Southeast Texas is about to experience the unique talents of one of America’s supreme songstresses; Melissa Errico. Melissa Errico is a woman of stage, screen, and song—a great interpreter of classic musicals and modern music alike, as well as a sparkling writer, recording artist, and film/television actress.
Few singers have had the blessings of Stephen Sondheim, Michel Legrand, and other artists of popular music that led to such notoriety. Major newspapers such as the NY Times and The Wall Street Journal have deemed her recordings of such composers as the finest interpreter of Sondheim’s music.
Yet, to rest on such laurels would miss her other accomplishments such as TV appearances, a Tony Award nomination for her Broadway appearance in Amour, performances in My Fair Lady, Dracula, and other Sondheim shows. Along with her many appearances singing and playing Sondheim, she is also closely associated with the music of Michel Legrand—having starred in his sole Broadway show, Amour, she was asked to write his eulogy by The New York Times and was then invited to become the sole American performer to participate in the extraordinary two-day memorial to Legrand held in April 2019 at Paris’s Le Grand Rex Theatre.
Tonight’s concert will be akin to a musical travelog with stories of featured composers, famous and cherished music, and the musical stories behind their creations. “Blindingly glamorous…she delivers Broadway and movie songs with a whopping authority. She can take a Broadway ballad to the moon and back!”— Stephen Holden, The New York Times
S.L. Greenberg, in memory of Natalie Greenberg
“The Maria Callas of American musical theater,” as Opera News has called her, referencing both her silken voice and dramatic, expressive intensity, Melissa Errico is an actress, singer, and author. First known for her starring roles on Broadway, she has since become a concert, cabaret and recording artist as well; her 2018 album Sondheim Sublime was called by The Wall Street Journal “The best all-Sondheim album ever recorded.” Along with her many appearances singing and playing Sondheim, she is also closely associated with the music of Michel Legrand—having starred in his sole Broadway show, Amour, she was asked to write his eulogy by The New York Times, and was then invited to become the sole American performer to participate in the extraordinary two-day memorial to Legrand held in April 2019 at Paris’s Le Grand Rex Theatre, work that led one critic to announce that, “Errico is, and will continue to be, the premier interpreter of the musical legacy of Michel Legrand.” Her album of Legrand’s music, Legrand Affair Deluxe Edition, appeared in 2019.
In the past few years her gifts and ambitions as a writer have become increasingly expressed, with a series of much-talked-of essays in The New York Times, touching, with wit, wisdom and insider mischief, on the many unseen aspects of the theatrical profession, from the pleasures and pains of being a “terminal ingenue” to the ambiguities of auditioning to the sheer pleasure of being fitted for a costume, post-pandemic. She is currently at work on a memoir that will include and expand on these “Scenes from An Acting Life”, as the Times, in a rubric specially invented for her work, calls them.
Melissa Errico is a Tony Award-nominated Broadway star—an actor, singer and author — who contributes regularly to The New York Times in an essay series called “Scenes From An Acting Life.” The Wall Street Journal recently referred to her as a “nonpareil cabaret singer.”
As a musical theater actress, she starred on Broadway in such musicals as My Fair Lady where The New York Times called her Eliza Doolittle “beguiling,” Anna Karenina, High Society as Tracy Lord, Amour (Tony-nominated for Best Actress), Dracula, White Christmas in the Rosemary Clooney role of Betty, and as Cosette in Les Misérables. Melissa has maintained a constant TV presence throughout her career, starring in Darren Star’s Central Park West, steady guest roles, and most recently playing recurring roles on Showtime’s Billions and Cinemax’s The Knick. She appeared in featured films such as Frequency with Dennis Quaid, Life Or Something Like It as Angelina Jolie’s best friend, Loverboy directed by Kevin Bacon, and others. At The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, she starred in The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady with John Lithgow, and Camelot opposite Jeremy Irons, which they revived for one night on Broadway. She also starred in non-musical roles in such plays as The Importance of Being Earnest, Shaw’s Candida and Wally Shawn’s Aunt Dan and Lemon at The New Group.
