By Sandi Durell
If you’re fortunate enough to attend a Melissa Errico concert, then you can truly understand the meaning of the term genuine! Yes, she’s the real thing wrapped up in a total package of beauty both inside and out. And that is only the beginning of what was a riveting, emotionally heartwarming and witty night of song written by the master, Stephen Sondheim, and brought to life by a great interpreter of his work. The true mark of a prodigious songwriter and storyteller (Ms. Errico) is the ability to touch every emotional chord. . . fulfilled and surpassed by each.
Broadway’s Living Room (Feinstein’s/54 Below) was jam packed with fans, friends and special family members (Mom, Dad, Brother, Husband and kids) on opening night November 1st to hear the loving and nuanced vocals of Melissa Errico, in celebration of her CD Sondheim Sublime; that warm, gentle purr of vibrato that invades her exquisite delivery ever present.
Winding her way through the audience to acknowledge many, she reached the stage and hit the ground running into “Sooner or Later” followed by a very personal and expressive “Loving You,” moving into a slow bossa arrangement of the wistful “I Remember” (Evening Primrose).
Ms. Errico engages, grabs and holds no matter what Sondheim song falls from her lips – – “Losing My Mind,” “Send in the Clowns,” “Marry Me a Little” . . . she’s in the moment – honest and open with appropriate charm or passion or excitement bringing her own brand of humor, astuteness and playfulness (“Isn’t He Something”).
Stories abound about the meaning of “Sublime” (check out the 17th Century Rebbe Zelman), to emails to and from Sondheim who is a master at qualifying what he says . . . like a comma. Furthering her accomplishments, Ms. Errico has already written several articles for the New York Times (a new budding career?). And, boy, is she smart!
With the indefatigable or as he’s referred to – the human orchestra, Tedd Firth on the ivories, and Phil Palombi on bass together with the artful hands of Rex Benencasa on percussion (noticeable subtle drum brushes), and under the direction of Robbie Rozelle, the picture was complete.
Giving her audience insight into the many roles she’s played on and off Broadway (Sunday in the Park with George, Passion, Do I Hear a Waltz?, Finian’s Rainbow…), Melissa Errico continues to fill her musical canvas with numerous Seurat-like dots from a multi colored palette and it’s . . . Sublime!
Photos: Magda Katz
Video: Jacob Hiss
Melissa Errico Sings Sondheim – Feinstein’s/54 Below 254 West 54 St (Cellar) NYC
www.54Below.com 646 476-3551 thru November 3 at 7 pm