Performer Megan Hilty has piled up an impressive pile of rave reviews in Broadway roles, ranging from Glinda in "Wicked" to Lorelei Lee in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" to Doralee Rhodes in "9 to 5."
Beyond her theater work, she has also starred for two seasons as the triple-threat Ivy Lynn in NBC's musical drama "Smash" and more recently played Sean Hayes' loyal friend Liz on the NBC comedy "Sean Saves the World."
For the first time the award-winning and Grammy-nominated actress and singer is coming to Hartford. On Sunday, May 18, at 7 p.m. she will perform at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford in a fundraiser for the Solomon Schechter Day School's scholarship fund, a show that also features Sirius XM Radio Star Seth Rudetsky.
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Besides her impressive singing and acting, Hilty, who is married to musician Brian Gallagher, is also a mother-to-be. Pegged "the new princess of Broadway," Hilty was nursing a cold and settling in for some down time between gigs recently when she Spilled the Beans with Java.
Q: Exciting news first. Tell me about the new baby you and your husband are expecting.
A: We know it's a girl. I'm about five months along and am so excited. I had told my mother I would never get married and never have kids but then you meet the right guy and it all changes. We have names picked out but we are not telling anyone what they are. That is the one thing I am superstitious about. And we really want to see what she looks like first before we decide on the name.
Q: What is the first song you remember performing for anyone and how old were you?
A: It was "Part of Your World" from "The Little Mermaid." I sang it at soccer camp. I think I was 12 or 13.
Q: Who are some of your favorite singers?
A: My all time favorite singers are Whitney Houston, because she had a flawless perfect voice and was doing what she was born to do; Ella Fitzgerald, because she had phrasing and tone that were unbelievable and a technique and storytelling quality that I love, and Rosemary Clooney. I love the richness of her voice.
Q: Do you consider yourself an actress or a singer
A: I don't know. When I am filling out a form and it asks "occupation" I put down "actor."
Q: This will be your first time in Connecticut and in Hartford. What are you expecting and what should your audience expect at the show?
A: I have no idea what to expect when I get to Hartford. I'm just excited to be going there. The show will be really special. Seth Rudetsky also brings the best format with him. He interviews you while you do the show. So it's not just a one-person cabaret show. It's not one person telling a story but an actual exchange of questions and answers between two people and it is all unrehearsed.
Q: That seems a little risky, if you don't know what he is going to ask, no?
A: Seth has a great personality although he does use the format to try to get people to tell on other people in the business. You know, who behaves badly, that kind of stuff. But I am not going to do it! I just laugh off some of his questions and then put on a fake dumb act and not answer what I don't want to. It usually works.
Q: I imagine the baby's pending arrival is the priority but you haven't seemed to stop professionally. What else are you working on now?
A: I am working on a film with Warren Beatty. It's a very small part. I play an actress and a singer. I also do a lot of voiceovers. Me and my husband are thinking about doing an album over the summer but we are not sure exactly what it is going to be yet. I was the china princess in "Legends of Oz" that just came out. And I am the voice of Rosetta in the Tinkerbell series.
Q: Your daughter is going to love that!
A: Oh yes. We already have a collection of dolls and movies for her.