Kristin Chenoweth on Mike Nichols’ Death: “Maybe In Heaven We’ll Do a Show”

Singing the blues! Kristin Chenoweth stopped by HuffPost Live on Nov. 20 to promote her first live album Coming Home, and opened up about the death of EGOT-winning director Mike Nichols, and dealing with heartache through music.

Chenoweth, a Tony-winner herself, was heartbroken by Nichols death on Nov. 19 at age 83. Nichols, the director behind the classic film The Graduate and the Broadway 2012 revival of Death of a Salesman, passed away from a sudden cardiac arrest. Chenoweth had only worked with Nichols once, but the experience definitely left a mark.

“It was a very famous actor's birthday, and I don't know where he had seen me perform, but they were out shooting in Brooklyn and he said, ‘Would you pop out of a cake, looking kind of hot and sing happy birthday to him?’” she revealed. “And I thought … ‘yes I will, if Mike Nichols is asking me to do it!’”

Chenoweth, 46, wanted to work with the legendary director, and even spoke with him about the potential at a play opening just a month ago. Nichols told the songstress: “Someday.”

“I just honor him and everything he’s done, and I think maybe in heaven we’ll be doing a show,” she wished. 

Chenoweth said that when she’s dealing with heartache, she often turns to song.

“Music transcends sometimes what we can’t speak,” she said. “…I sing it because I can’t speak it anymore.” 

In particular, she likes to turn to a song by composer and lyricist team John Kander and Fred Ebb called “My Coloring Book.”

Kristin Tonight Show
Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

“It’s putting colors to our emotions,” the stage veteran said about the emotional song.”…It’s called life, not everything works out perfectly and that’s what the songs about.”

Chenoweth especially turns to it during relationship heartache – a good breakup song. The Wicked alum previously dated producer Dana Brunetti, and The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin before his other high-profile relationship with Kristin Davis of Sex and The City.

“Who doesn’t want a good song to listen to over and over and over,” she laughed.

Chenoweth is also known for her strong religious convictions, something that seemingly conflicts with her musical fanbase.

“I think the main thing is I love my relationships with all my fans, gay, straight, black, white…” she said.

Chenoweth said she often thinks about what “Jesus would do” when confronted with things like homophobia.

“The greatest gift we can give ourselves and each other is to love each other,” she said. “It is not for me to judge. I happen to not think that being gay is a sin.”

Chenoweth relates this struggle to her own personal issues – particularly, her short stature.

“If it was a sin to be 4’11” what would I do,” she asked. “I could wear heels and a wig and I’d be maybe 5’0”, but at the end of the day I’m still 4’11”, and that’s the way God put me together.”

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