For Don and Annette Macaluso, home is both a place and person: the place being a stage, and the person being one another.
While Oscar Wilde coined the phrase “life imitates art far more than art imitates life,” in the case of Port St. Lucie performers Don and Annette Macaluso, known onstage as Meritt and Moreau, the reverse may be true. The dynamic duo of song and stage met at an audition for Broadway smash “The Fantasticks” in New York, a kind of reverse “Romeo and Juliet” show of love, loss and redemption. Don says he was delighted when he and Annette were cast as leads because he had already fallen in love with her voice. The pairing was as intense offstage as it had been on, and Don and Annette have continued to delight audiences all along the East Coast.
Whether it’s a Broadway revue, an evening of exquisitely executed Italian songs or a performance of a Rodgers and Hammerstein song, the duo delights audiences with their energy, stage presence and charisma. The booking staff from Parker Brothers once offered a sentiment: “The standing ovation at the end of the show was certainly evidence of how our people felt.” Nightlife Magazine concurred, saying, “Don and Annette create an immediate rapport with the audience…the smiles are genuine, the affection is real, and the singing is superb.”
Every performance brings the same energy, no matter if the duo is entertaining audiences in the Catskills, high-profile venues in New York City and New Jersey, or of course, Florida—the paradise the pair discovered while on tour in the south during one chilly New York winter. After a long and grueling drive north, the pair arrived at midnight to find three feet of snow in their driveway. “We had to leave the car in the road and shovel our way back into our own house in the middle of the night,” Don says. “That was what clinched it and made our decision to move to Port St. Lucie full-time.”
For Don and Annette, both Italian by heritage and fiercely loyal to their New York City roots, performing is not just about singing a song or speaking lines. “We are very blessed because there is a connection between us that comes across to our audiences,” Annette says. “That is very important because it allows us to be very comfortable with the audience and break through that ‘fourth wall’ that’s spoken of in the business—the one between the stage and the audience.” The couple noted that many contemporary performers don’t ad lib in a live venue, and that limits their ability to connect with the audience—a crucial part of the show.
These days, the versatile couple performs a variety of 90-minute shows at places like Kings Point, Century Village, the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens and a host of festivals and venues throughout the state. When asked if it’s hard to perform and be married to one another, they laughed and answered honestly. “We’ve been married for a long time,” Don says. “It’s mostly been up times, and I feel so blessed to have met the right person. The fact that she’s a good cook is also helpful,” he joked. Annette expands, “Once you start singing that first song with a full band behind you, you kind of look at one another and realize what you’re doing and how lucky you are, and the argument just evaporates. It’s an amazing gift, and it’s been a dream come true and a beautiful journey for both of us.”
For booking information or a chance to see them live, visit meritt-moreau.com or call 516.810.6049.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly referred to the duo’s stage names as Meritt and Monroe. They’re known as Meritt and Moreau.