Melissa Errico: Melissa Errico Sings Sondheim

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Melissa Errico

Melissa Errico Sings Sondheim

Feinstein’s/54 Below, NYC, November 2, 2018

Reviewed by Ron Forman for Cabaret Scenes

Melissa Errico

Melissa Errico has that very rare combination of beauty, humor, graceful motion on stage and, of course, the marvelous sound of her voice. I have been a fan since first seeing her star in Finian’s Rainbow, and she continues to grow as a cabaret performer. She shows great confidence on stage and her off-the cuff-remarks are often hilariously funny. She has a lovely soprano sound, and her voice rises to the occasion without ever becoming shrill. Her show celebrated the release of her CD Sondheim Sublime, and she performed the songs from the CD in the order in which they appear it. Her love of Sondheim’s work comes through in every song, and her excellent enunciation makes each of Sondheim’s lyrics especially meaningful.

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Errico met Sondheim when she was performing in Do I Hear a Waltz? After seeing her perform, he told her “You were wonderful (pause)  most of the time.” Errico followed that anecdote by saying “Sondheim’s songs are wonderful (pause) most of the time.” From her opening number “Sooner or Later” to the closing medley “Goodbye for Now”/“With So Little to Be Sure Of” the songs and performances of them were mostly wonderful.

Her Broadway acting experience came through on an especially dramatic “No More.” She convinced me that she was losing her mind in her superfast “Losing My Mind.” She ended her soft and beautiful performance of “Send in the Clowns” with a long pause, that preceded the thunderous applause that followed.

Sondheim has said that life is a struggle between duty and desire, and this was shown in her medley “Not a Day Goes By”/“Marry Me a Little.” In an email to her, Sondheim requested that she sing “Isn’t He Something.” Her performance of it struck a chord an my heart.
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After quoting Sondheim again saying “The only two things that are immortal are children and art,” her encore was a soft and slow “Children and Art,” ending in a whisper.

Ron Forman

Ron Forman has been a Mathematics Professor at Kingsborough Community College for 45 years. In that time, he has managed to branch out in many different areas. From 1977 to 1994 he was co-owner of Comics Unlimited, the third largest comic book distribution company in the USA. In 1999,after a lifetime of secretly wanting to do a radio program, he began his weekly Sweet Sounds program on WKRB 90.3 FM, dedicated to keeping the music of the Great American Songbook alive and accessible. This introduced him to the world of cabaret, which led to his position as a reviewer for Cabaret Scenes.