How To Be a Millionaire
Odd-299.jpgThe ODD: Hugh in tie, Bruce Barrett, Ed Breckenfeld, Jo Jackson and John Forrest.
The road to How To Be a Millionaire: Hugh dragged an upright piano from a neighborhood bar and taught himself piano in his teens, then formed a the piano-and-jokes quartet Huge Hart.

The band's whimsical rock stylings attracted the attention of Alaric Jans (House of Games Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?) who invited Hugh to contribute songs to an episode of Captain Marbles' Acting Squad. The children's musical series, directed by Robert Falls, scripted by William H. Macy debuted at David Mamet's now-defunct St. Nicholas Theatre Company. Chicago Department for Cultural Affairs' Store Front Theater staged a revival in December 2008.

Hired as a composer for Chicago's Artists-In-Residence program, Hugh wrote musical comedies, scored a "Comedy of Errors" production staged at Navy Pier and performed a two-person cabaret act called "Hugo and Me."

Branching into rock and roll, Hugh switched to guitar and formed The Odd, followed by Planet Hugh and Magnificent Seven.

In 1994, he put together Wedge with ace guitarist J.D. Dragus, formerly of the Wildroot, drummer Jeff Thomas, and bassist Harrison Robinson (Vanessa Davis Band).

Hugh at the piano in 2009.

Wedge tightened up at Double Door, Lounge Ax and other top Chicago clubs, then recorded 11 songs at Rax Trax Record. The self-titled CD, which made CMJ's Top Ten Most Added Album list in April 1996. and earned rave reviews from The Chicago Reader, College Music Journal and others.

Hugh later performed acoustic gigs with with critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Doug Hoekstra at the legendary Bluebird Cafe in Nashville.

Shortly before moving west Hugh recorded his 11-song solo debut Work Songs. Produced at Rax Trax Studios, the CD features guest turns by some of Chicago's finest singers and guitar slingers backing up Hugh on vocals, harmonica and keyboards.

After arriving in Los Angeles, Hugh wrote the musical - in - search - of - a book - writer Code. Inspired by a year of corporate drudgery at the Tribune Company, the song cycle was recorded at Russian composer Alex Kharlamov.

Hugh then discovered Garageband and produced the songs that would become How to Be a Millionaire.