Hilty brings 'Luck' to her performance with Pittsburgh Symphony Pops
Vocalist Megan Hilty has been hailed as the “new princess of Broadway” by Time magazine. Her professional break came starring as Glinda in “Wicked.” Since then she's starred in revivals of “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and “9 to 5,” and been a hit on television in “Smash” and “Sean Saves the World.”
“I'm so excited to be coming back to Heinz Hall. I used to work the Fiddlesticks programs for kids,” says Hilty, a Carnegie Mellon University graduate. “Once a month, I'd sing songs for the kids and dance around with a giant cat. It will be nice to come and do some adult stuff.”
Hilty and the Pittsburgh Symphony Pops, conducted by Steven Reinecke, will present “Luck Be a Lady” at concerts June 19 to 22 at Heinz Hall, Downtown.
Her program includes songs identified with Frank Sinatra, such as “The Lady is a Tramp,” “New York, New York,” and “I've Got You Under My Skin.” Naturally, she'll perform songs she's done on Broadway, including “Popular” from “Wicked” and “Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend,” from “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.” She'll also do a Diana Ross medley.
From a very early age, Hilty thought she would go into classical music because that's what her voice teacher was grooming her for and she loved it. She also loved to go to Seattle Opera and went to opera camp at San Francisco Opera.
“It was about the time I went to opera camp that I kind of realized musical theater fit my personality a little better,” she says. “While I have very deep respect for opera singers and secretly wish I could be one, I think it requires a little more discipline than I was ready to have, in a way. I never felt too precious about my voice or let it rule my life. My priorities were a little bit different.”
Hilty completed her studies at CMU in 2004 and says the school “prepared me in ways I couldn't quite realize until I graduated. I've had a lot of long, hard days, especially on ‘Smash' — good 16-hour days, while filming and rehearsing and in the sound studio and bouncing around from one thing to the next. I remember looking at my schedule at CMU and thinking, ‘I can't get through this.' CMU is a great program and prepares you for these demanding schedules. There's nothing grueling when you love it.”
In fact, Hilty won the starring role in “Wicked” at the end of her senior year, just before she graduated. The night before the audition in New York City, she saw the show from fifth-row center and sobbed.
“By the time I came in, this show had become the biggest thing on Broadway. Kristin Chenoweth had set the bar so high I panicked a little bit,” she says. “I went back to my hotel room and thought, ‘I'm not as funny or charming as Kristin. How do I make this work for me?' ”
Figuring out what she could bring to the role prepared her for success in taking on other iconic roles, such as Carol Channing's in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.”
Hilty often gives concerts with her husband, actor and singer Brian Gallagher. They recently completed a two-week run at The Carlyle hotel in New York City.
“We have a concert we do with a four-piece band, ‘Smash' songs, jazz standards and Broadway musicals,” she says.
Their first child, a girl, is due in about three months.
Mark Kanny is classical music critic for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7877 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.