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Kristin aired from June until July 2001 on NBC.

Pint-size ( 4'11") dynamo Kristin ( Kristin Chenoweth) arrived in New York from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, full of spunk and optimism, looking for her big break on Broadway, but after a couple of disastrous auditions decided to find some paying work to tide her over. Her spiritual advisor , The Reverend Thornhill ( Christopher Durang) of a small Lower East Side chapel, got her a job with Tommy Ballantine ( Jon Tenney), a powerful and handsome real estate developer who was having some image problems. Her clean-cut, superhonest, midwestern morality might be just the thing to " reform" this morally bankrupt, self-centered tycoon. It turned out that Tommy wasn't such a bad guy underneath, but the clash of their styles was the centerpiece of this comedy. Everytime he tried to slip some underhanded deal by her , he discovered she was not as naive as he thought. Others in the swank offices of Ballantine Enterprises included Aldo ( Larry Romano), his slick, Brooklyn-accented right-hand man; Tyrique ( Dale Godboldo), the hip, dreadlocked messenger who could get anything done; and Santa Clemente ( Ana' Ortiz), the Latin sexpot who was Tommy's director of sales, and jealous of Kristin's new influence over him.

All these city slickers learned a little from the newly arrived hick. As Tommy remarked, " You are one savvy Christian.

A Review from Variety

(Series -- NBC, Tues. June 5, 8:30 p.m.)

Filmed in Los Angeles by Markusfarms Prods. in association with Paramount TV. Executive producers, John Markus, Earl Pomerantz; producers, Teri Schaffer, Jessie Ward; director, James Widdoes; writer, Markus.

Kristin Yancey - Kristin Chenoweth
Tommy Ballantine - Jon Tenney
Aldo - Larry Romano

Kristin is cute as a button, but "Kristin" is a dud all around. NBC's fish-out-of-water laffer showcases Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth's perky charisma to a point, but it's way over the top and exists amid incredibly stale one-liners, on-the-cheap production values and boring supporting players. It's rather unfortunate that mainstream America will be introduced to a boffo talent via this dreck; thankfully, Chenoweth is already prepping another comedy for CBS ("Seven Roses"). She had to have known this one would go nowhere.

In "Kristin," Chenoweth sings a little here and there, just enough to make sure people know she isn't your average pretty face. The rest of the pilot has none of her charm or wit and a host of conventions (sex-crazed boss, double entendres) taken from umpteen other sitcoms.

Oklahoma-bred Chenoweth is Kristin Yancey, an Oklahoma-bred dancer-actress looking for her big break in the big city. Riffing on her size -- she's taut and tiny -- helmer James Widdoes and writer John Markus place her in an audition among taller, more agile dancers. When she flubs her cues and doesn't get the part, she goes off on the director, reminding him how badly she needs the job.

Cut to Ballantine Enterprises, where womanizing socialite Tommy Ballantine (Jon Tenney) has made the New York gossip columns yet again for sleeping with another one of his assistants. In order to appease the shareholders and spin his name into good standing with Manhattan's elite, he decides to right his libido ship with his newest assistant, who happens to be -- bingo! -- Ms. Yancey.

Another TV odd couple is born: He's a crude macho man, and she's a Bible-Belter who won't lie or cheat for her new boss. Somehow, some way, they're gonna make it after all.

Having conquered the boards in "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," Chenoweth is certainly a vibrant and gifted thesp whose teeny package hides an enormous vocal ability. But while she gives everything she can to be the bright light here -- she tries really hard -- her bouncy, bubbly execution is almost uncomfortable; nobody would really behave the way Ms. Yancey does, especially in corporate America.

Even with a narrative leap of faith, the show never takes off on its own. Markus' dialogue is hardly inspired, and the situations in which he puts his characters exist only in TV land to be sure (do colleagues really call the police when they find out one of their own is smoking illegal Cuban cigars?).

Apart from Chenoweth, Tenney is completely derivative as her piggish boss, adding nothing to a crude role that could have been nasty fun. As for the supporting cast, Ana Ortiz (Kristin's sassy Latina friend with a heart of gold) and Larry Romano (Tommy's goombah right-hand man with a heart of gold) are caricatures without much to do.

Things don't get better with the tech credits; the set design's lack of style stands out -- everything looks like a soundstage -- and little effort is made to make viewers feel like they are visiting the Big Apple.

