Press and Reviews
Palm Beach, FL – March 17, 2010
The Palm Beach Daily News
By David A. Frye
The island grew a little brighter Tuesday as songstress Marilyn Maye, an irrepressible ray of sunshine, blew into town and took over the Royal Room at The Colony.
She was opening her third stint at the venerable cabaret, hot off a two-week engagement at Feinstein’s in New York that had critics gushing — and now we know why.
From the moment she took the stage with her trio — pianist/conductor Tedd Firth, bassist Tom Hubbard and drummer Jim Eklof — Maye instantly set the scene for the evening, creating a party atmosphere with a group of freshly minted old friends who came ready to have a good time.
A true cabaret veteran, this singer’s singer came armed with a carefully crafted set list of classics from the Great American Songbook, with some Sondheim, a Mercer medley and a few assorted chestnuts thrown in for good measure. She held the audience in the palm of her hand for nearly 90 minutes, with a level of sheer energy way beyond performers half — make that a quarter — her age. Imagine the velvet vocals of Rosemary Clooney with the feistiness of Elaine Stritch and you’ve got an idea of what Maye brings to the stage: a thoroughly engaging presence who makes every song her own in a polished delivery that appears effortless. She drives home every heartfelt note and leaves her audiences grinning from ear to ear.
On opening night, there was the occasional ballad, most notably Murray Grand’s Guess “Who I Saw Today”, but the for the most part Maye and Co. kept the tempo upbeat and swung hard with tunes such as Peggy Lee’s “I Love Being Here With You” and the Steve Allen signature “This Could Be The Start of Something Big”. The singer readily credits Allen with advancing her career into the big leagues, including a record 76 appearances on The Tonight Show, more than any other singer, and headlining gigs at iconic spots such as the Copa and El Morocco.
The evening reached a fever pitch with swinging takes of “On The Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe” and “Accentuate The Positive”, and came to an end all too soon with the singer’s view of life on the road, “Anyplace I Hang My Hat Is Home”. For now, “home” will be here in Palm Beach, where this master artist will be holding court at The Colony through March 27. For lovers of pop, jazz or swing, spring has come early to the island this year, as March is now officially the month of Maye.