One of your musical idols, Kristin Chenoweth, is onstage performing at a local venue, and at one point she wanders through the audience, asking if anyone knows the song “For Good” from the musical Wicked. Well how about that, you do! Up goes your hand, and then you’re inexplicably onstage with Kristin Chenoweth, who sings her part, then turns to you and…you knock it out of the park, singing the entire thing from memory like a superstar.
And then you wake up? Not if you’re Sarah Horn, who it turns out not only knew the song, but works as a professional vocal instructor at California Baptist University in Riverside, California.
Chenoweth was performing at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles last Friday evening, but at one point began moving through the crowd, asking people if they knew the song “For Good.” That’s according to Horn, who wrote about her remarkable experience for BroadwayWorld.com.
Toward the end of the second half of the performance, Kristin wanders on to the pasarel. She held a mic up to a lady in front of me and asked if she knew the song “For Good.” Nope. I took the chance, as I was directly behind Kristin, to stand up and wave and say, “I know the song!”
After chatting briefly, Horn says Chenoweth kept moving down the line, asking others if they knew the song, but ultimately came back to her, summoning her onstage to perform the duet. In the video, when Chenoweth discovers what Horn does for a living, she seems startled, but much more so when Horn begins to sing.
“Oh sing it, sing it,” says Chenoweth, beaming and clasping her hands together in apparent astonishment; when the song shifts to trickier vocal lines, both singers weaving, Chenoweth exclaims “Holy crap, harmony!”
Was Horn an audience plant? Watching the near-perfect performance, it’s easy to see why some are wondering. Horn claims no, writing:
Paul Geller, Production Director at both the Hollywood Bowl and the Walt Disney Concert Hall pulled me aside afterward. He said that the production staff is very picky about the quality of performers that they allow on their stage and that what was produced in that song was better than anything they could have planned. He took down my contact information because at some point during the last three songs, he got a phone call from the LA Times wanting to know if I was an audience plant and asked my permission to pass on my contact information for them to speak to me directly, if needed.