Actress, Dancer, Choreographer
A CRITIC REMINISCES
To say I have known Hilary Hirsch forever, is actually to say I have known her ever since I have been in the Valley.
My first job here was as entertainment editor at the Scottsdale Daily Progress. The publisher was Jonathan Marshall, who also was one of the greatest supporters of the arts the Valley has known.
When Scottsdale Community Players, hearing that I had been schooled as a director, approached me to helm the troupe’s 1978 production of Brigadoon, Mr. Marshall not only gave his permission, he actively encouraged me to take on the task.
Enter Hilary. She was cast as Maggie, the Scottish lass who loves Harry Beaton, who, alas, loves another woman in their village. Maggie has one of the musical’s show-stopping numbers – the dance she performs at Harry’s funeral. The original choreographer, Agnes deMille, considered it to be her finest piece of work for the production. Need I say that Hilary brought audiences to their feet and tears to their eyes.
Brigadoon was the first and only time that I directed in the Valley. After that, I became a critic and it would have been a conflict of interest. That didn’t keep an admiration society from forming between me and Tink, as Hilary is known to her friends. I have been privileged to witness her brilliant performances as an actress, dancer and choreographer.
But, in my heart, she will always be Maggie, who broke my heart in every rehearsal with her poignant dancing. First impressions, like first loves, are hard to shake.
NOTE from Hilary, April 10, 2014
JANUARY 2008 “Oklahoma!” Fountain Hills Theatre. Produced by Steve Mancarella and Patty Torrilhon. Directed by Peter Hill. Choreography by Noel Irick. Musical Direction by Debra Jo Davey. Cast: Laura Behnke, Mark Burkett, Megan Collins, Ross Collins, Matt Earnest, Megan Engler, Chris Fidler, Alex Gonzalez, Ted Hance, Jessica Herrmann, Hilary Hirsch, Kara Keosky-Smith, Stefan Linder, Kyle Link, Megan McCoy, Matt Mcdonald, Marsha Orson, Amy Powers, Molly Stellino, Roy Tomkus and Kay Watkins.
1978 “Brigadoon,” Scottsdale Community Players. Director: Kyle Lawson. Choreographer: Lesley Collis. Music Director: Joshua Missal. Cast: Richard Fink, Marlene Saens, Paty Lombard, Jerry Hansen, Noel Irick, Larry Collis, Sheldon Simon, Hilary Hirsch, Mark Henle, Margie Ghigo, Jim Servis.