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Arts Blast: 'Smash' sensation Hilty with Phoenix Symphony a one night wonder

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This Saturday night, platinum blonde powerhouse Megan Hilty joins the Phoenix Symphony under principal guest conductor Randall Craig Fleischer's baton for a program of her favorites. Yesterday she talked about her desert debut with the same frank charm she's brought to her Broadway and TV roles.

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"I always love singing from Smash," Hilty, who played struggling Broadway hopeful Ivy Lynn on the NBC hit musical drama, began. "The two songs I'll be doing from the show are 'They Just Keep Movin' the Line' and 'Second Hand White Baby Grand."

Having starred as Glinda in Wicked and Dora Lee in 9 to 5 on Broadway, she brings her adorable turned up nose, the kind that wrinkles when she laughs, to Symphony Hall to feature some those shows' numbers. She further noted that when she sings tunes made famous by stars like Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James and Dolly Parton, she likes adding stories and explanations "so it's more personal, more memorable, for everyone!"

"It's completely different - in every way imaginable," Hilty said, comparing her upcoming Phoenix Symphony performance to the kind of acoustic sets at trendy pizza and beer parlors she enjoys doing with longtime boyfriend turned new husband Brian Gallagher.

"In our smaller shows it's just us, so it's much more intimate," she shared. "But even though the symphony shows are set on a much grander scale, I still try to maintain some of that intimacy. In both scenarios, I hope the audience will leave feeling like they know me."

That grander stage intimacy flows over an audience when the orchestration blends and intertwines with Hilty's lustrous vocal style. She suggested, "One of my new favorites is 'Autumn Leaves/When October Goes,' specifically because of the arrangement. At the end it's almost like a duet between me and the cellist."

Hilty will also sing some numbers off her debut solo album It Happens All the Time, another venture that features her voice in full-bodied, soulful concert with classical instruments. The chat yesterday suggests her bright blue, smiling eyes will make good on her intent. She closed saying, "I'm glad to be able to come and make new memories!"

because art IS a BLAST
because sometimes a quick heads up makes you want to head out
BLAST off!

-Jennifer Haaland


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