Megan Hilty, ‘Smash’ star, is hot ticket in cabaret series ‘Barbara Cook’s Spotlight’

April 22

Megan Hilty, the star of Broadway and TV’s “Smash,” who also has a healthy career voicing characters in animated features, is the next performer in the Kennedy Center’s cabaret series “Barbara Cook’s Spotlight.” Her Friday appearance with a trio sold out so quickly that a second show was added. It’s the latest triumph for the singer and actress, 33, for whom fortunes are quantifiably rising.

12

Age she began taking vocal lessons in her native Bellevue, Wash. She went on to the Washington Academy of Performing Arts High School in Redmond and the Chrysalis School in Woodinville, both in the Seattle area.

2004


Megan Hilty (Courtesy Kennedy Center)

Year in which she graduated from Carnegie Mellon School of Drama in Pittsburgh, which made her one of the shining lights of any 10-year reunion this summer. It was also the year she made her Broadway debut as standby for Glinda in “Wicked,” a role she took over the following year.

‘9 to 5’

Title of the musical in which she portrayed Doralee Rhodes, the Dolly Parton role in the film on which it was based. The performance on Broadway from April to September 2009 earned Hilty Outer Critics Circle, Drama League and Drama Desk nominations.

2

Seasons of the NBC series “Smash” in which she played the brassy Ivy Lynn, who vied for and eventually won the starring role in a fictional Marilyn Monroe Broadway musical called “Bombshell.” Her role on the show, which ran from February 2012 to May 2013, is still the one for which she is best known.

13

Episodes in which she appeared on TV’s “Sean Saves the World” opposite Sean Hayes as his friend and co-worker Liz. The NBC fall sitcom didn’t last a full season, disappearing after the Jan. 23 episode. Two other episodes shot were made available last month on iTunes. (Three final episodes planned for the season were never shot at all.)

3rd

Film in the “Shrek” series — titled “Shrek the Third,” as a matter of fact — in which Hilty provided the voice of Snow White, whose gentle song to birdies turns suddenly to Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song.”

7

Days after her Kennedy Center performance that her latest singing cartoon voice project will be released. In “Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return,” which opens in theaters May 9, she portrays the China doll princess and sings a duet with its Dorothy, Lea Michele.

36th

Performer in “Barbara Cook’s Spotlight,” a series of cabaret-style performances at the Kennedy Center, which is now in its seventh season. The series began as one of the initiatives from a $5 million gift from the Charles E. Smith Family Foundation in 2007. Cook, the venerable cabaret star, curates each season’s five performances in the intimate Terrace Theater.

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Months ago, Hilty performed at the Kennedy Center with the National Symphony Orchestra Pops in a program featuring the songs of Frank Sinatra as well as Broadway classics.

13

Months ago, Hilty released her first solo album, “It Happens All the Time,” a collection of breakup songs by contemporary songwriters from Taylor Swift and Aimee Mann to Don Henley and Damien Rice.

4

Months pregnant. Hilty and her musician husband Brian Gallagher are expecting their first baby in September.

Catlin is a freelance writer.

Barbara Cook’s Spotlight: Megan Hilty

Friday at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. at the Terrace Theater of the Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW. $60. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.

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