- Metropolitan Room, New York - January 12, 2016
It's fitting that Marilyn Maye ended her recent show at the Metropolitan Room with "The Secret of Life" followed by "Here's to Life," since she clearly lives by both songs. At 87, she's dynamic, funny, charming, inspiring, and, yes, full of life. And she's a hell of a singer. She also looked fabulous, dressed in black with all sorts of sparkly additions. Every time she moved, she threw off light. But she could do that without the sparkles--that's Marilyn Maye!
Ultimately, it's almost silly to write a review of Marilyn Maye, because she is beyond reviews. When you go to see her, you know you'll get a great show, a terrific show, a generous show. You know you'll laugh. You know you'll get ferklempt. And you know that you will experience awe at her sheer wonderfulness. In fact, when it comes to Marilyn Maye, only one sentence is needed:
See her whenever you can, as often as you can.
Maye's set included a wide range of songs, many tucked into elegant medleys. They included "I Love Everybody," "Let There Be Love," "It's Love," "Hey Old Friend," "I Love Being Here With You," "Cabaret," "That Face," "Whenever I See Your Smiling Face," "I Was Born to Make You Happy," "My Romance," "Golden Rainbow," "Fifty Percent of Him," "If I Were a Bell," "Luck Be A Lady," "Joey, Joey, Joey," "Bye, Bye, Country Boy," "I'm Through With Love," "What Do You Get When You Fall in Love," "Rain," "Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter," "Ain't Misbehavin'," and "Honeysuckle Rose." Like I said, it's a generous performance. (Please forgive any misnamed songs; I'm not 100% familiar with all of them.)
Maye's also a delightful raconteur, good enough to do stand-up. Her story about the 24 hours it took to get from Kansas City to New York due to various delays was golden. Perhaps my favorite line was when she explained to someone at the airline that she and her traveling companion were just "two old ladies trying to make it in show business."
Maye's band was worth an evening in and of themselves: musical director Billy Stritch on piano; Tom Hubbard on drums; and Daniel Glass on bass. Very classy playing.
If you've never seen Marilyn Maye, you really should. Here's a link to her tour schedule. And if you have seen Marilyn Maye, then I don't have to tell you anything. You already know.