Marilyn Maye performs at Feinstein's / 54 Below in NYC - Will's New York Nite Life

Marilyn Maye, "Carrying the Torch" at Feinstein's / 54 Below

Marilyn Maye, "Carrying the Torch" at Feinstein's / 54 Below

Feinstein’s / 54 Below

254 W 54th Street, (646) 476-3551

Wednesday, April 12, and Tuesday April 18 through Sunday April 23

89 is a heck of an age to be learning new songs, and one’s 89th birthday is an equally unlikely moment to debut a whole new show filled with songs that we haven’t heard from her in a while. (Such as “No Bad News” from “The Wiz,” now that caught me off guard.) A goodly share of the storied singer’s latest set is devoted to bittersweet reflective arias about growing older, like “When the World Was Young” and “I’m Still Here” – although she was wise to leave out “Here’s to Life” this time around. This particular edition of the Maye show is also filled with heavier-than-usual ballads (“God Bless the Child,” “Fifty Percent,” “Joey Joey Joey” and a Comden and Green medley of “Some Other Time” and “The Party’s Over”) but she’s not neglecting such perennial signature songs as her characteristically brash opener “It’s Today” and such intensely narrative driven set-pieces as “Guess Who I Saw Today.” Her Monday evening opening on the actually birthday was, expectedly, full of outsized emotion and standing ovations (not to mention cake), but Miss Maye always incites an overwhelming reaction.

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Author: Will Friedwald
Photography by: STEPHEN SOROKOFF

Author: Will Friedwald

Will Friedwald writes about music and popular culture for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL & VANITY FAIR, and reviews current shows for THE OBSERVER and THE CITIVIEW NEW YORK. He also is the author of eight books including the award-winning A BIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP SINGERS, SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU, STARDUST MELODIES, TONY BENNETT: THE GOOD LIFE, LOONEY TUNES & MERRIE MELODIES, and JAZZ SINGING. He has written over 600 liner notes for compact discs, received ten Grammy nominations, and appears frequently on television and other documentaries. He is also a consultant and curator for Apple Music.

New Books:

THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP VOCAL ALBUMS (Pantheon Books / Random House, October 2017)

SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU - NEW REVISED EDITION (Chicago Review Press, May 2018)