Wednesday, September 9, 2009

CABARET review - Marilyn Maye

Spectacular vocalist Marilyn Maye performed 2 shows at the Catalina Bar and Grill Tuesday September 8. This lady is one hot singer. She not only looks stunning (see photo below) and sings like a nightingale, but oozes a kind of charm and style that only the great singers of the past know how to convey. On a par with Rosemary Clooney, Ella Fitzgerald, and Broadway vocalists Barbara Cook and Karen Morrow, Marilyn Maye is a class act all the way.

Accompanied by great musicians Billy Stritch at the piano, Jack Burghof on bass and Jim Ekloff on drums, Maye performed a solid 75-minute set of great standards, concentrating on Cole Porter, Ray Charles and her idol Steve Allen. Highlights included: "The Song Is You", "You're Gonna Hear From Me", Sondheim's bewitching "Old Friends", "Lush Life", "When Your Lover Has Gone", "This Could Be the Start of Something Big", "Just For a Thrill", and a fab Porter medley "I Get a Kick Out of You", "It's All right With Me", "It Was Just One of Those Things", "I've Got You Under My Skin" and "I Concentrate On You". She did a beautifully dramatic rendition of "Guess Who I Saw Today?", one of her most requested sad love songs. She knocked "Come Rain or Come Shine" right out of the park and closed with the electric "Take Five".

As singers age, the voice changes, but Maye sounds exactly the same as she did forty years ago.
Her phrasing and clarity of expression are magnetic, and she can still hit the notes and hold onto them. What an amazing artist!

Her first show on the 8th was a sell-out - very rare the day after a major holiday like Labor Day- and was attended by such luminaries as Marilyn and Alan Bergman, Debbie Reynolds, Karen Morrow, Nancy Dussault, Bob Mackie, Jason Graae, Barbara Minkus, among many others.
If you happen to be in San Francisco on September 15, Maye is appearing at the Hotel Nikko. Don't miss her!

On a scale of 1-10, Maye's a 20! She's every ounce a singer's singer!


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