On and off Broadway, on concert stages and in cabarets, Melissa Errico has made standing ovations and critical acclaim almost a matter of routine. She has been lauded as "the voice of enchantment (New York Times
) and "seductive, smart and sexy" (Washington Post
). She has triumphed at New York's most prestigious theaters, the Kennedy Center, the Hollywood Bowl and other celebrated venues, was nominated for a best actress Tony for the Michel Legrand-scored musical Amour
, and has sung lead roles in Anna Karenina, Les Miserables, My Fair Lady
and other productions along the Great White Way. But there was one role she had never played out fully in song - for one of the most gifted musical actresses of her generation, perhaps the most difficult she had ever attempted.
With Lullabies & Wildflowers, her latest album, Ms. Errico acknowledges and embraces that new audience - women who, like her, have undergone the exhilaration and joys of becoming mothers - and assumes the role, for the first time, of playing herself, fully, fearlessly, and irresistibly. With the birth of her daughter Victoria in 2006, Ms. Errico found that her dedication to the theater hadn't prepared her for the drama of bringing a new life into the world. Universal though it is, she understood that this journey is private even as it invites opening to others. This enlightenment animates Lullabies & Wildflowers. Its songs span a wide range: playful and winsome on "Someone to Watch over Me," intimate and loving on "Mockingbird," soothing yet stirring on "Hushabye," upbeat and optimistic on "Wildflowers," sensual and sexy on "Wind Says Shhh." The feelings borne through Ms. Errico's distinctive vocals and Rob Mathes' spare but artful arrangements are as varied as those of women who have made the passage into motherhood.