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April 25, 2014

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Kristin Chenoweth ringing in New Year at Smith Center

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Tom Donoghue/DonoghuePhotography.com

Hosts Trace Adkins, left, and Kristin Chenoweth with Toby Keith at the 2011 American Country Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Dec. 5, 2011.

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Kristin Chenoweth at the 85th Academy Awards at Dolby Theater in Hollywood on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013.

Supporters, patrons and friends of our downtown Smith Center who might be pleading for alternatives to Las Vegas' New Years Eve entertainment will be delighted to know that Emmy and Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth will perform a two-hour concert there Dec. 31 to welcome the New Year.

"Our locals said they didn't want to venture onto the Strip but still wanted to go out to celebrate and welcome the New Year," I was told. "They wanted a choice, and Kristin's accomplished singing career with three solo albums certainly makes her the best of the breed to take on any perceived Strip competition."

The pint-sized powerhouse will be the punch of counter-programming to the Strip's lineup of big-name DJs and hip-hop artists. It's Kristin's first solo Las Vegas concert, and she promises it will wrap early enough for the audience to watch the midnight fireworks.

We'll know more about her orchestra and her guest stars when I talk with her tomorrow. She may only stand 4 feet 11 inches tall, but the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame inductee packs a punch as a crossover country star, television personality and beloved performer.

Its been a triumphant year for Kristin, with sold out concerts in Carnegie Hall, Hollywood's Greek Theater and the Metropolitan Opera House. ( Here's the YouTube video of her August concert at the Greek when she invited an audience member Sarah Horn to sing along with her — Horn KO'd everybody with her own voice.) Kristin has collaborated with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops and the New York Philharmonic.

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Kristin, who partnered with country singer Trace Adkins to host the American Country Music Awards at MGM 's Grand Garden Arena, told us she hoped to play the Smith Center as Glinda in the touring company of "Wicked" — she was nominated for a Tony after originating the role on Broadway. The "Pushing Daisies" star and "Glee" singer didn't land the tour because of scheduling conflicts but now realizes her dream of performing in the center with this show. Kristin says many singers have told her it's one of the best performing arts centers in the country.

Tickets for the general public go on sale Oct. 11, but Smith Center members and friends will have access to them early next week.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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