EXCLUSIVE: Kristin Chenoweth Had No Idea How Fans Would React to ‘Wicked’ Reunion

by Stacy Lambe 11:01 AM PDT, May 19, 2016
Photo: Getty Images

To the delight of Broadway fans everywhere, Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel -- the original stars of the hit musical, Wicked -- reunited to sing together for the first time in 12 years.

The two joined forces again for a performance of “For Good” to honor Wicked producer David Stone at Second Stage Theatre’s gala earlier this month. “Neither of us could show up that night,” Chenoweth tells ET about how the video came together.

MORE: James Corden Shows Off His Singing Skills in Amazing Duet With Kristin Chenoweth

For Menzel, who seemingly topped Elphaba with an even more iconic role as the voice of Elsa in Frozen, and Chenoweth, who has since become a staple on TV with an Emmy-winning role on Pushing Daisies and memorable appearances on Glee and The West Wing, it was the first time the two have sung together since leaving the original production in 2004.

“It was really cool,” Chenoweth says while promoting her new film, Hard Sell, in theaters and on demand on May 20. “It was like a lot of time had passed or no time has passed.”

While she figured it would eventually be released online, Chenoweth was overwhelmed by fans’ fevered reaction. “I don’t know why I was surprised,” she says, “but I thought, ‘Oh, it’s not that big of a deal.’ It was cool to see people still love it.”  

Admittedly, Chenoweth hasn’t revisited the production, which is still running on Broadway, outside of one performance shortly after she left. “I saw my friend in it,” she says. “I realized I had never seen the show.” However, the performer does have plans to return to the George Gershwin Theatre in New York City, but won’t reveal when. “I’m definitely going to go and see the show again,” she adds.

MORE: Why James Corden Is the Right Man to Host the Tony Awards -- Spanx and All!

When it comes to the current season of Broadway, which will see the best honored during the 2016 Tony Awards on Sunday, June 12, Chenoweth is most excited about Hamilton, which earned a record-breaking 16 nominations. “Hamilton is going to win everything,” she says, gushing over Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit musical about Alexander Hamilton.

But she also has love for the season’s many revivals, including She Loves Me (“That’s so up my alley”) and Spring Awakening. “Making it in part with the deaf community and hearing actors, I thought it was genius,” Chenoweth says. “If you’re going to revive something, make it different.”

The performer also gushed about James Corden, who is taking over hosting duties from Chenoweth and Alan Cumming. “I wish I could have had his advice last year,” she jokes, adding that she hopes Hamilton helps boost the ratings for the ceremony, which will air live on CBS. “I don’t want it to go away.”