"For years I walked by this place and saw the fancy people here and dreamed about the day I'd be that fancy person," Megan Hilty said while performing at the Cafe Carlyle May 27. "Tonight, I fooled them!"
Opening with Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman's "They Just Keep Moving the Line" from the Broadway-themed TV show "Smash," Hilty then performed "Bye Bye Baby," her audition song for for the NBC series, followed by a duet of "Almost Like Being In Love/This Can't Be Love," which she performed with her husband, Brian Gallagher, who accompanied her on guitar.
"I met the man of my dreams at a gym, and then we got married in Vegas — because we're classy," Hilty said while introducing Gallagher to the audience. He then joked, "When you meet at a gym, where else do you get married?" Hilty offered a slow and moving rendition of "Heart of the Matter" from her album "It Happens All The Time," followed by a brassy and upbeat "Someone to Watch Over Me."
Mentioning her collaborations with New York Pops music director Steven Reineke, Hilty performed a touching rendition of "Autumn Leaves/When October Goes," in an arrangement by Reineke. She dueted with pianist Matt Cusson on "You Don't Know Me" before returning to songs from "Smash" and singing "That's Life." Reminiscing about her time on the show, Hilty delivered a heartfelt rendition of "Second Hand White Baby Grand," while explaining the story behind Marilyn Monroe's piano and her research into Monroe's life, adding that Mariah Carey now owns Monroe's piano, a fact she learned while watching "Cribs."
Hilty then explored "The Man That Got Away" before telling the audience, "I only have one more song before I pretend I don't have two more songs for you." She then launched into a vivacious performance of "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend," which she sang in summer 2012 while starring in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes at City Center.
"Goodbye! I don't have any more songs!" Hilty joked before returning to the stage to deliver "Get Happy" and "The Rainbow Connection," which she asked an audience member to film for a movie she and Gallagher are preparing for their daughter.
Hilty was accompanied by Cusson (music director/piano), Gallagher (guitar), Ryan Hoagland (percussion) and Dennis Keefe (bass).
Hilty performs through June 7 at the Carlyle. Visit rosewoodhotels.com for more information.