A diminutive dynamo (150cm tall) with a big voice, the versatile Kristin Chenoweth is ideally suited to the cast of the musical comedy Schmigadoon! Her extensive CV defines her as an actress, singer, stage star, concert performer, author, teacher and TV food show host. Forget triple threat: this Tony and Emmy Award-winner makes an artist who can only sing, dance and act seem like an under-achiever.
In the musical comedy Schmigadoon!, the effervescent performer plays lemon-lipped, bible-bashing bully Mildred Layton, wife of the brow-beaten Reverend Layton (Fred Armisen). Produced by Saturday Night Live’s long-time boss Lorne Michaels and directed by Barry Sonnenfeld (Get Shorty, Men in Black), the six-part series is created and written by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio (Despicable Me) who describe it as “a love letter to the golden age of musicals”.
Actress, singer, stage star, concert performer, author, teacher and TV food-show host, Kristin Chenoweth.Credit:John Russo
Schmigadoon! bursts with colour, wit and big show-tune numbers as it lovingly references Brigadoon (obviously), Oklahoma, Carousel and The Sound of Music, among others. Chenoweth describes it as “a perfect amalgamation for people who love musicals and people who make fun of musicals”. That dichotomy is represented by the central couple, Dr Melissa (Cecily Strong), a fan of the form, and Dr Josh (Keegan-Michael Key), who definitely isn’t.
The 21st-century New York doctors are in a relationship rut and take a hiking trip in the hope that the change of scenery will revive their romance. They get trapped in the flower-filled, all-singing, all-dancing town of Schmigadoon “where the sun shines bright from July to June and the air’s as sweet as a macaroon”. It’s a riff on a wholesome, apple-pie America, a white-bread enclave where the multi-denominational charity bake sale features stalls from both Presbyterians and Methodists.