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NY Music Review By Sandi Durell


Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 9.09.14 AMLooking radiantly happy and smiling, Smash star Megan Hilty made her Café Carlyle debut frequently caressing her baby bump. When she met the man of her dreams, guitarist Brian Gallagher, they tied the knot in Las Vegas not too long ago and now they’re expecting     . . .  a girl!

Hilty is a powerhouse of style and emotion, as she offered up a potpourri of tunes from the Great American Songbook, jazz standards and some of the best of Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman’s Smash – -“They Just Keep Moving The Line”and the sadness and loss of “Second Hand White Baby Grand” (about Marilyn Monroe – little Norma Jean’s piano that Mom bought her as a child – there’s a whole story here).

A passionate and poetic “Heart of the Matter” talked forgiveness, as Megan and Brian dueted, and a jazzy “Someone To Watch Over Me,” gave Megan the opportunity to show off some nice interpretive bends.

NY Pops Conductor Steven Reineke (in the audience) had suggested and arranged “Autumn Leaves/When October Goes” – a perfect match as she caressed the lyrics in all the right places.

Pianist Matt Cusson’s smoky sound blended beautifully in a slow rockin’ duet with Megan on “You Don’t Know Me” (arrangement Matt Cusson).

There’s no doubt that Hilty transitions, without skipping a beat, from big stage and TV to the intimacy of the small nightclub.   She soars, she belts, she’s quietly tender, she’s funny and clever and blessed with a voice that easily modifies from soprano to misty jazz, rock and pop.

Come on and “Get Happy” (another Reineke arrangement) thru June 7th at the Café Carlyle with Megan Hilty and her top notch musicians: Matt Cusson (Musical Director/Piano); Brian Gallagher (Guitar); Ryan Hoagland (Percussion), Dennis Keefe (Bass). 35 East 76 St. at Madison Ave.) 212 744-1600

*Photos: Sandi Durell