Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Little Bit Wicked by Kristin Chenoweth

I am not usually a big non-fiction reader, but every once in a while I like to read a bit about the real world.  I adore Kristin Chenoweth and while I never had the opportunity to see Wicked  while she was part of the cast, I love listening to her on the recording of the original Broadway cast.  Her book, A Little Bit Wicked was as wonderful as you might expect from seeing her in movies, on television, on talk shows and in interviews. 
In her memoir, Kristin Chenoweth reveals fun tidbits about herself such as her real name is Kristi, but she was advised to changed it to Kristin so that people would take her more seriously.  She also delves into her personal life, relationships and struggles.  Running through it all is the role Kristin's faith plays in her life.  There are a few snippets I would really like to share, if you don't mind too terribly:
Speaking about her grandmother's funeral:  "I never really knew how many friends she had until her funeral.  Lots of ladies from lots of faiths, each bearing a gift of lemon bars, shoofly pie, or Tater Tots hotdish because Jesus told us to feed each other, too.  (The one delicacy not available on the Upper West Side: church-lady cuisine.)"
I nearly died laughing when she told of questioning her mother as a child about how babies are made.  I'll leave that one for you to read for yourself.  It is precious.
When a former boyfriend mentions that he has become a father, he says, 'What are you in the end if you don't have a child.'  "As he walks away, I stand there feeling like I've just been bludgeoned with my own biological clock."  I love the way she says that.
I learned a lot about the process of creating a big Broadway show.  In workshops, the production is created and often changed.  "Lesson learned:  it's dangerous to be SuperGlued to anything in any show.  (Or in life.)  You have to let go of what's not working no matter how dearly you wish it would work."  She's right- that is good advice.
And then there is the little "fairy tale" she includes near the end of the book. 
She calls it The Princess and the Bogsnart.  
Oh, how I would love to type it out for you here word for word, but I won't do that to you.  Essentially, it is the story of how some men, Bogsnarts, will trick a young woman into believing he is a nice guy.  Then the Bogsnart  will pull the rug out from under her, saying something like, "It's a pity.  Such a beautiful evening and I'm stuck here with this ugly girl."  How awful!  But we've all known a Bogsnart, haven't we? 
She ends the tale with, "So remember, all my glittery princesses, we must never allow a bogsnart (or a prince, in fact) to tell us who we are, no matter how handsome his disguise, no matter how needy our own hearts.  Our best and truest refection is found in the eyes of those who love us." 
Isn't that wonderful?!  I borrowed this book from the library, but I'm considering buying my own copy just to have that one little section to reread myself and especially to read and reread to my daughter. 
I really did love this book.  If I were to point out any flaw it would be that the time line is a little screwy and the narrative feels a bit stream-of-consciousness.  Still, it was so much fun to read.  And I adore her tag line:  "Life's too short.  I'm not."  At 4'11", that's saying a lot, but what a big life she's had so far. 

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