Megan Hilty is on the cusp of being a big star. Her fame up to this point has rested on her stepping into other people’s shoes from her debut on Broadway as Glinda, the good witch, in “Wicked” taking over the role from Kristin Chenoweth playing it for close to 2 years on Broadway, 2 years in Los Angeles and touring, to her latest Broadway gig in the Encores production of “Gentleman Prefer Blondes” as Lorelei Lee played, and made famous, by Carol Channing on Broadway and Marilyn Monroe in the movies version. In between she played the role of Doralee Rhodes in the Broadway version of “9 to 5” playing the role originated by Dolly Parton . Her biggest fame, though the show flopped, was the 2 years she starred in “Smash” on TV and even for that she had to sing “Happy Birthday Mister President” as Marilyn Monroe did in real life.

During her conversation with Pete Rudetsky, who is host and pianist, she talks about going to opera camp as a teenager and then to Carnegie Melon where she studied drama and learned how to ‘belt’ out her songs. She tells funny stories about Glindas getting stuck in the bubble, and how they swallow soap bubbles within the bubble, at one point suggesting a self help group for ex-Glindas and Elphabas.

Not only does she tell funny stories but she tells real stories of ‘pilot season’ regarding new TV shows and the work behind the TV shows like “Smash” and the recently cancelled “Sean Saves The World”. She talks about people she has worked with and how she was almost signed for a show but at the last minute, while in negotiations the role was taken away. As a talker you could listen to her for hours as within minutes she makes you feel like a good friend and then she gets up to sing in between the stories.

She sings “I Could Have Danced All Night” which soars with her opera trained soprano to her Grammy nominated “Moving The Line” from “Smash” to “Popular” from “Wicked” her singing knocks you out. She does Dolly Parton’s “Backwards Barbie”. At one point she invites her husband, Brian Gallagher, whom she married in November in what he says was planned in less time than it took him to get from his seat to the stage, to sing “Simply Seymour” from “Little Shop of Horrors” in a duet. After that she does “Bye, Bye Birdie” and “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” with her encore song “The Man That Got Away” leaving the audience standing and wanting more.

Megan Hilty is a step away from being an A listed bona fide star who just needs that one show to put her over the top. It is time for Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, who wrote the songs for her in “Smash”, to write that show where she introduces an original character as her own.

If you get a chance to see her cabaret show or singing with your city’s philharmonic go see her!

Posted February 22, 2014 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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