Actress/singer Melissa Errico was born in the borough of Manhattan in New York, New York, on March 23, 1970, and grew up largely on Long Island in Manhasset, New York. There was a family heritage of music and performing: her maternal grandmother was a lyric soprano who emigrated from Italy to become a professional opera singer; her great aunt was a showgirl in The Ziegfeld Follies; her father was a child prodigy on the piano who became a concert pianist; and her older brother Mike Errico is a singer/songwriter. She attended Yale University as an undergraduate, interrupting her studies in her freshman year when she was cast as Cosette in the first national touring company of Les Misérables. She graduated from Yale with a B.A. in art history and philosophy, and enrolled in the Yale Drama School, but was forced to withdraw when she was cast as Princess Kitty Scherbatsky (and understudy to the lead) in a musical adaptation of Anna Karenina, making her Broadway debut on August 26, 1992. The show ran only 46 performances, but she was back on Broadway starting on December 9, 1993, as the star of a revival of My Fair Lady that ran 165 performances and earned her a Drama Desk Award nomination. (Although no cast album was recorded, her performance of "Wouldn't It Be Loverly" from the show can be heard on the various-artists album The Musicality of Lerner and Loewe.)
In 1995, she appeared in a concert production of Call Me Madam as part of the New York City Center's Encores! Great Musicals in Concert series, and it was recorded for a cast album released by DRG Records. During the 1995-1996 season, she appeared in the television series Central Park West, and she made her film debut in Loose Women in 1996. She also returned to Encores! in 1996 for a concert version of One Touch of Venus, playing the title role. Her appearance in a revival of the play The Importance of Being Earnest by the off-Broadway company the Irish Repertory Theatre of New York in 1997 brought her a second Drama Desk Award nomination. Her next film was Bury the Evidence in 1998. She returned to Broadway to star in a stage musical adaptation of High Society that opened on April 27, 1998, and ran 144 performances; it brought her a third Drama Desk Award nomination and was recorded for a cast album released by DRG. On December 19, 1998, she married Patrick McEnroe, brother of the tennis champion John McEnroe and also a professional tennis player himself; she had met her future husband in kindergarten.
Errico appeared in the films Picture This (1999) and Frequency (2000). In May 2000, she launched a career as a cabaret artist at the nightclub Joe's Pub in New York with a show called Real Emotional Girl: Melissa Errico Sings the Music of Randy Newman. Subsequently, she appeared at such prestigious New York venues as the Café Carlyle (March 2002) and the Oak Room of the Algonquin Hotel (March 2004), and in other cities. Meanwhile, her film work continued with Mockingbird Don't Sing (2001). On March 3, 2001, she appeared in Life Upon the Wicked Stage, a tribute to Jerome Kern, in Los Angeles. Her performance of "In Love in Vain" appeared on the album of the same name released by LML Music. On March 23, 2002, she appeared at Symphony Space in New York as part of Wall to Wall Richard Rodgers, a celebration of the composer's work. Her duet with Patrick Quinn on "People Will Say We're in Love" appeared on an album of the concert released by Fynsworth Alley Records. Her next film was Life or Something Like It (2002). In June 2002, she took the lead female role in a production of Sunday in the Park with George as part of the Kennedy Center's celebration of the works of Stephen Sondheim, at the invitation of the composer. Her next starring role in a Broadway musical came with Amour, which opened on October 20, 2002. It ran only 17 performances, but that was long enough to earn her a Tony Award nomination. The show was also recorded for a cast album released by Sh-K-Boom Records.
Errico made her solo recording debut with the album Blue Like That, released by Manhattan/EMI Records on February 25, 2003. On April 14, 2004, she returned to the Irish Repertory Theatre for a revival of the musical Finian's Rainbow that produced a cast album released by Sh-K-Boom and earned her her fourth Drama Desk Award nomination. Her next Broadway appearance came with a musical adaptation of Dracula that opened on August 19, 2004, and ran 157 performances. In 2005, she appeared in the film Loverboy and also starred in a revival of Camelot at the Hollywood Bowl. She sang the title role in the first-ever studio cast recording of the 1944 musical Sadie Thompson, released by Original Cast Records on April 12, 2005.
In 2006, Errico gave birth to a daughter. The same year, LML recorded a studio cast album of the musical in which she had made her Broadway debut, Anna Karenina, and she sang on it, promoted to the title role. In 2008, she gave birth to fraternal twins and released her second solo album, Lullabies & Wildflowers. While balancing a family life and career, Errico has remained a vital stage performer, appearing in White Christmas on Broadway, starring in an off-Broadway production of Candida for which she garnered a 2010 Drama Desk Award nomination for Best Actress in a Play, reprised her role as Guinevere (alongside Jeremy Irons as King Arthur) in the Irish Repertory Theatre's 2011 production of Camelot, and even starred with Alec Baldwin in the 2011 production of Gift of the Gorgon at the Guild Hall. In 2011, Errico released the Phil Ramone-produced Legrand Affair: The Songs of Michel Legrand, which featured a score composed by the legendary pianist/arranger Legrand. ~ William Ruhlmann