Camera, Ken Lamkin; production designer, Roy Christopher; editor, Andrew Chulack; music, Matt Morse; casting, Susan Vash, Emily Des Hotel. 30 MIN.

With: Ana Ortiz, Dale Godboldo, Desmond Askew.

A Review from The New York Times

TELEVISION REVIEW; Moral Code Guides a Bible-Belt Barbie


When ''Kristin'' has its premiere on NBC tonight, it could be useful to think about Nathan Lane. You know Mr. Lane, the brilliant Broadway star of ''The Producers'' who won a Tony Award Sunday night; the comic genius who can do no wrong; the man who bombed completely in ''Encore! Encore!,'' his 1998 attempt at an NBC sitcom. (He played an opera star who moved back to the family vineyard.)

Now Kristin Chenoweth, who won a Tony as Charlie Brown's angst-ridden little sister, Sally, in ''You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown'' two theater seasons ago, is starring in her own sitcom. The show demonstrates Ms. Chenoweth's considerable talents and her engaging lovability but is otherwise just as expendable as ''Encore! Encore!''

The title character of ''Kristin,'' like Ms. Chenoweth, is a would-be Broadway singer, dancer and actress from Broken Arrow, Okla., a suburb of Tulsa. The fictional Kristin has just given up her show business aspirations because her height (not quite 5 feet) keeps her from being cast in anything but the Radio City Christmas Show (one casting director suggests she come back for that audition: ''I'll be needing a dancing elf''). So Kristin takes a job as personal assistant to New York's most despicable, most womanizing real estate mogul, Tommy Ballantine (Jon Tenney).

Yes, it's getting harder and harder to give a series believable sexual tension that lasts longer than a few episodes. Some consider ''Will and Grace'' the cleverest recent variation: the warm relationship of a gay man and a straight woman. But the people behind ''Kristin'' have come up with an everything-old-is-new-again twist: Kristin is a dedicated Christian -- another character refers to her as Bible Belt Barbie -- who is saving herself for marriage. The new show demonstrates its subtlety with the final words of tonight's episode. Ms. Chenoweth: ''Not gonna happen.'' Mr. Tenney (after she's walked out the door): ''It might.''

Actually it's refreshing to encounter a prime-time heroine with a morality that applies to all aspects of her life. When Kristin is asked by her boss to make his dinner reservations, she recognizes that it's wrong to book tables at Balthazar, Fressen and Moomba because two restaurants are going to be cheated. Kristin speaks up; Tommy backs down.

Beyond that, the plots and situations are just tired, like the show's saccharine theme song (''Hold On to Who You Are''). Next week Kristin is tricked into revealing a youthful indiscretion via a staged lie detector test. The week after, she becomes convinced that a co-worker is in love with her (he isn't). And just because Kristin is chaste doesn't mean ''Kristin'' can't indulge in sexual subplots. In the second episode, two employees of the real-estate company reflect on having had casual sex on a steel beam 60 stories above the street.

Luckily Ms. Chenoweth already has another series in development. She'll star with Brenda Blethyn in ''Seven Roses'' on CBS.


NBC, tonight at 8:30

Created by John Markus; Mr. Markus and Earl Pomerantz, executive producers; produced by Markusfarms Productions in association with Paramount Network Television.

WITH: Kristin Chenoweth (Kristin Yancey), Jon Tenney (Tommy Ballantine), Christopher Durang (Reverend Thornhill), Larry Romano (Aldo Bonnadonna), Dale Godboldo (Tyrique Kimbrough) and Ana Ortiz (Santa Clemente).

A Review from Entertainment Weekly

TV Review
C+ By Ken Tucker

If you watch Kristin, you'll be hard pressed to figure out why this show -- scheduled for a limited summer run, or as it's so kindly called in the biz, burnoff -- failed to make the cut as fall TV fare. Not that it's a classic or anything: ''Kristin'' has a charming star but too few laughs. Still, what makes it worse than 80 percent of the rest of the stuff that gets -- and stays -- on the air? Compared with, say, ''Yes, Dear'' or ''Just Shoot Me,'' I'd watch ''Kristin'' any old time -- in fact, I watched four episodes without experiencing any significant pain,unless you count the time a Native American character set up a punchline about ''firewater'' that's about as funny as it is politically correct.

