The facts are these: I love Pushing Daisies. When ABC poured the “Weed-B-Gon” on that show, my heart broke. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Pushing Daisies is about a Pie Maker named Ned who can bring the dead back to life with a touch of his finger. However, he can only revive them for one minute, otherwise someone else has to die (he “kills” them permanently by touching them again). I know it sounds morbid, but it’s totally not. Yesterday I was trying to think of something to compare it with, but I couldn’t think of anything. It really stands alone…which may be the reason it got axed. For purposes of generality, Pushing Daisies has the look of old school Tim Burton (Beetlejuice, Edward Sissorhands, and Big Fish) and such quarky and comedic writing that I cannot think of anything similar. You just have to check it out. If you love Tim Burton, you’ll probably love this show.
Ned works alongside Private Investigator Emerson Cod to revive murder victims and collect on the reward by asking them “who dun it?”. As if Ned (Lee Pace) and Emerson (Chi McBride) weren’t entertaining enough, Ned’s childhood sweetheart, Chuck (Anna Friel) enters the picture when she turns up dead. Ned touches her once and can’t bring himself to touch her again…so she remains alive; never being able to touch the man she loves (or else she’ll be dead forever). It works for them, though…they solve strange murders and insure justice is served, all while plating up some of the best-looking pie I’ve ever seen. Throw in a slew of guest stars, including Swoosie Kurtz, Ellen Greene, Joel McHale, Molly Shannon, David Arquette, and Fred Willard (LOVE HIM!), and you’ve got yourself one hoot of a time.
Oh…and there is another character at play here…a little waitress at The Pie Hole (Ned’s restaurant) who is hopelessly in love with Ned. A little cherry on top of this colorful and hilarious group of characters. A girl with a huge heart, an amazing voice, and a name for the ages: Olive Snook. As if the name wasn’t reason enough to love her, Olive is brought to life by a woman who once said that Olive Snook was her “soul mate”…the illegally adorable Kristin Chenowith.
“Life’s too short. I’m not,” are the final words in Kristin Chenowith’s autobiography, A Little Bit Wicked. At 4 foot 11 inches tall, this petite package of a woman may not be tall enough to ride the ride, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t rise to every challenge that comes her way. I decided to read A Little Bit Wicked after my sister told me about Chenowith’s weather-predicting cooter. Yup, that did it for me. And if you’re as interested as I was to find out how and why she can predict the weather with her vagay-jay, hop on over to the store and look for her bubblegum pink treat of a book.
Granted, this isn’t the most amazing book I’ve ever read. You’re not going to be discussing it at literature circles and you’re not going to be blown away by any deep allegories, but if you are a Chenowith fan, you’ll love this book. It’s totally and completely her. As I was reading it, I could almost hear her reading it to me. Her list of questions to ask God when she meets him, her recipe for white trash cookies, her modern day before bed fairy tale, and her sweet advice to young actors trying to make it in the theatre industry are all presented in such a way that it could only be Kristin talking. If you’ve seen her in Pushing Daisies, Wicked, or are familiar with GA-Linda in Wicked, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. If it were a scratch and sniff, her book would smell like apple pie, and you can’t help but get that warm apple pie feeling when you read it.
However, this girl isn’t all bubblegum and rainbows.
Chenowith is a Tony award-winning performer and actress who graduated from Oklahoma City University with a BA in Musical Theater and an MFA in Opera Performance. She studied under Dr. Florence Birdwell, maybe one of the most influential professors of her time, and has been a part of a musical that has completely revolutionized the world of musical theatre.
Unfortunately, a lot of Chenowith’s life as a student is left out of the book, overshadowed by ramblings about her Huge Hit Sitcom KRISTIN on NBC, her hair and cooter disasters, and her life as a beauty pageant wanna-be…ironically, though, it didn’t bug me. I loved every minute of it. Chenowith doesn’t seem like the person who would leave out the details of what truly made her who she is…and many of those details resided outside of the classroom.
Chenowith also talks about her battle with Meniere’s disease, her on again-off again relationship with Aaron Sorkin, and her crazy stalker who lied about having cancer to get Chenowith’s address. Some people, I tell ya. She also discusses her performing life, talking about her experience in You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown (ADORABLE!), Pushing Daisies, Wicked, Boston Legal, and other various appearances here and there. There’s a touching segment of the book where she talks about her close relationship with co-star John Spencer and how hurt she was when he passed, and how her white trash cookies may be to blame…
All in all, A Little Bit Wicked is everything you’d expect it to be: heartwarming, funny, light, and wholesome. Filled with wit and wisdom, this precious memoir gives us a glimpse into the life of a woman who will do just about anything for her family, her faith, and a pair of Jimmy Choo’s.
SUGGESTION: If you’re a Chenowith fan, READ IT. If you’re not, SHELF IT. Simple as apple pie.
NEXT WEEK: Next week I’ll explore a little treat of a book with equal parts travel, food, romance, and fairy tale. I’m salivating already!
Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.