Melissa Errico Sings Sondheim - New York City Article

Melissa Errico Sings Sondheim

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Melissa Errico Sings Sondheim

Published Oct 29, 2018
Updated Oct 31, 2018

Melissa Errico Sings Sondheim
Feinstein’s / 54 Below
254 West 54th St
Thursday November 1 through Saturday November 3

When Melissa Errico first announced a new all-Sondheim show (and a subsequent album) I was at first wishing she would focus some love on another great theater composer. It’s not that Mr. Sondheim doesn’t deserve it, but he is by far the most tribute’ed and songbook’ed composer in recent memory: there have easily been as many all-Sondheim shows in 54 Below as all other songwriters put together. (This Wednesday, for instance, will see the latest performance of of 54B’s longrunning Halloween production, Into Sweeney Todd’s Woods.) But I changed my mind as soon as I caught Ms. Errico’s first performance - she has a unique gift for emphasizing the warm and emotional side of Mr. Sondheim’s complex, aria-like numbers, and for taking lyrics written for specific characters and specific scenes, and transforming them into something incredibly intimate and personal - with, at the same time, sentiments that are universal. All of which is confirmed by the recent release of the new album, the accurately-titled Sondheim Sublime (released by Ghostlight Records); we may have listened to 10,000 different versions of “Send in the Clowns” over the last 45 years or so, but trust me, this is one interpretation, and an entire album, that the whole world really needs.

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Author: Will Friedwald
Photography by: STEPHEN SOROKOFF

Author: Will Friedwald

Will Friedwald writes about music and popular culture for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, VANITY FAIR and PLAYBOY magazine and reviews current shows for THE CITIVIEW NEW YORK. He also is the author of nine books, including the award-winning A BIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP SINGERS, SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU, STARDUST MELODIES, TONY BENNETT: THE GOOD LIFE, LOONEY TUNES & MERRIE MELODIES, and JAZZ SINGING. He has written over 600 liner notes for compact discs, received ten Grammy nominations, and appears frequently on television and other documentaries. He is also a consultant and curator for Apple Music.

New Books:

THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP VOCAL ALBUMS (Pantheon Books / Random House, November 2017)