Oscar E Moore

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Marilyn Maye Celebrates Johnny Mercer at the Metropolitan Room

June 14th, 2009 by Oscar E Moore

“Mercer the Maye Way” has just opened for a nine performance run at New York’s Metropolitan Room through June 21st at 7pm.  Here is the number to call for tickets, if they are not already sold out – as well they should be – 212 206 0440 or visit www.metropolitanroom.com.   But be quick if you want to see one of the most exciting cabaret shows by one of the foremost entertainers in the business – the incredibly classy, glamorous and glorious Marilyn Maye – a woman who has been around the block a couple of times but still has the power to enthrall an audience with her sultry delivery and humor – electrifying the room with her charm and vocal prowess – bringing on thunderous applause one minute and complete silence the next.  Marilyn Maye should be designated a national treasure.

She has recently won her first MAC Award – Celebrity of the Year, so that’s a good start to National Treasure status.  Marilyn Maye has a way with a lyric that is legendary and so it is not surprising that this new show is a tribute to one of the greatest lyricists ever – Johnny Mercer – a good friend and fellow martini drinker.  The sheer number (thirty five in all) of incredible, memorable and beautiful hit songs that he wrote and that she sings with such joy and reverence is enough for you to want to get on bended knee and praise them both.

She is supported by a three terrific musicians.  Tedd Firth on piano, Jim Eklof (her drummer for more than 40 years) and Tom Hubbard on bass.  A better combo you will not find anywhere.

Standing beside the piano, looking fabulous, not a glass of water in sight and discarding her on stage stool Marilyn Maye sang her heart and soul out for almost two hours.  It was an amazing performance.  By an amazing woman.  Adorable.  Lovable.  It was her “let’s just have a party” mood that captured us all from the start.  It was especially interesting watching Anne Hampton Calloway watching Marilyn Maye and being mesmerized.  As we all were.

“I’m Old Fashioned” “Out of This World” “Charade” a beautifully controlled “Skylark” a revengeful “I Wanna Be Around”  “Come Rain or Come Shine” “Moon River” the very amusing “Pardon My Southern Accent” and “Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing In a Hurry” (that she sang in Topeka Kansas when she was 12) and the knockout “Blues in the Night” and my all time favorite “Anyplace I Hang My Hat is home” are just a few of the songs that make up “Mercer the Maye Way”.

There is only one word to describe Marilyn Maye.  Perfection.

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