Melissa Barber has been captivating audiences for years beginning her singing career as a child and growing into a mature recording and stage artist. Whether it be for a crowd of hundreds or an intimate room of forty, Ms. Barber’s concerts leave audiences of all ages and backgrounds feeling like the show was written and performed just for them.
Versatility – that’s what makes Melissa a unique performer. With an eclectic mixture of musical styles (show tunes, jazz, pop, classical and inspirational), witty banter and audience participation, Melissa exudes talent, grace and an enthusiasm to entertain. As Listen.com puts it, “Melissa Barber performs in the classic cabaret style. She combines Liza Minnelli’s show-stopping bravado with Bernadette Peters’ jazz approach.”
But don’t let all this cabaret theatre talk fool you; this classically trained vocalist can rock. Ms. Barber has also had an extensive career singing Top 40, Disco, Motown, Rock, and Country with bands and orchestras in theatrical, concert, club, private event, and corporate settings. The Cleveland Plain Dealer says it all with: “She’s got pipes forever.”
Clients enjoy Melissa’s eagerness to customize shows for their events. Enhanced with beautiful costumes and fun props, Ms. Barber writes scripts and song parodies to complement an event theme or pay tribute to a guest of honor. And her audience interactivity is unmatched! Says producer John P. Kunkel, “If I am producing or directing a show, and Melissa Barber is not part of it, I haven’t provided my client with the best.”
You Heard It Here First, Melissa’s debut CD release, is a collection of songs by Ms. Barber and songwriters from her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Recorded in New York City, the CD garnered a Cleveland mayoral proclamation and a feature article in Cleveland Magazine. International composer/conductor Phil Hall says, “Melissa’s voice sounds magnificent on that recording, it really does. So versatile – her sound is so winning.”
Melissa has performed at many prestigious venues in Cleveland including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Playhouse Square, Progressive Field, and as a guest artist with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra at the world-renown Severance Hall. While working as a cabaret artist in New York City, Ms. Barber played frequently at Upstairs at Rose’s Turn, Don’t Tell Mama, Danny’s Skylight Room, and The Duplex.
Ms. Barber’s talents have also been tapped for business theatre and corporate work. She was awarded The Communicator Award of Distinction for a theme song she wrote, recorded and produced for the nation’s largest jewelry retailer, Sterling Jewelers. NY Public Relations firm, Maloney & Fox, enjoyed employing Melissa for their campy agency theme song. Additionally, Melissa’s smooth speaking voice has been captured as the narrator on many commercial, corporate and national museum recorded programs. She has hosted her own radio program and many live events, making her a natural when it comes to concert banter, mistress of ceremony work, and improvisational audience interaction during her concerts.
Ms. Barber’s New York stage credits include An Advent Carol (Mary of Nazareth), John Henry (Polly) and numerous new musical staged readings, children’s theatre pieces, religious musicals, benefits and cabarets. Her regional theatrical credits include roles in Evita (Eva Peron), Gail Warnings (Gail Brown) and Cosi Fan Tutte (Despina). Melissa was a proud cast member and music director of Cleveland, Ohio’s longest running play, Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding. For the entire 2 ¼ year run, Melissa played the role of Celeste Romano, the wedding band singer, to high critical acclaim. Melissa also appeared in the Equity production of Respect: A Musical Journey at the Hanna Theatre in Cleveland.
Melissa earned her bachelor’s degree from Otterbein University in both musical theater and music business.