By Linda Amiel Burns
Steven Reineke leads the New York Pops as it swings into spring with a concert featuring Megan Hilty and Ryan Silverman.
The NY Pops’ first concert of 2013 began with TV and Broadway Star, Megan Hilty, making her Carnegie Hall debut joined by leading man Ryan Silverman. The show was entitled "Luck Be a Lady: Megan Hilty Sings Sinatra and more," and together they covered songs from the American Songbook made famous by such legends as Sinatra, Judy Garland, Dolly Parton and Marilyn Monroe.
The Pops is the largest independent pops orchestra in the United States, and the only professional symphonic orchestra in New York City specializing in popular music. Led by Music Director Steven Reineke, the orchestra was founded in 1983 by former NBC Music Director Skitch Henderson. There is nothing more thrilling than seeing 77 of the city’s finest musicians on stage and hearing their glorious sound.
Megan Hilty entered to thunderous applause looking stunning in a gold-sequined form-fitting gown. She is currently starring in the TV hit series Smash and has many fans. She opened the show singing, "Luck Be a Lady" (Loesser) followed by the Quincy Jones arrangement of "The Best Is Yet To Come." Ryan Silverman and Megan joined their beautiful voices together on a medley of "Almost Like Being In Love" Lerner/Loewe) with "This Can’t Be Love."
Ryan is currently starring in the Classic Stage revival of Sondheim’s Passion and has often toured with the Pops. He scored on a great rendition of "What Kind Of Fool Am I" (Bricusse/Newley), Cole Porter’s driving "Night and Day" and had the audience moving in their seats with the Latin standard "Sway" (Beltran/Gimbel).
Steven Reineke led The Pops in thrilling instrumental versions of "Mack The Knife" (Weill), "Tico Tico" (Abreu), "The Lady is a Tramp" and the rousing standard by Kander & Ebb "New York, New York."
Megan mentioned that she was missing the wrap party for the current season of Smash, but singing at Carnegie Hall has always been her dream. She sang "Autumn Leaves"
paired with "When October Goes," a haunting song that Barry Manilow wrote the lyrics to after Johnny Mercer passed away. Megan starred in the musical of Nine To Five written by Dolly Parton and then performed a terrific medley of Dolly’s hits that demonstrated her ability to sing country as well as being a Broadway belter. Megan won rave notices for the Encores production of "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" and sang "Diamond’s Are a Girl’s Best Friend" with all the lyrics from the original score. Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray) write the songs for Smash and Megan introduced "Second Hand White Baby Grand" in the first season.
Two highlights of the concert where Megan showed her great acting ability was in Gershwin’s "Someone to Watch Over Me" with all the longing that the song requires and the other triumph was her version of tragic poem "The Man That Got Away" (Gershwin/Arlen).
Megan mentioned that when Reineke played her the album, Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall, she fell in love with it and Judy’s version of "Come Rain or Come Shine." It was easy to see why when Megan brought the evening to a close with this exciting Nelson Riddle arrangement.
The New York Pops continues its 30thyear with a celebration of Stephen Schwartz on April 12, 2013. The season culminates with a Birthday Gala on April 29th, 2013.
Ticket can be purchased at the Box Office or by calling
Carnegie Charge 212 247-7800. www.CarnegieHall.org.
Photography: Maryann Lopinto
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