Nightlife

Megan Hilty :: Smashes into Carnegie Hall

by JC Alvarez
Thursday Feb 21, 2013
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Broadway’s own Megan Hilty (and EDGE Feb cover girl) returns to the bright lights of the stage with a special engagement and guest starring turn with the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Musical director Steven Reineke has gone to great lengths to make sure that this, the 30th anniversary season of the New York Pops, will be one for the record books. In a program perfectly suited to Hilty’s signature talent, the New York Pops swings into spring with "Luck Be A Lady" on Friday, March 8 @ 8pm.

"It’s a really fun program and I’m so excited," Megan glowingly revealed about the upcoming show, "but to be coming to Carnegie Hall - I still can’t believe it." It’s every artist’s dream to some day perform in the iconic space, and to have a set list so perfectly suited to showcase her own talents is a gift all of its own. "It’s so amazing to hear a full orchestra play this music." The evening will be dedicated to some of the great Frank Sinatra’s notable standards performed by the New York Pops.

It’ll also be Hilty’s first time performing at Carnegie Hall. "It’s going to be a really special night for me." In a career already filled with some magnificent highlights, "Luck Be A Lady" seems to be the a theme surrounding this very hard working starlet.


Again a "Smash"

With the success of the NBC musical drama "Smash" now entering a new season, Hilty feels that audiences will really appreciate the show, which had a rather rocky freshman year. "There are some really cool things happening this season," she said. The harsh criticism of the premiere year hasn’t really shaken her faith in "Smash" and the fandom that the series has developed. "I always hoped that people assumed we’re doing a drama that’s based in the theater," Hilty offers to those who compared the show to true life. "I don’t think doctors sit around and have the same conversations about ’ER’ or ’Private Practice’."

This year’s "Smash" is a little more grown up. Not looking to capitalize on an audience that has perhaps outgrown the high school polish of "Glee" the obvious television competition, this season is branching out and pushing Hilty’s character, blond bombshell "Ivy Lynn" to new depths. "She goes through major changes in her life, both personally and professionally," Hilty reveals. "And she’ll even question whether she wants to continue doing this [performing] anymore."

And although Hilty doesn’t distinguish between her experience on the stage and now small screen she agrees there is no job more challenging than having eight live shows to perform a week. "Television can spoil you," she happily jests. "It’s nice having someone who now does my hair and make-up before I hit the set. It beats having to do it yourself...but it’s all exciting work." She does credit her strong work ethic largely in part to her theater training.


On The Record

Hilty is also about to unleash her own album. "It Happens All the Time" in March, and it has been a labor of love for the vocalist. "I’ve never done anything like this before," she says. She spent her down time between seasons 1 and 2 of "Smash" in Texas working with her producers, Grammy-winners Andy Zulla and Jimmy Hogarth. "I felt it was really important to have a reason to do it. It became a really interesting process to find the songs that were resonating with me - and it went through several changes." Until they discovered what works.

The album "It Happens All the Time" features original songs and additional interpretations of, as Megan put it, "Pop songs with lyrics that were important to me. It represents a lot of what I went through last year." She is grateful for the timing of the album, and hopeful that her devoted theater following will embrace this other dynamic side of her as an artist. "I want to keep doing different things. This album stretched me out of my comfort zones. I’m very proud of this project."

With the success of Broadway translating to the big screen, whispers have already begun that the next stage-to-film adaptation will be "Wicked" which featured Megan Hilty in one of her most beloved performances. Would she be interested in appearing in the film? "Isn’t that exciting?" she exclaims. "I’d love to get an audition, or even have a little cameo in it." If Hollywood is listening, let’s just say that Megan Hilty would be a smash!

In the meantime, Hilty is very pleased with the trajectory of her glowing stardom and the hard work and dedication to her craft that’s brought her to her success. "It’s better than I ever dreamed of. Broadway was always the goal," she says in closing, "and now it’s about seeing what else I can do. I wonder what other places I can get into." We’ll be watching.

Megan Hilty performs with the New York Pops with guest star Ryan Silverman and conducted by Steven Reineke when it swings into spring on Friday, March 8 @ 8pm. "Luck Be a Lady" features the songs of Sinatra and more at Carnegie Hall. For tickets visit the box office website at www.carnegiehall.org.

"It Happens All the Time," the debut album from Megan Hilty, will be released on March 12 and available on disc and digital download.


Native New Yorker JC Alvarez is a pop-culture enthusiast and the nightlife chronicler of the club scene and its celebrity denizens from coast-to-coast. He is the on-air host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Out Loud & Live!" and is also on the panel of the local-access talk show "Talking About".

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