Megan Hilty Talks ‘Smash’ Season 2, Singing for the Obamas

            Will Season 2 of “Smash” bring back the magic of the NBC musical series’ early days?  “We’re over half way through shooting, and there are so many things happening this season, I think everyone is going to be pleasantly surprised,” says Megan Hilty.

Yes, she is back as the luckless Broadway star wannabe Ivy Lynn, who was last seen dumping a bottle of pills into her hand backstage while her rival (Katharine McPhee) basked in the spotlight in the Bombshell musical’s Marilyn Monroe role that once belonged to her.

In the season commencing in February “There’s a completely new musical turning up alongside Bombshell, so there’s that and all the drama that comes up along with that,” notes Hilty.  “And we have all new characters who represent completely different storylines.”  Stars who’ll be seen in Season 2 include Jennifer Hudson, Sean Hayes, Jesse L. Martin and Liza Minnelli.

And Ivy?  “Well, she’s on her own path. She’s definitely trying to get her life in order both personally and professionally, but she’s still Ivy Lynn at the core. She’s still trying to make some big changes,” Hilty says.

Of course, playing Ivy Lynn is more fun than being Ivy Lynn, with all her desperation and her struggles, her pill popping, her sleeping with the director to no avail, her superstar mother who goes out of her way to point out her inferiority and so on. “I love Ivy.  I’m the luckiest, getting to play her.  What I’d like to see happen for her — I

just want her to get something she can enjoy and not feel threatened about, even just for a minute,” she says with a laugh.  “You can take it away from her later.”

Meanwhile, the multi-talented beauty, who rose to her own Broadway fame as Glinda in Wicked and Doralee in 9 to 5: The Musical, has been having a blast doing holiday engagements — especially singing for the President and his family.  Hilty is among the stars in the “Christmas in Washington” benefit concert that will be aired on TNT Dec. 21.

“I remember last year watching it and thinking how beautiful a program it is.  I was so excited when they asked me to be part of it,” says Hilty.  She sings “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” on the special, hosted by Conan O’Brien, that also includes Diana Ross, Scotty McCreery, Demi Lovato and “Gangnam Style” South Korean singer Psy.