Melissa Errico: Funny! I’m a Woman with Children

| April 5, 2016

Melissa Errico

Funny! I’m a Woman with Children

Feinstein’s/54 Below, NYC, April 1, 2016

Reviewed by Elizabeth Ahlfors for Cabaret Scenes

Melissa-Errico-Cabaret-Scenes-Magazine_212At Feinstein’s/54Below, Melissa Errico admitted, “I’m a gal who likes questions,” and her first question to the audience was “Do you like my dress?” From that point on, she was off with songs and a rapid, chatty patter centering on her personal life with tennis player Patrick McEnroe, their three children and her musical career. Beginning with James Taylor’s “The Secret o’ Life,” her selections brought a melodic shading to the personal focus of the show, finding the truth in Taylor’s line, “It’s just a lovely ride.”

While her patter sometimes sidetracked, it succeeded setting up an eclectic lineup selections from the pop and musical theater worlds. Remembering a vacation in Cancun, she paired “Shy” (cut from My Fair Lady‘s score by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe) with a lovely rendition of “Ribbons Down My Back” (Jerry Herman from Hello Dolly!). Errico has a lyric soprano voice with a light tremolo at the end of long, effortless lines, which was artfully illustrated in a tender segment about falling in love with her husband. She opened with Ewan MacCall’s, “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” and segued into Stephen Sondheim’s “Marry Me a Little” (cut from the original production of Company).  That pairing was followed by “The Way He Makes Me Feel” (Michel Legrand/Alan and Marilyn Bergman from Yentl).

Directed by Robbie Rozelle, Errico was accompanied by pianist Tedd Firth, who is proof that often less is more. At one point, her brother, guitarist Michael Errico, joined in as they recalled her soft rock CD, Blue Like That. She performed the title song, playfully adding a tambourine.

Legrand and the Bergmans contributed “Something New in My Life” to reflect Errico’s new motherhood, and the highlights of the show were her beautifully shaded theater songs, “Children Will Listen” (Sondheim) and Jason Robert Brown’s “Always Better” (The Bridges of Madison County). With a coy hint of an upcoming appearance in the Encores! production of Do I Hear a Waltz? (Richard Rodgers/Stephen Sondheim), she delivered the title song with the joy and effervescence that make her one of the theater’s top musical delights.

The search goes on, but Melissa Errico is determined to enjoy the passage of time and share that secret through her silvery voice.

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Category: Cabaret Reviews, New York City, New York City Cabaret Reviews, Regional

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The album is a winner.