Megan Hilty joins Steven Reinecke and the National Symphony Orchestra Pops this week in "Luck Be a Lady," a concert dedicated to the music of Frank Sinatra and his contemporaries. This is the third visit to Washington by the singer/actress, who became an instant star this past year in NBC's "Smash," which will start its second season on Feb. 6 with a two-hour special. Even though Hilty held sway on Broadway as Glinda the Good Witch in "Wicked" and as Doralee Rhodes in "9 to 5: The Musical," it was not until her portrayal of Ivy Lyn on the small screen that strangers began to recognize her on the street.

After singing at the Fourth of July concert on the Mall, the avid animal lover and owner of two Jack Russell terriers appeared at the National Humane Society's Bark Ball. She will soon return to D.C. for the fourth time to perform at the White House Christmas concert. That venue has been high on her wish list since meeting President Obama and former President Clinton at "Barack on Broadway," the all-star benefit for the Obama Victory Fund held at New York's New Amsterdam Theatre. Hilty was a featured artist at the event, along with Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Angela Lansbury and others,

"The songs I'm singing at the Kennedy Center are perfect with their great storytelling and sounds that take me back home," Hilty said. "One with special meaning for me is 'Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend,' which I'll sing with all the encores. It utilizes everything we love and remember about Marilyn Monroe, who is the focus of my role in 'Smash.' "

'Luck Be a Lady: Megan Hilty Sings Sinatra and More'
Where: Kennedy Center Concert Hall, 2700 F St. NW
When: 1:30 and 8 p.m. Friday, 8 p.m. Saturday
Info: $20 to $85; 202-467-4600; 800-444-1324;

Hilty began rehearsing for that show with no expectations, so she was surprised and thrilled when the series became a true "smash." Lyn, the character she plays, is vying with another singer for the lead in a Broadway show about Monroe. After evolving somewhat during season one, Ivy will remain the same person, Hilty promises, while dealing with personal and professional challenges.

Soon after graduating from the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama, Hilty went to New York and made her debut in "Wicked" as the standby for Glinda. Soon afterward, she took over the role on Broadway, before playing it on the first national tour of the show and then reprising it in the Los Angeles staged production.

"I hope the Kennedy Center audience will love the music I'm singing with the NSO Pops as much as I do. If they only have seen me on 'Smash,' they will view a different side of me onstage."