The sitcom stars Tony award winning fireball Kristin Chenoweth (''You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown'') as a personal assistant to a Manhattan real estate developer played by Jon Tenney (''Brooklyn South''). That concept is as old as the recently deceased Ann Sothern's 1950s comedy ''Private Secretary'' -- smart underling woman always saves the dim male boss' bacon -- but Chenoweth, working with writer - creator John Markus (''Cosby''), delivers lines both snappy and sappy with pinpoint timing. But the element that makes ''Kristin'' unique -- the singular sparkle of Chenoweth as an Oklahoma naif, a church raised gal who won't stand for big city lyin' and cheatin' -- does not extend to the rest of the cast. Beyond Tenney (who's paid to do a Donald Trump knockoff), the show is filled with Italian and Latino ethnic stereotypes. Loading up on cheap shot jokes is often a sign that a show doesn't know what to do with either its star or its premise.

At its best, though, you can see ''Kristin'' straining to burst the bounds of its genre; it fails, but it's an intriguing failure.

A Review from The New York Daily News

'KRISTIN' DEPRESSIN' Chenoweth deserves a better series


Tuesday, June 5th 2001, 2:21AM

KRISTIN. Tonight, 8:30, NBC. 1 Star.

A few seasons ago, NBC snared a hot talent from the Broadway musical stage and concocted a sitcom as a prime-time showcase. The star was Nathan Lane, and the sitcom was the awful "Encore! Encore!"

You probably don't recall the series. Lane, on the other hand, may have grabbed your attention as the Tony-winning star of a little Mel Brooks concoction called "The Producers."

Well, Kristin Chenoweth, if she's lucky, will suffer the same TV-rags-to-Broadway-riches fate.

She's talented enough to deserve stardom - and her NBC sitcom, which begins tonight after a long wait on the NBC surplus shelf, is horrendous enough to qualify as an instant trivia question.

"Kristin" (at 8:30) has the good timing to open with Kristin Yancey, a Broadway baby wanna-be from Oklahoma, tapping to the tune of "42nd Street" (which also just won a Tony, as best musical revival) in a dance audition. She's rejected for her short stature, but she refuses to give up. As her show's theme song advises, "Hold on to who you are."

Who is Chenoweth? The young actress who won a Tony for playing Sally in "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown."

Who is Kristin Yancey, the character Chenoweth plays? She's part Ann Marie in "That Girl," an aspiring actress trying to make it in New York City. She's part Mary Richards, because she has spunk. And, as described by another character, she's "Bible Belt Barbie" - a highly ethical, religious and virtuous young woman.

So what does she do in the pilot? She accepts a job as receptionist for a real-estate mogul (Jon Tenney) whose character seems equal parts Donald Trump and Joey Buttafuoco.

John Markus, who clocked time on "The Cosby Show" and "The Larry Sanders Show," created "Kristin" with what seems a deliberate attempt to make every character one step from repugnant - or one step past it. Larry Romano plays a streetwise Italian assistant named Aldo Bonnadonna (if anti-defamation groups truly were more interested in stereotypes than headlines, they'd complain about this instead of "The Sopranos"). Ana Ortiz and Dale Godboldo give other minorities stereotypes to consider, while Chenoweth does anything asked of her by the script.

She shouldn't.

Three episodes of "Kristin" were provided for preview - and each one made me like the show, and its central character, even less. I came to the series with plenty of good will toward Chenoweth; I left it hoping she will return to the stage soon, perhaps as one of the characters if Brooks mounts a musical version of "Young Frankenstein."

An article from The New York Times

THEATER; Trying to Act Saintly Nowadays Can Be a Hair Shirt


MAKING piety appealing in a climate of modern skepticism would seem a Sisyphean labor for performers today -- especially women. After all, this is an era in which the word ''purity'' evokes the Food and Drug Administration more strongly than it does personal virtue, and representations of female goodness can suggest age-old stereotypes of unworldly virgins and saintly prigs. How easy is it for an actress to win audience sympathy when portraying outspoken spirituality? Recent interviews with several performers who have undertaken that task indicate it is a tricky one.

Cherry Jones and Diane Sutherland, for example, old friends and former college classmates, have been swapping insights on how to play Salvation Army troopers. Meanwhile, Sanaa Lathan has recently ended a run as a novitiate in a Shakespeare play, and the stage actress Kristin Chenoweth was playing a cheerfully devout churchgoer also called Kristin in an NBC series of the same name until it was canceled recently after six episodes.

