By David McCabe
Patrick McEnroe, the former professional tennis player and the brother of John, and his wife Melissa Errico have long been connected to Sag Harbor. In the 1990s they spent a summer in a rental house where, they both say, they fell in love.
And they have continued to return to Sag Harbor for years since, with Errico, a professional singer, performing frequently in East Hampton. This summer, though, is special, as Errico is performing in her first solo concert at Guild Hall on August 5. McEnroe, too, will be making an appearance this weekend at a tennis clinic at Sag Harbor Park Tennis at Mashashimuet Park that is open to both children and adults.
“We’re going to have some fun, we’re going to work on every part of their game,” said McEnroe who will be assisted by several pros from the club.
McEnroe is currently the General Manager of Player Development for the United States Tennis Association, where he oversees the organization’s various training programs. He is credited with bringing to the fore several notable American tennis players, including Andy Roddick, James Blake and doubles phenoms the Bryan brothers.
“I always have my eye open for potential high level players, so hopefully we’ll find some out there,” he said of Saturday’s event.
Mashashimuet Park is also significant in McEnroe and Errico’s relationship, they both said. They used to spend time there when McEnroe was still playing, with Errico acting as a training partner, and now they use the courts to introduce their three children to tennis.
Errico first came out to Sag Harbor shortly after she starred in a revival of “My Fair Lady” on Broadway, when she stayed with Broadway set designer Tony Walton.
“I’ve been singing [here] almost every summer my entire life,” she said.
It is perhaps fitting that this is the first time Errico is performing on her own at Guild Hall.
“I have a lot of little kids, and I’m at that stage in my life when I’m getting back in the saddle with my career,” Errico said. “It’s like I’m starting a new chapter in my life. I’m also at that point where I’m sort of looking for a new voice for that chapter in my life.”
She will perform a variety of Broadway classics, as well as some songs from her most recent album, entitled “Legrand Affair: The Songs of Michel Legrand.” The concert will be directed by Richard Jay-Alexander, who helps to put together the touring production of “Le Miserables” in which Errico got her start.
According to Errico, Jay-Alexander discovered her in a hallway while she was waiting to audition for a summer gig with Rhode Island’s Theatre By the Sea. At the time, she had just finished her first year at Yale University. Jay-Alexander saw her and, noting her long curly hair that was reminiscent of the heroine of “Le Mis,” asked her to audition. She got the part.
“Where you choose to vacation is special, and I’m so excited for this concert because I’ve always had such a love for this area,” she said.
Errico and McEnroe grew up on Long Island — in Manhasset — and have known each other since childhood. However, it was not until they reconnected later in life that they considered a relationship together. It was while staying in Sag Harbor during the run of a Bay Street Theatre production starring Errico that they really connected.
“We basically fell in love beyond belief in our summer in Sag Harbor,” she said, “and we never stopped coming back.”
While their lives have changed since then — McEnroe just won the French Open’s doubles title with his brother, but in the senior division — their affection for Sag Harbor has remained constant.
“There’s nothing I like better than walking into Sag Harbor during the week and going to the coffee place and reading the paper and going to the water,” McEnroe said.