress and singer makes it all seem effortless. She originated the role of Glinda in the musical “Wicked,” won an Emmy for her work on “Pushing Daisies” and earned critical praise for her CDs. Her latest album, “Some Lessons Learned,” hits stores on Sept. 13. Born in Broken Arrow, Okla., Chenoweth, 43, splits her time between Los Angeles and New York.

Q. What is your favorite thing to do on vacation?

A. Order room service and watch a movie. What is wrong with me?

Q. What do you always travel with that you never end up utilizing?

A. The thing I always take on the road but never use is a hairdryer. Every hotel has one! And, if not, who cares?

Q. When you travel, what are your must-have items?

A. My must-have items NeilMed Sinus Rinse! I have an inner-ear disorder and I have to have it! I always have ChapStick and I need my Nivea in pink shimmer. I also have to have the neck pillow — the kind you get at Brookstone. I have a bad neck and it always works at whatever hotel I’m in.

Q. What is your best and/or worst vacation memory?

A. One time I went on vacation with a boyfriend. He left the patio door open all night so we could “hear the ocean.” All I got were mosquito bites all over my body. So attractive. We didn’t make it.

Q. What is your guilty pleasure when you’re on the road?

A. I love eating at Sonic with my family in Oklahoma. And no, I’m not kidding.

Q. What is your favorite destination?

A. Turks and Caicos. I was able to treat a few girlfriends to a five-day excursion. It’s a hidden treasure. The sand is white and the water is green. There is nothing to do but relax. I love it there and can’t wait to go back.

Q. Where do you go for a quick weekend getaway?

A. I enjoy going to Palm Springs when I’m living in Los Angeles. I am a creature of the sun! I don’t ever mind being in the heat. I usually stay with friends and go to eat Mexican food, shop, lay out by the pool and just lounge.

Q. Do you enjoy traveling by yourself or with a group?

A. Both. When I am traveling with others, I don’t feel as comfortable sleeping in. I don’t want anyone waiting on me for the day. I usually get my butt up and go off and do whatever when I travel with family or friends. But when I’m traveling alone? I sleep in! Sleeping in is my favorite thing to do, ever, of all time.

Q. What hotels do you enjoy?

A. When I am singing or working in Chicago, I love to stay at The Peninsula. The service is perfect and I love the location. It is easy access to shopping and restaurants. I love having high tea there, too. And the gym is exceptional and so is the spa. In San Francisco, I stay at the Clift. I actually loved it. It’s very modern and a great location to access downtown. After 9/11, I was like many people in New York City and got a little depressed. I began to check myself into The Waldorf Astoria for room service, movies and just to chill. I wanted to contribute to the great city of Manhattan! Since then, I have done the same thing many times just to get away. It’s a mini vacation while living in NYC. In Oklahoma City, there is the Waterford Marriott, which is a very nice hotel and I’m proud of it since it’s in my home state.

Q. What are some of your favorite cities?

A. New York, of course! It’s home to opera, Broadway, museums, the ballet and orchestra — everything that I love. The most real people in the world live there. Chicago — it’s a mini New York. San Francisco is the West Coast New York! I perform there whenever possible. I love London because of the history. The times I’ve been there have been some of the best memories in my life. Singing there, seeing great theater — and the people like a Southern accent. (Laughs.) Last, but not least, is Norman, Okla. That’s where my folks live, so it’s home to me!

Q. What would be your dream vacation?

A. Definitely Rome. I must go to the opera and see the sites. I want to eat good Italian food and get better at their language. It seems so romantic too.

Q. How do you prep for a trip?

A. I never research before going on a trip. Well, I might try and find out the weather. I just get there and play it by ear. Surprises in life are too few and far between! You can’t plan everything!

© 2011 JAE-HA KIM



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