Megan Hilty Still Smashing By: Sandi Durell
Motherhood definitely agrees with the former star of Broadway’s Wicked (Glinda), better known for her smashing role as Marilyn on the TV series Smash. Last season she was six months pregnant when she performed at Café Carlyle and now with eight month old Viola keeping her sleep-deprived, Hilty and her guitarist husband Brian Gallagher were surely wide awake delivering an evening of Great American Standards and familiar Smash hits.
The big voiced Ms. Hilty, bedecked and sparkling in a long figure flattering beaded gown, was aglow and smiling, conveying a plethora of playfulness from Porter to Arlen and Mercer and Gershwin – – from jazzy swing to heartfelt ballads, there’s a joyfulness and charm that oozes warmth as her vocal expertise slides easily up and down the notes with purity and clarity.
She duets with, but outshines, hubby on "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" (Smash) and with her inventive pianist Matt Cusson, who has a lot of good phrasing style, on "Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off" and is especially moving on Menken/Ahrens "A Place Called Home." There’s no doubt that Hilty lives most comfortably in Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman’s Smash songs "Let’s Be Bad" and "They Just Keep Moving the Line."
Megan Hilty is one power-house singer who can hold your attention in an evening of intimate song but has a couple of habits that detract: like touching her hair innumerable times and using the phrasing "umm . . . umm" noticeably present in her patter. Be that as it may, it’s grand to have this young, energetic good-looker on the stage at the Café Carlyle!
Completing the band are Ryan Hoagland on percussion and Dennis Keefe on bass. Through May 30th www.ticketweb.com Café Carlyle, 35 East 76 St. at Madison Ave. NYC
Photo: Michael Wilhoite
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