Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It's Maye in May: Marilyn Maye at Feinstein's

I love Marilyn Maye.

Really, what's not to love? Maye is an American Classic, a jazz-cabaret singer who started singing professionally in the Great Depression, an 83-year-old who swings with the energy of someone half her age, a lady who is also a broad (or vice versa?), a woman who has seen and done it all with her sense of humor intact. When she sings "I'm Still Here," she ain't kidding!

In her current show at Feinstein's, It's Maye in May, Maye stays largely on the sunny side of the street. She starts with "Young at Heart" and "You Make Me Feel So Young" (which, coincidentally, is the name of the show her sister octogenarian Barbara Cook is bringing to Feinstein's on June 7). Her emphasis on youth makes sense; she is absolutely young at heart. Her other songs include a charmingly bawdy "Honeysuckle Rose," a rollicking "Get Me to the Church on Time," and a poignant "Wouldn't it Be Loverly?" She includes some medleys, and while medleys usually annoy me (they're series of teases), hers flow beautifully (kudos to musical director Tedd Firth for that!). She kicks butt with her Fats Waller medley, and her rainbow medley is thoroughly delightful.  The band--Firth on piano, Tom Hubbard on bass, and Jim Eklof on drums--is outstanding.

So here is Maye, in a sparkly black top, 83 years old, doing an amazing set, even dancing a bit (in high heels!), and giving a show that is, simply, as good as it gets. If you have any interest in cabaret or jazz, do yourself a favor: check her out.

(Press ticket, to the side, nice seats.)

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