By Tulis McCall

Marilyn Maye; Photo by Kevin Alvey

I am almost tired of seeing Marilyn Maye.  How much excellence, clarity and inspiration can one gal take?  In this case – a lot.  A whole lot.

Seriously I cannot count how many times I have had the honor of being in Ms. Maye’s audience.  And each time I am there is at least one moment – usually a bunch more than that – where I am reduced to a puddle.

In this engagement at the Metropolitan Room, May has resumed her “By Request” presentation.  She takes her time entering the room – as she should – and launches into one of her astonishing medleys – It’s Today (Jerry Herman) augmented by a few very high kicks – All Of You (Cole Porter) – Old Friends (Stephen Sondheim) – I Love Being Here With You (William Schluger, Peggy Lee)  – and improved on fresh new lyrics she had just written for greeting 2017 (she had left the paper downstairs).  As with all her medleys she keeps track in her head while it is the musicians who need the sheet music.

This is nothing short of a grand love affair.  Because we KNOW she loves being with us, because it comes across, because that is what she is thinking the whole time.  She couldn’t be happier, and being in  the presence of someone who is happy is, in a word, contagious.

May is also spreading the wealth by introducing us to her students.  On the night we attended the fortunate singer was 15-year-old Joie Bianco  who is captivating and on the way to great great things.  There are 7 decades separating these two singers and the bridge that connects them is golden.

Billy Stritch – musical director, bassist Tom Hubbard, and drummer Eric Halverson fit Maye like a glove, and match her strength and skill note for note.  Another layer of a love fest.

She will be at the Metropolitan Room until the 14th – who knows what this year will bring us?  You can fortify yourself for the times ahead with the magic and the miracle that is Marilyn Maye.

“Marilyn by Request” plays Wednesday through Saturday January 11, 12, 13, 14.  All shows are at 7pm.  The “By Request” shows have a hard-to-resist music charge of only $45 per person.

For information, or to order online, visit www.metropolitanroom.com or call 212/206-0440.  The Metropolitan Room is located at 34 West 22nd Street.