''We were laughing at the awkwardness of religious fanaticism and the language it uses,'' Ms. Jones recalled of one recent chat with Ms. Sutherland. ''It presents a challenge to an actor. Most dramatic literature gives you great wide wings, but the language of the religious fanatic, more often than not, is crafted with clay and is very much earthbound, devoid of any irony and terribly earnest. And that's difficult.''

Ms. Jones currently crusades for justice as the title character of George Bernard Shaw's ''Major Barbara'' in the Roundabout Theater Company production at the American Airlines Theater. It is a role she essayed a decade ago at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass. Ms. Sutherland, who played the zealous Sarah Brown in the Frank Loesser musical ''Guys and Dolls'' at Arena Stage in Washington a year and a half ago, is hurling herself once more into the fray as the production begins a national tour in August.

Ms. Sutherland worries about crossing the ''very delicate line'' between religious fervor and self-righteousness in her character's evangelizing scenes with the Save-a-Soul Mission (based on the Salvation Army). ''In real life,'' she said, ''as you have more and more experiences, you become more skeptical -- it's your natural instinct to be. To get back to that purity and not to sound corny, to try to reach people truthfully without being hokey or preachy -- that's what we're striving for.''

It is a challenge, agreed Kelly Hutchinson, who turns the other cheek, night after night, as the do-gooder Jenny Hill in ''Major Barbara.'' Ms. Hutchinson, who grew up a Roman Catholic, has the unenviable task of cooing ''Bless his poor heart!'' at a thug who just slugged her -- a line, she noted, that often gets a laugh. ''Our society is definitely a bit jaded,'' she said.

But a bout of research that involved visiting the Salvation Army's Greater New York Divisional Headquarters on 14th Street gave her ammunition to attack the role. ''These people are really, really intense,'' she said of the spiritual soldiers she had read about in The War Cry, the Army's magazine. And the fact that Jenny shares that intensity, Ms. Hutchinson said, is ''kind of beautiful.''

Ms. Sutherland, on the other hand, like many Americans, associated the Salvation Army principally with those occasions ''when you clean out your closets and call them and say: 'I have some clothes. Can you come pick them up?' '' Others may remember headlines earlier this month about the Salvation Army, the nation's largest charity, when the Bush administration declined the organization's request that religious charities receiving federal money be exempted from local laws barring discrimination against homosexuals.

Ms. Sutherland, who was reared as a Catholic -- ''I'm not a super religious person. I think I'm a spiritual person. I pray a lot when I get fearful'' -- said she finds herself taking a nontheological approach to Sarah Brown's missionary ardor. ''I look at her more as an idealist rather than as someone who is religious, say, or saintly,'' Ms. Sutherland said.

Ms. Jones, too, views her character's religion through a nonreligious lens -- that of psychology. (Brought up a Methodist, the actress said that these days she believes ''in a transforming power, whatever that means.'') When she played Major Barbara in 1990, Ms. Jones recalled, she couldn't stand her: ''I thought this was a woman who was so power-hungry and needed so much to lead that it didn't matter what she led; she just needed an outlet and she convinced herself that she believed the Salvation Army enough. Now that I'm older, playing the role, I look at her more maternally and I do believe in her sincerity.''

Still, Ms. Jones attributes Major Barbara's spiritual fieriness to displaced domestic energy. When Andrew Undershaft, Barbara's munitions-magnate father (played by David Warner in the Roundabout production), left the family, Barbara ''couldn't hate him, but could hate what he did on an intensely personal level,'' Ms. Jones said. Salvation Army weapons allowed her to engage him in battle, as it were.

Ms. Jones said she was conscious of her audiences' mixed reactions to the Salvation Army characters. ''I feel some of them shaking their heads in disgust,'' she said, while others are ''shaking their heads at the innocence and the idealism.''

She continued: ''And then there are maybe two people who think, 'Why isn't the Salvation Army as strong now as it was then? It sounds like a pretty great outfit!' ''

Public sentiment that the Army was a pretty great outfit, in fact, made characters like Major Barbara possible in the first place, according to Diane Winston, the author of ''Red-Hot and Righteous: The Urban Religion of the Salvation Army'' (Harvard University Press, 1999). Though for a period after its founding in England, in the late 19th century, the group was ''disliked by both the British and American public because of its sensationalism and seeming vulgarity,'' Ms. Winston said, ''by the early 20th century, the Army's dedication to helping the underclass had won over the public.''

