Written by Pat Grace Thursday, 17 November 2011 00:00
She would like to visit again. Broadway star, and Manhasset native, Melissa Errico visited Manhasset High School last February presenting master classes to music and theatre students. Following the classes Ms. Errico, accompanied on piano by her father, Dr. Michael Errico, gave a public performance. Without question the students were delighted—as was Ms. Errico. She observed recently to the Manhasset Press, “there seem to be wonderful, special teachers at the high school and very sincere, terrific kids,” Some, she indicated, keep up with her on Facebook.
At the school Errico said she sensed there were many in Manhasset who love theater and she is at a time in her life when she would like to give back to her hometown, a wonderful place to grow up, she remembers. In February Melissa felt she “connected with the students and started a conversation there at the school about how I became a professional actress, and how possible it is, and how I felt about being in Manhasset with these improbable dreams to become an artist when I grew up.”
In the 1980s, in the eighth grade, Melissa said she took a bus from Friends Academy to the train station to make a dance class in the city by 4:30 p.m. She was, she said, a familiar sight riding home with the commuters at 7:30 p.m. Her father, a popular orthopedist, has always treated the families in town and her parents took a lot of heat, she recalled, but she was determined and difficult, maintained straight A’s and wanted very much to pursue her dream. Errico said she needs and loves to see and to do; but needs quiet time and she said Manhasset has it all, and, it’s near Manhattan.
Her career began as Cosette in Les Miserables when she was only 18, for which she took a leave of absence from Yale University and returned to graduate with high honors and an art history/philosophy degree.
Now, at a time in her life with three children under 5, including twins, and her husband, Patrick McEnroe, who she met in grammar school, she understands that “combining an artist’s life and being a mom is not an easy combination.”
Nevertheless, she has mega projects in the works. On two Fridays in early November, Ms. Errico appeared as the guest star on the new TV series A Gifted Man, at 8 p.m. on CBS. “It’s a medical drama with a supernatural element, but,” she laughed, “I’m not a ghost.”
Errico explained she is involved in a “Staged Reading” of the musical Beauty which is only a 10-day obligation so there is, she said, a dream cast. It was written by Regina Spektor, a rocker, pop star and “is surprisingly artful, a riff on Sleeping Beauty, is futuristic in that it is in the near future so it is oriented to computers, and beauty is just a tool.”
Over the summer, Melissa sang at Sprague Hall in New Haven, again accompanied by her dad at the piano, appeared in Camelot with Jeremy Irons on Broadway, and performed at Guild Hall with Alec Baldwin in the U.S. premier of The Gift of the Gorgon by Peter Shaffer.
But Errico is most excited about the debut in October of her Michel Legrand CD titled Legrand Affair (“it only took 6 years and 3 babies”) produced by Phil Ramone, and co-produced by Richard Jay-Alexander on Ghostlight Records. Errico said she is pleased with the amazing reviews Legrand Affair has received, including “rapturous” and “standard setting.” Errico said she is backed on the CD by a 100-piece symphony. Comparatively, she said. Hugh Jackman is on Broadway with an 18-piece orchestra. Legrand Affair can be purchased on Amazon.
And on Nov. 19 Melissa Errico is celebrating the long-awaited recording of Michel Legrand tunes with a concert in NYC at Joe’s Pub at 7 p.m. with pianist John Oddo leading the band. She will sing some Legrand, some new material, and some Broadway favorites. Joe’s Pub is located within the Public Theater at 425 Lafayette. For more information visit www.Joespub.com.
Melissa Errico has enjoyed a successful career and said she isn’t sure when she started being a dreamer. There was a window in her bedroom leading to a flat roof, it was big and safe and out there she could be dreamy, enjoy her romantic thoughts, enjoy the stillness.
Manhasset was such a beautiful place to grow up.