Exclusive Podcast: LITTLE KNOWN FACTS with Ilana Levine and Melissa Errico
BroadwayWorld has teamed up with Broadway actress Ilana Levine, who makes her entrance onto the podcast stage with her critically acclaimed show Little Known Facts- a weekly podcast hosted by stage and film actress Ilana Levine. With over 150 interviews to date with today's most successful artists, Levine engages her celebrity guests in intimate conversations that are hilarious, vulnerable, revealing and inspiring. Ilana's unique brand of celebrity interview has been called "Podcast Vérité," because her conversations are unfiltered, raw, honest and uniquely funny.
For more on Little Known Facts, click here!
"The Maria Callas of American musical theater," as Opera News has called her, referencing both her crystalline voice and dramatic, expressive intensity, this week's guest, Melissa Errico is an actress, singer and author. First known for her starring roles on Broadway, her latest album, Sondheim Sublime, was called by The Wall Street Journal "The best all-Sondheim album ever recorded." Nothing in her work has been more constant than her association with Michel Legrand. Having starred in his sole Broadway show, "Amour", she went on to collaborate with him on the iconic album "Legrand Affair". After his death in 2019, she was asked to write his eulogy by The New York Times - where she is a frequent contributor- and was then invited to become the sole American performer to participate in the extraordinary two-day memorial to Legrand held in April at Paris' Le Grand Rex Theatre, work that led one critic to announce that, "Errico is, and will continue to be, the premier interpreter of the musical legacy of Michel Legrand." This fall 2019, Ghostlight Records reissues her symphonic album, which Legrand arranged & conducted, as "Legrand Affair Deluxe Edition."
Melissa is best known for her many starring roles on Broadway. She starred in the Broadway musicals Anna Karenina, My Fair Lady, High Society, Dracula, White Christmas and Michel Legrand's Amour which won her a Tony nomination for "Best Actress". Melissa was recently honored with a caricature at Sardi's in celebration of her Broadway performances. But her career is characterized by diverse interests in many creative corners of theater and the arts. She has had a steady career in television, appeared in feature films, and performed in non-musical roles in Off-Broadway plays. She has also worked widely as both a recording artist and concert singer, releasing a series of award-winning albums and working with the world's most noted symphonies and jazz and cabaret spaces. Most recently, she has established herself as a writer, publishing essays in The New York Times and beyond.
For the last three years, Melissa has performed successful runs of her solo Sondheim concerts, winning raves, among them The New York Times: "Her familiarity with the way the [Sondheim's] songs work to advance character and story in vivo naturally informs her in vitro style, which is actorly to begin with. Her fierce "Loving You" from "Passion" brought unusual attention to the two distinct thoughts often blurred in the line "I will live and I would die for you." Her attention to the lyrics and their rush of harsh "wisdoms" was Ms. Errico's keynote.
Debuting the same show at London's Live at Zédel last year for her sold-out UK concert debut, one critic wrote that "sometimes 5 stars just aren't ENOUGH!" After a sold-out return engagement, she was thrilled to go to London yet again in September 2019 to sing at Royal Festival Hall in an all- star tribute to Legrand with the Ronnie Scott Jazz Orchestra. Over this time, Melissa also brought her Sondheim program to The Ravinia Festival in 2018, to the Signature Theatre in DC, and Guild Hall in East Hampton, as well as many points from Provincetown's Art House, and then debuted her ravishing Legrand concert titled "Amour & After- Melissa Errico sing Michel Legrand" at a standing room only concert at San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel.
Her recent stage performances include a hit Off-Broadway run of On A Clear Day You Can See Forever ("musical comedy mastery" - The New Yorker Magazine), The Baker's Wife in a concert run of Into the Woods with Alice Ripley and "Wordplay" - a unique look at Sondheim- at Lyrics & Lyricists produced by Ted Chapin for 92Y in April. She will soon be seen discussing & performing selections from 'Sunday In The Park With George' on film on the forthcoming PBS Poetry in America portrait of Sondheim. She was the curator of a wildly popular French film festival at FIAF in NYC and performed and organized concerts after screenings.
This past summer Melissa also worked with Michael Feinstein in various ways including with The Pasadena Pops and The American Songbook Series at Lincoln Center. Her future plans include concerts devoted to the music of Kurt Weill and the words of Yip Harburg, a new album of swing standards, and an autobiographical novel.