megan hilty

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Broadway Stars Unite For Orlando Charity Single

In: Donovan, Music
broadway-for-orlando

Broadway’s biggest stars came together to support the LGBT+ community in the aftermath of the Orlando mass shooting. They recorded a cover of Hal David and Burt Bacharach’s 1965 hit “What The World Needs Now Is Love,” with all proceeds going to the LGBT Center of Central Florida. Since its release, it’s already topped the iTunes chart.

“All of us in the Broadway community are deeply saddened by the senseless tragedy that occurred in Orlando in the early morning hours of June 12th,” they say in a video. “We send our love and support and thoughts and prayers to everyone impacted by this act of violence and hate. This terrible cycle of violence and intolerance must end. We want to put out as much love into the world as we can because only love can conquer hate. Love must prevail.”

The charity single features Kristen Bell, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Idina Menzel, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sara Bareilles, Whoopi Goldberg, Gloria Estefan, Carole King, Zachary Levi, Audra McDonald, Rosie O’Donnell, Sean Hayes, Matthew Broderick, Jane Krakowski, Sutton Foster and more.

On last night’s episode of Maya & Marty, several dozen of them appeared to deliver a live performance. Sadly, not everyone could make it. Maya Rudolph and Martin Short, who don’t appear on the official recording, helped out and joined along. Check out the studio recording version below, along with the Maya & Marty performance.

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first-wives-club-sequel

Fans have long waited for a sequel to The First Wives Club. Sadly, that never happened, nor do I think it ever well. TV Land’s television series is, I suppose, some sort of consolation prize.

The network’s adaptation will more or less follow the film but with some minor changes. The three women will still reunite at their college friend’s funeral, but instead of their friend committing suicide, she’ll die from a freak accident. Also, New York City will be swapped out for San Francisco.

The first two actresses starring in the remake have just been announced. Find out who below.

find out who’s attached after the jump

Sean Hayes (Will & Grace) makes a return to comedy this fall in Sean Saves The World. Whether he saves the world remains to be seen. For right now, he’s saving one of his former Smash co-stars from the unemployment line. Sadly, the new gig is a double-edge sword. Good news is any paying gig is a good gig. Bad news, it’s a comedy on NBC which means no one will probably watch it and most likely get canceled. Hayes’ sitcom is a strong contender to be offed early.

On his new show, Hayes’ character attempts to both parent the teenage daughter who just moved in and appease a temperamental new boss. This Smash alum will play Liz, the best friend and co-worker of Sean’s. In the pilot, Lindsay Sloane played the part, but is now being replaced. Find out by whom below.

find out who after the jump

2013 Tony Awards: Watch The Performances

In: Donovan, The Arts, TV Shows

It was all razzle and dazzle last night in New York City for the Tony Awards. Neil Patrick Harris returned for a fourth time to host the annual event celebrating the best on Broadway. Leading the pack was the Cyndi Lauper-Harvey Fierstein collaboration Kinky Boots which walked away with six awards, including best musical, best original score (Lauper) and best leading man (Billy Porter).

Speaking of Porter, his win was part of a historic night for African-American actors, who took three out of the four acting awards. Patina Miller and Cicely Tyson won for Pippin and The Trip to Bountiful respectively. Tyson returned to Broadway after a 30 year absence. It was the 79-year-old’s first Tony win. Not only did she look fantastic, but she delivered an elegantly poised heartwarming speech. Love this woman.

Other big winners of the night were Matilda the Musical and Pippin which won four awards apiece. Christopher Durang’s comical Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike won the best play Tony.

As you would expect, the telecast featured some amazing musical numbers. This year’s batch included ones from Motown the Musical, Bring It On The Musical, Pippin, Matilda The Musical and of course Kinky Boots to name a few. The cast of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella performed “Impossible.” As good as that number was, the song (for me) will forever be associated with Brandy and Whitney Houston. Loved their duet on the Disney musical from eons ago.

The highlight for me though was one that featured actors from recently canceled NBC shows performing with Harris. Andrew Rannells (The New Normal), Laura Benanti (Go On) and Megan Hilty (Smash) hilariously sang/talked about their failed Hollywood projects. Definitely a must-see. Check out all the memorable performances from last night below.

watch all the performances after the jump

Watch Liza Minnelli On Smash

In: Donovan, TV Shows

Smash is pretty much the equivalent of Sean Penn in Dead Man Walking. It’s only a matter of time til NBC puts it out of its misery. They might as well make it official. The peacock network banished the musical to Saturday nights and the show’s stars including Debra Messing have started landing roles in pilots.