Shaw, an advocate of social reform, was also won over by aesthetics: during his days as a music critic, he had praised the ''precision and snap'' of their band performances.

As for religion, the freethinking playwright had discarded orthodox Christianity in favor of his own idiosyncratic credo. ''To me, God does not yet exist,'' he wrote to Leo Tolstoy several years after the debut of ''Major Barbara.'' ''But there is a creative force constantly struggling to evolve an executive organ of godlike knowledge and power . . . and every man and woman born is a fresh attempt to achieve this object.''

After offering to write a play for the Salvation Army to stage (the Army declined, saying it would prefer a donation), Shaw wove his interest in it -- and his mixed feelings about its practice of accepting funds from all sources -- into ''Major Barbara.'' The Army lent uniforms for the play's 1905 debut at the Court Theater in London, and several officers attended the premiere. ''I think they were sort of bemused and mystified,'' Ms. Winston said.

The general acceptance of the Salvation Army around this time made the beautiful Army ''lassie'' a stock image in popular culture; though ''this was more a tradition on the American stage and screen,'' according to Ms. Winston, whose book cites plays like Broadway's sainthood-in-the-slum drama ''Salvation Nell'' (1908) and movies like D. W. Griffith's ''Salvation Army Lass'' (1908). ''But aspects of 'Major Barbara' resonate with this,'' Ms. Winston said. ''She's a very appealing character.''

When it comes to the iconography of women and religion, sex has a way of getting tangled up in the equation. So it's hardly surprising that the Salvation Army ''lassie'' trope included the notion that these attractive spiritual warriors would reform male sinners who strayed across their paths -- hence the fate in ''Guys and Dolls'' of Sky Masterson (Brian Sutherland, Diane Sutherland's husband, in the Arena Stage production). These days, though, Ms. Winston said, ''The conceit of the Army lass as a virtuous woman who could save a cad is no longer part of our public imagination.''

In fact, looking beyond depictions of the Salvation Army, one might generalize that the conceit of the virtuous, religious woman saving a cad lingers in the public imagination largely as comedy -- comedy that prompts a good deal of ambivalence, if NBC's short-lived sitcom ''Kristin'' is anything to go by.

Built around the talents of Ms. Chenoweth, the show, which began in June and was canceled five weeks later, pitted a character named Kristin Yancey against a sleazy real estate czar (played by Jon Tenney) who hired her as his assistant.

The title character's religious earnestness and chastity fueled the narrative in the form of running jokes. In one episode, a guilt-plagued Kristin sought guidance from her pastor (a role filled by the playwright Christopher Durang) after she had faked an orgasm during a massage to impress an adjoining roomful of people who, she worried, might think her a prude because of her strong faith. Despite the humorous intent, Ms. Chenoweth said, during a visit to New York in June before the series was canceled, the religious motif unnerved many people.

''There's a lot of discomfort that surrounds the character that I play right now by the press and maybe by viewers,'' she mused, recalling that even the show's writers had been wary of the religious theme. ''It took them a while to figure it out,'' she said. ''They're not used to writing about this subject.''

Regarding her own faith, Ms. Chenoweth said: ''This is definitely a character I'm playing, but I do have a similar belief. I believe in God, and just wish it didn't have to be looked upon as such a scary thing that we don't talk about.''

''I don't know what that says about today,'' she continued, ''when sex and violence are O.K. and somebody good is poked fun at. And then we wonder why our children are bringing guns into the schools and blowing other children away.''

Still, in many ways, Ms. Chenoweth was playing against stereotypes about religious women and striving to make her screen namesake ''not judgmental'' and not ''a stick in the mud.''

''As an actress, I wanted to make it very complicated,'' said Ms. Chenoweth, who compared her work as Kristin to her Tony Award-winning performance as the super-sophisticated pre-schooler Sally in the Broadway musical revival of ''You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown'' in 1999. ''It's one of the harder things I've done, I think,'' she said. ''I didn't want to be a stock character.'' Giving the small-screen Kristin an ''innocent sexiness,'' she thought, would help short-circuit trite assumptions: ''That's another misconception about people who have faith. What, we don't have those feelings? We're not sexy?''

Kristin Yancey's latent libido flitted briefly into view in the first episode, when she capped a mock come-on to her boss with the arch observation: ''A person's spirituality is very connected to their sensuality. And I'm extremely spiritual.''

