'Smash' actress to star in 'Blondes'

Actress Megan Hilty is developing a Marilyn habit: Thesp, who stars in the upcoming NBC skein “Smash” as the wannabe star of a Marilyn Monroe musical, will appear this spring in the Encores! staging of “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.”

In the semi-staged concert perf of the 1949 tuner, Hilty will play dumb blonde Lorelei Lee, the role that helped make Monroe a screen icon in the 1953 movie version of the title. Based on Anita Loos’ 1925 novel, storyline centers on Lorelei and her best friend as they embark on a trip to Europe.

Helmed by John Rando (“Urinetown”) and choreographed by Randy Skinner (“42nd Street”), “Blondes” will be the third and final offering in the 2012 Encores lineup. Later this month the series begins perfs of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s “Merrily We Roll Along,” starring Lin-Manuel Miranda, to be followed by a March run of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Pipe Dream.”

Broadway regular Hilty played the Dolly Parton role in the tuner version of “9 to 5″ and also has appeared in “Wicked” on the Rialto, in L.A. and on tour.

The annual Encores! series of limited-run concert stagings has yielded a handful of Broadway transfers, including the long-running revival of “Chicago” as well as “Wonderful Town,” “The Apple Tree” and “Finian’s Rainbow.”

“Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” runs for seven perfs May 9-13, with further casting to be announced.

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