The eventual cancellation of Smash won’t be due to lack of effort. New showrunner Josh Safran certainly pulled out all the stops for Season 2. He wrote off several hated characters, most notably Ellis (Jaime Cepero), and gave Julia (Debra Messing) a brand new scarf-free look. He also enticed several high-profile names to guest star on the show including Jennifer Hudson, Sean Hayes and Jesse L. Martin. Even with that, Smash quickly crashed in the ratings. If Hudson’s heavily-promoted stint couldn’t bring in the ratings, I highly doubt Liza Minnelli can, especially now that it’s on Saturday night.

NBC just debuted a clip featuring Minnelli’s guest spot. She appears as herself singing a duet with Tom (Christian Borle). Together, they serenade Ivy (Megan Hilty) at a New York lounge. Snagging a film and Broadway legend is a major coup. Sadly, it won’t bring back Smash to life. Get your sneak peek at Liza below. Her episode airs this Saturday night.

watch it after the jump

Poor Smash. Even with Jennifer Hudson, better storylines and no Ellis (Jaime Cepero), the ratings are sucking big time. It truly is a shame because Season 2 is so much better than the musical show’s freshman year. Much of that is due to the addition of Jeremy Jordan. The Broadway star (Newsies) has a killer voice and is pretty easy on the eyes. Imagine my jubilation when I came across a video of him performing a duet with another Broadway favorite.

Jordan recently participated in a fundraiser where he covered one of Smash‘s signature tracks- “Let Me Be Your Star.” If you watch the show, you’ll fondly remember it from the pilot originally sung by Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty. Jeremy enlisted Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakening) to join him on the tune. He jokingly referred to Jonathan as his professional nemesis since Groff frequently beats him for jobs. The two slay “Let Me Be Your Star” and even don blond wigs during it. They may sound great, but they make for some fugly Marilyn Monroes.

Speaking of Monroe, Megan Hilty who vied hardcore to score the lead in the show’s musical Bombshell releases her debut album, It Happens All The Time, this week. The 31-year-old Broadway vet recently unveiled the lyric video for the lead cut, “No Cure.” Her debut effort fresh interpretations of compositions by contemporary songwriters as Aimee Mann, Sara Bareilles, Bruno Mars, Damien Rice and Taylor Swift. Listen to “No Cure” below, along with Jordan and Groff’s duet.

watch the videos after the jump

Can we just officially rename the show to Smash featuring Jennifer Hudson? With the amount of hoopla and attention regarding the addition of Hudson, it only makes sense. I admit, I’m giving the NBC musical show a second shot solely due to the Weight Watchers spokesperson. I even watched Dreamgirls again the other day to get ready for Smash’s Season 2 premiere on February 5.

During NBC’s TCA press tour, the cast and producers took to the stage to face the music. Many of the questions asked by television critics revolved around the changes in store for viewers now that Smash has a new showrunner. Josh Safran (Gossip Girl) promised more music and less scarves. LOL. Regarding the latter, Debra Messing’s wardrobe was the subject of a lot of Twitter hate.

“I think it’s (still) ‘Smash’: I don’t think it’s changed that much. Stuff from last year that you loved is still there, and maybe stuff people thought went off on tangents we’ve looked at (and) sort of tried to find a way to put back together. – Safran

Messing’s neckwear might be gone and so are four original characters including the much reviled Ellis (Jamie Cepero), but he may not be gone forever. On the second episode of Season 2, Ellis is heard on a phone call. Does that mean, we might see the scheming character pop up in person later in the season? Fingers crossed, he does and a spotlight lands on that curly haired head of his 😉 Check out the newest trailer of Smash below. There’s even more J-Hud fabulousness than before.

check out the new trailer after the jump

If the Smash thing doesn’t work out for the ladies, someone needs to cast this lovely trio for a musical incarnation of Charlie’s Angels. Can’t you just picture them parading around in glittery dresses belting out tunes while solving Broadway-related crimes? I can 😉 Can’t be worse than ABC’s failed reboot of the iconic 70s series last year.

Entertainment Weekly tapped Katharine McPhee, Megan Hilty and Jennifer Hudson for their Winter Television Preview issue. Say what you will about American Idol being irrelevant, but the show does discover and create stars. Pretty amazing that two alums were picked to grace the cover instead of a long list of other stars including Oscar and Emmy winners. Check out more photos of each of the ladies below.

check out more photos after the jump

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