Keeping things on topic, Megan Hilty’s concert as part of The Seth Concert Series covered both her stage and screen credits – it was nice to hear that she still has some work going, thanks to the voiceovers she does for animated motion pictures. The selection of songs for this concert revealed a significant amount of versatility, from ‘Crazy’ and ‘Walkin’ After Midnight’, both made famous by Patsy Cline (1932-1963) to the musical theatre tunes like ‘Popular’ from Wicked (a show she was in for four and a half years) and ‘Somewhere That’s Green’ from Little Shop of Horrors.
Like many actors who have found success, Hilty never envisaged that she would find herself playing the roles she has been cast in, though for her what has made her experiences so extraordinary are the people with whom she has worked with. Repeatedly namechecking other actresses such as Jessie Mueller, Carly Hughes and Stephanie J Block, it was evident in her conversations with Seth Rudetsky quite how highly she regards her fellow performers – and indeed, quite how much she misses (as many people do at the time of writing) the live theatrical experience.
It was delightful to note how quickly she was able to (re)assume various characters as the concert progressed, as well as ones she hasn’t (yet) played – her version of ‘She Used To Be Mine’ from Waitress struck a note of defiance. Then there was ‘Back to Before’ from Ragtime, with highly pertinent lyrics for our times: “There was a time my feet were so solidly planted… Back in the days when everything seemed so much clearer… We can never go back to before”. Songs from the television series Smash featured heavily, with ‘Let Me Be Your Star’, ‘Second Hand White Baby Grand’ and ‘They Just Keep Moving The Line’. A one-act concert cannot, of course, cover everything, but I would have liked to have heard a tune or two from some of the animated movies Hilty has worked on.
Hilty has fans on this side of the Atlantic – she performed her own concert at Cadogan Hall in 2018. It’s difficult to pick a favourite from the songs in this ‘live in lockdown’ gig, but I enjoyed ‘Alto’s Lament’, a comedy number by Zina Goldrich and Marcy Heisler about an alto singer who would very much prefer it if she were a soprano. There wasn’t much said about what Hilty gets up to when she isn’t performing or recording, but that is entirely forgivable in a career as varied and respectable as hers. A pleasant and good-natured ninety minutes of show tunes and conversation.
Review by Chris Omaweng
Megan Hilty is most recognizable for her portrayal of seasoned triple-threat Ivy Lynn, in NBC’s musical drama “Smash.” Most recently she starred as Patsy Cline in Lifetime’s original movie “Patsy & Loretta” earning a Critics Choice Award Nomination for her performance. She received critical acclaim for her role of Brooke Ashton in the Roundabout Theater Company’s revival of “Noises Off.” She earned nominations for a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and Drama League Award and won a Broadway.com<http://broadway.com/> Audience Award for Favorite Featured Actress in a Play. Her television credits include recurring roles on “Girlfriends Guide to Divorce”, “The Good Wife”, “Braindead”, and “Louie”, among many others. She has performed across the globe including Carnegie Hall with The New York Pops, The National Symphony Orchestra at The Kennedy Center and with The New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center among many others. Her solo concert continues to sell out and she recently made her London & Sydney Opera House debut. A native of Seattle, Hilty moved to New York City after graduating from the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University, and quickly made her Broadway debut as Glinda in “Wicked.” She went on to perform the role in both the national tour and in Los Angeles. She also has three albums, “Megan Hilty: Live at the Café Carlyle” her Christmas album, “A Merry Little Christmas with Megan Hilty”, and “It Happens All The Time”.
MEGAN HILTY with SETH RUDETSKY
Sunday, July 26th at 8pm EST
Monday, July 27th at 3pm EST