Known for playing Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady on Broadway, and Cosette in the US National Tour of Les Miserables, Melissa Errico is the latest Broadway star to join Seth Rudetsky in the Seth Concert Series, which has moved online during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Through Seth’s famous anecdotes we discovered that it was a wardrobe malfunction on stage during the short-lived musical version of Anna Karenina that landed Errico the role in My Fair Lady. With Eliza being such a prominent role for Errico, it was ‘oh so loverly’ to hear her sing one of the most well-known songs from that musical, before transitioning into another Julie Andrews classic, My Favourite Things from The Sound of Music.
The marvellous thing about Seth’s Concert Series is that it is all completely live and the laid-back atmosphere means that just about anything can happen, when Rudetsky learned that Kristin Chenoweth was watching, he dialled her in on Facetime to hit a signature high note.
Errico’s superb mezzo-soprano voice was shown off with ‘That’s Him’ from her Lucille Lortel Award winning role of Venus in One Touch of Venus. Melissa also originated the role of Isabelle in the Michel Legrand’s Amour (which tragically closed early at The Charing Cross Theatre in London last year) and so were treated to a performance of ‘Other People’s Stories’ along with some backstage anecdotes. Proving her versatility, Errico treated the audience to another Legrand number, ‘Once Upon a Summertime’ from the original ‘La valse des lilas’ sung partly in French.
A particular highlight of this concert saw Errico sing ‘Blackberry Winter’ chosen due to her upcoming recording project Two Spring Songs for Summer. To be released on 10th July, it features new recordings of two classic songs, Alec Wilder’s ‘Blackberry Winter’ and Michel Legrand’s ‘You Must Believe In Spring’. On a similar strand Errico also gave a stunning rendition of Randy Newman’s ‘When She Loved Me’ which will be a firm favourite of all Toy Story fans.
Errico’s interpretations of Sondheim songs are renowned, and her 2018 album Sondheim Sublime was received with critical acclaim, so it was quite the treat for the concert to end with ‘Everybody Loves Louis’ from Sunday in the Park With George and the wonderful ‘Losing My Mind’ from Follies.
In the absence of live theatre, these concerts are both intimate portraits of Broadway stars and delightful reminisces of musical theatre classics, and with Melissa Errico’s impressive back catalogue of roles there was plenty to explore, which meant that for this concert in particular, I could have danced all night.