It was a big night for Megan Hilty on Tuesday, not only the opening of her two-week engagement at the Café Carlyle, but she'd garnered a Tony nomination that morning for her comedic bombshell turn in the revival of Noises Off! "And I wasn't even singing," she exuded, her blond curls taken back into a chignon. Shining bright in a black, curve hugging, lace and sequined gown, she's shed the sass for class for this show, a tribute to Rosemary Clooney.
Starting off with "Everything's Coming Up Roses" from Sondheim and Styne's Gypsy, Hilty performed in Rosie's tradition: "Sway," "Come Rain or Come Shine," "Love, You Didn't Do Right by Me," occasionally reading from Clooney's memoir, getting teary over her love for second husband Dante in "Tenderly." Making fun of the possibility of forgetting her own husband's name, she repeated it many times. Brian Gallagher, sat onstage beside her, occasionally chuckling at this glimpse into his marriage dynamic, and played guitar in her band that also included Matt Cusson on piano, Ryan Hoagland on percussion and Dennis Keefe's bass--her accompaniment for each of her three Carlyle gigs. She says, when Brian Gallagher goes out on tour it reminds her of this Hoagy Carmichael and Jane Brown Thompson classic, "I Get Along Without You Very Well." Eyes locked, they sang a duet for Irving Berlin's "I'm Putting All My Eggs in One Basket."
You cannot go very far with Megan Hilty without mention of her ill-fated television show, Smash and so a few Marc Shaiman/ Scott Wittman compositions were included: "Don't Forget/ Let Me Be Your Star," and "They Just Keep Moving the Line." The fans were elated. By now a cliché at the Carlyle: performers say, let's make believe I've left the stage, and return for an encore. But Megan Hilty has such great comic timing, for her this pretend patter is a funny skit. You melt for more as she sings her final "I Wish You Love," and she leaves the stage for real.
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