Melissa Errico: Out of the Dark

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Melissa Errico

Out of the Dark

Feinstein’s/54 Below, NYC, February 19, 2022

Reviewed by Ron Forman

Melissa Errico

The songs, including some new ones especially written for the recording, were all performed in a dramatic fashion that created the desired atmosphere. She also included funny anecdotes, as when she described film femme fatale Lauren Bacall telling her “You can become a star. All you need is a scandal.” She was backed by a six-piece band led by music director Tedd Firth, whose arrangements added to the desired mood. When appropriate, she was accompanied only by Firth on piano.

Errico opened with a jazzy “It Was Written in the Stars” (Harold Arlen/Leo Robin). She then told a story, as if written by Raymond Chandler, about her fantasy of being a chanteuse in a 1940s saloon. Snuggling next to Firth on the piano bench, she performed a very seductive “Angel Eyes” (Earl Brent/Matt Dennis). She included “With Every Breath I Take” (Cy Coleman/David Zippel) from the noir musical City of Angels, followed by a truly haunting “Haunted Heart” (Howard Dietz/Arthur Schwartz). Picking up a cocktail to further the atmosphere, she sang “Laura” (David Raksin/Johnny Mercer) to a slightly Latin beat. She recalled the 1975 film Farewell, My Lovely and sang the “Marlowe’s Theme” by David Shire with lyrics added by New Yorker author Adam Gopnik. After mentioning that Oscar Levant was noirish before there was film noir, she performed a very dramatic, beautifully sung “Blame It on My Youth,” which Levant wrote in 1934 with lyric by Edward Heyman. She closed with another new song, “Shadows and Light” (Shire/Gopnik). Her encore, “Again” (Dorcas Cochran/Lionel Newman), a personal favorite of mine and introduced in the 1948 film Road House, was performed exquisitely, ending the show with the words “Never, Never, Never Again.”

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.