Broadway Baby

Melissa Errico brings her musical passions to Wolf Trap

The New York Times once referred to soprano Melissa Errico as ”one of the most valuable assets of the musical theater.” Yet New York-native Errico acknowledges she hasn’t been one of its most visible assets. ”I haven’t been double blessed with huge hit shows that really define my career,” she says, ”but I have things that I feel appreciative of.”

Among them: Stephen Sondheim selecting Errico to co-star in the 2002 production of Sunday in the Park with George at the Kennedy Center; starring in the failed 2001 musical Dracula, which Errico laughingly calls ”the piece de resistance of bombs, as Broadway bombs go”; her 2003 Tony nomination for Best Actress in the musical Amour; and her breakout role on Broadway starring in the 1993 revival of My Fair Lady.

Melissa Ericco

Melissa Errico

(Photo by Michael Lavine)

”My career kind of started with a bang really, and My Fair Lady is probably what I’m best known for,” she says. ”And that sort of began a lifelong association with the legend of Julie Andrews.” Errico has taken on other roles originated by Andrews, including productions of Camelot and The Sound of Music at the Hollywood Bowl.

Errico, who has regularly appeared in small roles on television and in film, will next appear as a recurring character on Steven Soderbergh and Clive Owen’s series The Knick, set to debut on Cinemax in February.

But it’s musical theater that’s Errico’s passion, which is partly why her upcoming cabaret show at the Barns at Wolf Trap is titled A Passion for Broadway. The cabaret will feature a wide range of music, but the focus is on the music of Stephen Sondheim. Errico starred in last spring’s off-Broadway hit revival of the Sondheim-James Lapine musical Passion, earning her further critical acclaim.

”I will be performing one song from Passion,” Errico says, while teasing, ”It’s a surprise though. It will not be the song you think of.”

Melissa Errico performs Saturday, Nov. 9, at 7:30 p.m. ‘The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $40 to $42. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit wolftrap.org.

Doug Rule is a theater critic and contributing editor for Metro Weekly.

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