$30 – $40

Cry for Joy: Melissa Swings American Songs

Doors open at 7pm
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Birdland Theater

315 West 44th St

New York, NY 10036

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Birdland Theater is proud to present singer Melissa Errico in "Cry For Joy: Melissa Swings American Songs.”

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The Permanent American Party

Written By Melissa Errico about this special BIRDLAND concert:

“Cry For Joy: Melissa Swings American Songs”

With a 5-piece band headed by Matt Baker, (including jazz trumpet rising star Benny Benack III), Melissa sings Gershwin, Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, Irving Berlin, Rodgers & Hart & more!

Melissa Errico made her professional debut at age 18 as Cosette in the premiere national tour of Les Misérables and soon after starred in the 1993 revival of My Fair Lady, in which she played Eliza Doolittle. She went on to star on Broadway in High Society, Amour (Tony nomination, Best Leading Actress in a Musical), Dracula, the Musical and Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. She collaborated with Stephen Sondheim on the revival of  Sunday In the Park with George (Dot/Marie at the Kennedy Center), followed by John Doyle’s production of Passion (Clara) for which she was nominated for a sixth Drama Desk Award; and next as Leona in the 2016 City Center Encores! production of  Do I Hear a Waltz? where she has done many shows including One Touch of Venus. At the Irish Rep, she has recently starred in the hit revivals of Finian’s Rainbow (2016) and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (2018). She recently played The Baker’s Wife in a staged concert of Into The Woods with Alice Ripley, orchestra conducted by John McDaniel.

A frequent contributor to The New York Times, where she has written often about the inner life of the musical theater, Melissa is also a regular columnist for Purist Magazine. Her solo CDs include “Blue Like That “ (EMI/Capitol Records), “Lullabies & Wildflowers” (Universal), “Legrand Affair” (Ghostlight/Sony) and “What About Today? Melissa Errico Live at 54 Below” (Broadway Records; CD & DVD). Her most recent release is “Sondheim Sublime” (Ghostlight Records) which the Wall Street Journal called “the best all Sondheim album ever recorded” and the New York Times featured as “the Sondheim album of the year”. Melissa has performed extended runs at Feinstein’s/54 Below of her solo concert “Melissa Sings Sondheim”, and in 2018 brought the show to London’s Live at Zedel for her sold-out UK concert debut. The featured performer on the forthcoming PBS “Poetry in America” portrait of Sondheim, Melissa will return to London and to France this spring, to sing still more Sondheim and a little Legrand. Twitter: @melissa_errico

The Permanent American Party

An Essay Written By Melissa Errico about this special BIRDLAND concert:

"When I finished the album Sondheim Sublime, and the concerts that went with it --- the passion project of a lifetime --I felt completely fulfilled but a little exhausted, fulfilled by the emotional richness of his music and exhausted by the emotional demands so much of it made. I cried a lot. These were good emotions – sublime emotions! -- but I suddenly wanted to have a moment for a little mischief and just plain fun, too.

Just then, a friend asked me to sing at his birthday party: a big deal dress-up evening in a charming old fashioned hotel ballroom. I loved the idea, and soon arranged to fall into the hands (and horns!) of a new swing group that the all-purpose pianist Matt Baker put together for me. We cut out the big theatrical monologues and philosophical treatises, and went with classics – theater songs that had been so long off the stage, and sung so often, that they had become pop classics, almost like folk songs. As we drove and improved through those Gershwin and Arlen and Rodgers & Hart classics – some of which I’d been singing for years (“Rain or Shine”) and some that I was singing right off the sheet music (“They Can’t Take That Away from Me”)—I realized that this wasn’t one party I was singing for. This was the permanent American party, the music we map our emotional lives to, as our parents mapped theirs to some of the same music. (My parents met over “The Man I Love” and never looked back.) I did try to bring some of what I know as a theater singer to these songs, restoring some of the inner structure and drama to a song like “I Got Lost in His Arms” that a straight jazz singer might miss.

I still cry when I’m singing, but with this set, I cry for joy. The joy of singing, the joy of finding wild moments with fellow musicians, and the joy of sharing I’m here because of those songs, for those songs. I want to pass the party on."

Melissa Errico

Birdland Theater, 315 West 44 Street, NYC

www.BirdlandJazz.com

$40 cover, $10 food/drink minimum

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Birdland Theater

315 West 44th St

New York, NY 10036

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