Melissa Errico and Michael Cerveris Chat Sondheim and More on Backstage LIVE with Richard Ridge
Errico first talked about the "Sondheim Sublime" album, what inspired it, and what she hoped to accomplish.
"My job with the Sondheim Sublime album was to kind of lift those songs in my mind to something else," she said.
She went on to describe what she was personally going through at the time, and how it influenced the album.
"At the time I made the Sondheim Sublime record, I was in my own personal pandemic. I had a tumor and I was going through surgeries and I have three small children," she said. "I've had a lot of time with thoughts of my own fragility over the last few years. I'm all better now, but at the time I made that record I scrambled to express myself in the most protective and loving and sensual way I could, if I needed to leave a letter behind."
The pair talked about Sondheim's 90th birthday concert that was streamed virtually last week.
"It just brought back to me how intimately connected my life, let alone my career, is with Stephen Sondheim's work," Cerveris said. "From the time I was a child and my father introduced me to his music, because my father is a musician, a pianist and an arts educator. I remember him sitting me down with the vinyl LP of A Little Night Music and showing me how it all went together musically."
Later, Cerveris talked about working with director John Doyle.
"[Doyle] helps you stop censoring yourself and editing yourself, and you become this creative machine, and everybody in the company starts to feel that way," Cerveris said. "It fosters such a sense of ensemble and complete trust and acknowledges the truth which is that, when you're playing the character in Shakespeare who has one line, the whole play is in your hands during your one line. You may only have the one line but you're the most important character in the whole play at that point. And that's something that gets to born out in a way that John directs. Everybody is vitally important."
Watch the full interview here!
Melissa Errico released the acclaimed album "Sondheim Sublime" in 2018 which The Wall Street Journal called "the best all-Sondheim album ever recorded". And in addition to starring in Sunday in the Park with George at The Kennedy Center, Melissa earned a Drama Desk Award nomination for her performance in Classic Stage Company's Passion, and most recently starred in Sondheim's Do I Hear a Waltz? at City Center.
Michael Cerveris is an American actor, singer, and guitarist. He has performed in many stage musicals and plays, including several Stephen Sondheim musicals: Assassins, Sweeney Todd, Road Show, and Passion. In 2004, Cerveris won the Tony Award as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for Assassins as John Wilkes Booth. In 2015, he won his second Tony Award as Best Actor in a Musical for Fun Home as Bruce Bechdel.