Off-Broadway, she has performed the role of Sharon in Finian’s Rainbow three times (the subject of her debut essay for The New York Times), and starred in On A Clear Day You Can See Forever at The Irish Repertory Theatre to great acclaim. She has five Drama Desk nominations, a Lucille Lortel Award, two Helen Hayes nominations, four Drama League Honors, and a Tony Award nomination. She was honored with a Sardi’s caricature and also served a term on the National Endowment For The Arts.
Melissa has released several studio recordings including her debut on EMI Records produced by Arif Mardin entitled Blue Like That. Her 2018 album, Sondheim Sublime, was called by The Wall Street Journal “The best all-Sondheim album ever recorded,” and led to sold-out concert dates around the country–from Ravinia to Caramoor and Wolftrap–and in London. She has sung many concerts (of Sondheim music as well as other repertoire such as Rodgers & Hammerstein, Scott Frankel, film evenings with Michael Feinstein, and more) at the 92nd Street Y, Birdland Jazz Club, Feinstein’s/54 Below, Joe’s Pub, Carnegie Hall, Town Hall and Lincoln Center’s Allen Room.
Errico’s history with Sondheim began when he selected her to star as Dot in Sunday In The Park With George at The Kennedy Center, then as Clara in Passion at Classic Stage Company, and then in the New York City Center Encores! production of Do I Hear A Waltz? In 2020, she sang “Children and Art” in the Sondheim 90th Birthday Concert Take Me To The World, and was featured on PBS television in a documentary special in which she sang “Finishing The Hat” and discussed Sondheim and his lyrics with Adam Gopnik and Raúl Esparza for Poetry in America.
In addition to Sondheim, nothing in her work has been more constant than her association with composer Michel Legrand. Having starred in his Broadway show, Amour, she went on to collaborate with him on the iconic album Legrand Affair. After his death in 2019, she was asked to write an extended eulogy in the The New York Times and then to expand it (in translation) for La Regle Du Jeu, an esteemed political and cultural magazine in Paris. Melissa was invited to be the sole American performer in the two-night musical memorial to Legrand held in April 2019 at Paris’s Le Grand Rex Theatre. At that time, Warner Music/Ghostlight Records reissued her symphonic album, which Legrand arranged and conducted, as Legrand Affair (Deluxe Edition).
The Wall Street Journal described her Michel Legrand tribute concert Amour & After; “One of the most moving and even thrilling cabaret shows I’ve ever seen. When Miss Errico sings the work of the late and much-missed Michel Legrand, you just want to climb up inside one of her songs and stay there for the rest of your life.”
At the height of the pandemic, Melissa was exceptionally busy, offering multiple live-streams and conversations and publishing essays for Variety, Playbill, The Purist Magazine, Theatermania and The New York Times. She taught master classes for students across the country and produced two IGTV series: The Honest Cook: Cooking and Mischief and How Do We Go On Singing?, which grew to fourteen 45-minute episodes consisting of interviews and performances in which she aimed to re-moralize the singing community with in-depth in conversations with professionals and educators. She offered remote solo concerts, including with Seth Rudetsky for Mercyhurst Institute and the full-scale live holiday special Season For Joy filmed with four cameras on stage at The Bay Street Theater, hailed as “all style, class and holiday spirit.” Melissa co-starred in a fully produced green screen musical of Meet Me in St. Louis for the Irish Repertory Theatre, which she chronicled in The New York Times. She had a 3-part livestream concert series with New York’s French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) Love, Desire & Mystery in collaboration with The New Yorker essayist Adam Gopnik, which is available on-demand. Of her work in this series, one critic said, “Melissa is piercing, probing, and at the absolute height of her vocal and interpretive powers. Errico here reaffirms her status as one of the most intuitive musical theatre actresses of her generation. There is seemingly no limit to Errico’s empathetic range.” (BroadwayWorld)
In 2021, she also taught masterclasses for CUNY and HB Studio, joined a forum on Women In Theater (hosted by New York Theatre Barn), and moderated a program about gender for an international conference for The American Songbook Foundation. She performed summer concerts in New Jersey, Connecticut, Provincetown, and more. She has written a play currently in development for The Irish Repertory Theatre and is working on a book expanding on her New York Times column–tentatively titled, “Terminal Ingenue.” An album titled Out Of The Dark: The Film Noir Project—inspired by the songs of film noir—is due February 2022.
She is married to Patrick McEnroe and they have three daughters and a Yorkie named Pepper.