As it happens, a strikingly similar concept served as the frame for another recent portrait of female piety. In the New York Shakespeare Festival's production of ''Measure for Measure'' last month in Central Park, Ms. Lathan donned the habit of Isabella, the novice nun who declines to stop her brother's execution at the price of her own chastity.

In an interview toward the end of the run, the actress (who said she has no particular religious background but is ''spiritual'') explained her view of the God-fearing virgin: ''Whatever power she has in her that moves men, and makes men want her, is her spiritual power and her sexual power. It's one and the same.'' Isabella's devotional ardor appeals by its very intensity, Ms. Lathan said. ''Her passion is what is so attractive -- her passion to be what she believes is good. And that in her world is what the Catholic Church believes is good: chaste, suffering, a bare-bones life.''

Some audiences at the Delacorte Theater seemed in tune with Isabella's spirituality, Ms. Lathan noted, ''and it feels to me that they don't think she's so much of a freak.''

''And then,'' she continued, ''there are other audiences that are looking at her like, 'You're ridiculous!' ''

The latter reaction is hardly peculiar to 2001. ''There is something very distressing about the idea of the unused resource,'' said Margaret Anne Doody, a University of Notre Dame literature professor, about characters like Isabella and Kristin Yancey, who decline to make themselves sexually available to male suitors. What such figures have in common with one like Major Barbara -- for whom sex is less explicitly an issue -- is their assertion of autonomy in a male-centered culture, Ms. Doody suggested. ''The idea of giving freedom of choice to women always presents itself to us as strange or monstrous or ludicrous, and has from the beginning of literature,'' said Ms. Doody, who has written about female imagery in texts from ancient Greece and Asia Minor.

So if Barbara Undershaft spends a long while sharing a pedestal with a cannon, as she does in the Roundabout production, it's with good reason -- she has centuries of cultural hostility to contend with.

For her part, Cherry Jones sees the struggle from a metaphysical perspective. At the end of ''Major Barbara,'' Ms. Jones thinks, the title character concludes that God is ''irrelevant.''

What really matters to Barbara at that point, Ms. Jones said, is ''the fact that whoever has created this world of ours has created an ongoing battlefield of good and evil, which co-exist simultaneously at all times in each of us, and you have to go out and roll up your sleeves and march into battle.''

They Haven't Given Up on Times Square

THE Salvation Army uniforms and brass-band trappings in ''Major Barbara'' may look quaintly out of place on New York's rehabilitated Great White Way these days, but the Army has actually had a presence in the thick of New York theater for nearly a century.

''People don't realize that the theater district used to be on 14th Street,'' said Maj. Carl Ruthberg, who heads the Salvation Army's Times Square ministry with his wife, Maj. Hollie Ruthberg. ''And that's where the Salvation Army headquarters are.'' The theater district may have migrated uptown, he said, but ''we've always been a part of it.''

That ''part'' has involved activity both on and off the stage. Salvation Army officers campaigned for souls in plays like ''The Belle of Broadway'' in 1897 and ''Salvation Nell'' in 1908. And Sarah Brown, the pious heroine of the 1950 musical ''Guys and Dolls,'' was based on the Salvation Army glamour girl Capt. Rheba Crawford (known as ''The Angel of Broadway''), who worked at the Army's Broadway mission in the 1920's. ''I think I found Broadway's soul,'' she said.

The Salvation Army's Times Square ministry was interrupted in 1990, when the Army's building on West 47th Street became unsafe. But now the organization is constructing a new theater-friendly facility on the same piece of property. Major Ruthberg said the five-story structure would include rehearsal rooms, a dance studio and a sanctuary that will double as a black-box theater. In it, the Army will welcome productions that have ''merit'' for the community and the arts, Major Ruthberg said.

Scheduled to open next spring, the new building represents a return to the Army's New York roots, Major Ruthberg added: ''When you think of Damon Runyon and 'Guys and Dolls' -- it's who we are.''

But does the Army need a presence in a sanitized Times Square? ''The Salvation Army works with all classes of people, and the Times Square area contains all classes,'' the major said. CELIA WREN

Celia Wren is the managing editor of American Theater magazine and the media critic for Commonweal.

To watch clips of Kristin go to

For more on Kristin go to

For the official Kristin Chenoweth website go to

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Date: Sat May 17, 2008 � Filesize: 20.0kb � Dimensions: 270 x 270 �
Keywords: kristin


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