Marilyn Maye

| June 28, 2017

Marilyn Maye

92nd Street Y, NYC, June 19, 2017

Reviewed by Ron Forman for Cabaret Scenes

Marilyn Maye
Photo: Kevin Alvey

Having seen Marilyn Maye perform on a cabaret stage many times since her return to the New York-area cabaret world in 2006, I was curious to see her perform on the stage of a large auditorium. The larger stage gave the ageless Maye more space to move. Having previously written that she is today’s top cabaret performer, I must mention that a bit of the intimacy is lost, but it is made up by the boundless energy that she displays. Going to a Marilyn Maye show is like going to a party; you know that her 90 minutes is going to be non-stop fun. Her 92nd Street Y concert consisted of well-known popular standards, mostly chosen from Broadway shows, and her often quite funny stories and playful asides.

The party atmosphere began with her two openers: “It’s a Most Unusual Day” and “It’s Today” that ended with her kicking her leg almost over her head. She followed with a “happy” medley, including “Get Happy,” where she had the audience joining in to sing “Hallelujah,” and “I Want to Be Happy.” Maye was joined on stage by the Y’s Himan Brown Chorus for a medley of “L’Chaim (To Life)”/”Shalom” She followed with a non-stop Johnny Mercer medley ending with an up-tempo “Come Rain or Come Shine,” which featured a dazzling piano solo by Musical Director Tedd Firth. Amazingly, Maye can switch gears and move an audience with a sad ballad, as she did with her most requested song, “Guess Who I Saw Today?” and, later in the show, with the poignant “Fifty Percent” (Alan and Marilyn Bergman/Billy Goldenberg) and, most especially, her very moving “If He Walked Into My Life.” After closing with an audience participation on “Hello, Dolly!,” she did her Rainbow Medley, followed by a moving “Here’s to Life.”

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Category: Cabaret Reviews, New York City, New York City Cabaret Reviews, Regional

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July 5: Nancy Anderson

She is a delightful entertainer.