Megan Hilty is beloved for her Broadway turns as Glinda in “Wicked,” and Doralee in “9 to 5: The Musical,” plus her starring role as Ivy Lynn on the NBC musical dramedy, “Smash,” where she brought Marilyn Monroe to life and week after week gave millions of viewers a chance to hear her vocals shine.
On November 4, Hilty will perform as part of “Broadway’s Brightest Lights” at the Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda, Maryland, backed up by the National Philharmonic; and two nights later, November 6, audiences will get a second chance to see her at Capital One Hall in Tysons, Virginia.
Under the direction of principal pops conductor Luke Frazier, Hilty and the orchestra will also be joined by Michael Maliakel, who played the title role of Aladdin on Broadway, and Luke Hawkins, considered one of New York City’s finest tap dancers.
“When you think about Broadway, you think of big, show-stopping musical numbers and dancing that will take your breath away—this concert delivers on both,” Hilty says. “Not only do I have the honor of performing with the prestigious National Philharmonic Orchestra, but I also get to perform alongside the exceptionally talented vocalist Michael Maliakel, and Luke Hawkins will tap dance his way into everyone’s hearts as well. It’s going to be a really fun show.”
Hilty has done her share of performing alongside orchestras and is always thrilled when the opportunity presents itself.
“It’s the ultimate luxury for a singer to get to perform with a large group of exceptional musicians like the National Philharmonic,” she says. “The sensation of standing in the midst of that many instruments playing together is almost indescribable. It’s an extraordinary experience and one that I feel very fortunate to get to do.”
From Gershwin to Lerner and Loewe, Kander and Ebb to Sondheim, the night is expected to include some of Broadway’s most beloved classics. Of course, with so many songs to consider—especially the Broadway and “Smash” favorites Hilty knows people want to hear, she notes preparing the set list is a fun challenge though there are many things to take into consideration.
“On top of finding songs that we love and—hopefully—the audience will enjoy, we also need to make sure we can locate the arrangements and sheet music for an orchestra of this magnitude, which can sometimes prove to be very difficult,” she says. “While there are, unfortunately, no ‘Smash’ songs in this show, the set list includes a wide variety of Broadway fan favorites that I am not only excited to sing, but I can’t wait to hear and watch my fellow artists perform as well.”
Hilty is no stranger to performing in the D.C. region, and has popped up with a holiday show at the Kennedy Center frequently over the years, and last did a stage show there as well, when she played Audrey in “Little Shop of Horrors” for a week-long engagement as part of the venue’s Center Stage concerts.
“I always jump at the chance to perform for D.C. audiences because they are so wonderful,” Hilty says, adding it wouldn’t take much for her to do another similar show at the Kennedy Center if something came along—and there are several roles she would interested in.
“One of my dream roles is Dolly Levi, and I get to fulfill that dream a little in this concert with a really exciting mashup of ‘Before the Parade Passes By’ and ‘Don’t Rain on My Parade,’” Hilty says.
Last year, Hilty performed in a gorgeous Christmas concert with the Tabernacle Choir that was filmed for PBS and will air this December, just in time for the holidays. Aside from that, she’s excited about the upcoming concerts and looks forward to what 2023 brings.
“After years of having live performances taken away from us, I now appreciate these shows and connecting with a live audience more than ever,” Hilty says. “I am thrilled to be a part of this particular concert, as it showcases some of the best Broadway hits, incredible musicians and performers. It’s sure to be a thrilling night at the theater.”
Tickets for the two concerts start at $19 and are available at nationalphilharmonic.org. Children 17 and under can attend NatPhil performances for free through the All Kids. All Free. All the Time. initiative. Follow Megan Hilty on Instagram at @meganhilty.
Enjoy this piece? Consider becoming a member for access to our premium digital content. Support local journalism and start your membership today.