Megan Hilty’s A Merry Little Christmas Show At Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater
I never really know what to say about a cabaret style show. I’m a theatre guy. I know how to talk about a performance in connection to a musical story line: whether it feels real and honest, whether it moves me, angers me, upsets me, or engages me, in service of the intention needed at any given moment within a musical. But in terms of a concert, I don’t know how to talk about a singer, her voice, or a show.
This is perhaps the third or fourth cabaret show I’ve seen since I started writing my review blog in the Spring of 2015: Patti Lupone, Alice Ripley (twice), and Emily Skinner, all at the wonderful 54 Below. So bear with me as I attempt to write about the lovely night I spent at Joe’s Pub with the delightful (and very pregnant) Megan Hilty. Joyful is the first word that comes to mind (you can read my review of Hilty in City Center’s Encore production of Annie Get Your Gun – https://frontmezzjunkies.com/2015/10/29/annie-get-your-gun-and-your-guy-and-get-you-to-broadway/ – also ‘joyful’).
Hilty, one of the great voices of the Broadway stage, presents us with a lovely night of Christmas cheer. Singing mostly holiday fare from her similarly titled album, A Merry Little Christmas, she is both captivating and charming. Funny and gifted. Her voice is powerful, versatile, and pure. Her range and soaring intensity: dazzling. She is both sweet and saucy. She sings numerous standards and wonderfully fun mashups of classics with a few wonderful Broadway tunes thrown in from her greats, Wicked and Smash/Bombshell. There is a perfect duet, ‘Suddenly Seymour’ from Little Shop of Horrors with her talented guitar playing husband, Brian G. Gallagher, and two spectacular duets with the piano playing uber-talented performer, Matt Cusson. Their rendition of ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’, made my night. Adorable. Especially after having a pre show dinner conversation about that song being the ultimate creepy Christmas date song, it was performed not so much a duet, but a trio as husband, Gallagher, found himself chiming in hilariously. I want to personally thank Hilty for introducing me to both of these talented (and handsome) performers. What a Christmas treat. Just like this evening. And I have to say, your final ‘final’ song, made me the happiest soul as I left Joe’s Pub. Thanks for the signed copy of your album. What a great way to start up this holiday season.