INTERVIEW: Broadway, ‘Smash’ vet Megan Hilty to sing her cabaret faves at Serenbe

Said there is a chance NBC’s ‘Smash’ could end up on Broadway

Megan Hilty is best known for her many Broadway appearances and two seasons of “Smash” on NBC a decade ago.

She is currently splitting time raising her family, doing voice-over work on multiple animated series and headlining one-off concerts around the country. Her next stop: the outdoor Art Farm at Serenbe in Chattachoochee Hills. (Tickets available here. A promo code HILTY50 can get you 50% off the $150 to $200 ticket price.)

Hilty will be joined by Matt Cusson as her pianist. She said they won’t finalize the set list until soundcheck.

“We kind of gauge the space and the proximity to the audience and how big the audience is, how musical theater savvy they are,” Hilty said in a recent interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Every set is a little different and tailored to the specific space.”

She has seen photos of Serenbe’s outdoor stage in the woods. “It looks stunning,” she said. “I’m very excited.”

Some songs she has performed in recent cabaret shows include Patsy Cline’s “Crazy,” Frank Sinatra’s “That’s Life” and “What a Guy” from “Goodbye Girl.” She has also sung tunes from “Smash” including “Don’t Forget Me,” “She Keeps Moving the Line,” “Beautiful Life” and “Let Me Be Your Star.”

Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman penned nearly all the songs from the NBC show, which only lasted two seasons but is beloved among theater geeks. “They wrote me all these original songs so I have this canon of original music that was written for my voice,” Hilty said. “I could do a whole night of their music and it’s fine.”

Though a decade has gone by, she said she gets asked by fans virtually every day about any chance of “Smash” being brought to Broadway or back on TV. “It feels like the desire for the show has multiplied,” she said. “It’s remarkable. I’m proud to have been part of something that people care so much about and want more of.”

Indeed, a stage adaptation of “Smash” is in the works. “There’s definitely potential there,” Hilty said.

But for her to partake, it would have to be incredible, she said, because she lives in Los Angeles and would have to uproot her family to go to New York.

In the meantime, she has been doing some version of this cabaret show with her friend Cusson for a decade. “He doesn’t read music,” she said. “That makes each of our shows unique because we really kind of tune in to each other and gauge tempos so we could kick it up a notch or relax a bit. He never plays it the same way twice. There’s always a different spin to it.”

For now, she is enjoying her life as it is. Her most notable voice-over work is for Hulu’s “Trollstopia’ where she voices country troll Holly Darlin.

“We just dropped the final season,” she said. “It’s sad that this version is over. I’m hoping they do another show within the franchise.”

She said she will also do some secondary voices on “Trollstopia” and her 8-year-old Viola will try to guess if it’s her. “Sometimes she’ll think it’s somebody else when it’s actually me,” she said. “That’s when I know I did a great job!”

Hilty has done several events in Atlanta over the years, often corporate gigs. She recalls doing one for Coca-Cola at the Georgia Aquarium. “I got to sing to the whale sharks!” she said. “It was crazy.”

IF YOU GO

Megan Hilty “Broadway in the Woods”

7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, $150-$200. The Inn at Serenbe Pavilion, 10950 Hutchesons Ferry Road, Chattahoochee Hills. eventbrite.com

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